President Maithripala Sirisena has said that the security forces were aware of certain groups in the country which were receiving training from international terrorist organisations since 2017.
In a special address to the nation, President Sirisena said that sufficient evidence was not available to file charges against them before courts.
Mr. Sirisena also pointed out that the National Security Council was aware of the locations and the movements of these suspects over the last three years. However, he expressed his deepest condolences to all those who had lost their lives during last Sunday's "unexpected" attacks which shook the country.
The President said that he was not notified of prior warnings regarding the recent explosions and had he been informed he would have taken measures to prevent such acts from taking place. On the same lines, he noted that action would be taken against the relevant authorities and individuals who were informed of such warnings and had not taken heed of them.
Meanwhile, President Sirisena said that certain changes will be made to the heads of security forces within the next 24 hours. He noted that measures would be taken to restructure the Police Department and the security forces in near future in order to prevent such acts of terrorism in the country.
He also called on the public to refrain from looking at the Muslim community with a suspicious eye following the attacks. This, he said was because it was only a small faction of the community which had engaged in such acts of terror.
The President explained that the state of emergency was declared yesterday to strengthen and provide more powers to the police and the tri-forces in order to prevent acts of terrorism taking place in the country. He undertook the responsibility of ensuring that this situation will not be used in a manner which destroys democracy within the nation.
Further, Mr. Sirisena pointed out that between seven to eight powerful countries had pledged their assistance to eliminate terrorism for the country.
President Sirisena said that the country is faced with a different type of terrorism unlike the LTTE which had engaged in war for nearly three decades. The President assured state-of-the-art technology and strategies would be introduced to assist in detecting any act of terrorism at its initial stages.
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