Sri Lanka MPs clash with president over Easter attacks probe

PM Narendra Modi to be First Prime Minister to Visit Sri Lanka After Easter Bombings

Before putting down his papers, Mendis testified in front of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on May 29 where he reportedly claimed that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena knew about warnings on possible terror attacks but failed to hold regular security review meetings.

Conflicting reports emerged earlier on Saturday on whether Mendis had resigned or he had been sacked.

A ministerial source told AFP Mr Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.

The President also noting that so far the witnesses summoned to the PSC were officers who were removed from the service, said no official of the security forces now in service will be presented to the Select Committee and he will accept the responsibility for all of them.

Sirisena's defense secretary and police chief have suggested that the president, who is also defense minister, did not follow proper protocols in dealing with a specific warning from an Indian intelligence agency.

Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez reports from Colombo.

More news: No funeral procession, tributes: Karnad's cremation as per last wishes

Mendis said that when he brought up the warnings during a meeting on April 9, director of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena, the direct link to the president, told him Sirisena had already been briefed. The bombings took place on April 21 in which 258 people were killed. Halfway through his testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings was stopped on the president's orders, official sources said. Sirisena has denied he was aware of an impending threat.

Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis was sacked after testifying to the inquiry last week that the attacks could have been averted.

The Sri Lankan police have made elaborate security arrangements for Narendra Modi's visit including restriction in traffic movement during the day.

The attack has severely affected tourism in Sri Lanka which used to be one of the major foreign exchange earners for the island country.

Sri Lanka witnessed a series of eight coordinated explosions in several locations including three churches and three luxury hotels.

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