Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday thanked India for the help in exposing the plot behind the deadly Easter Sunday attacks but said that he does not want any foreign forces, like the National Security Guard, on its soil.
“India has been helpful. But there is no need for the NSG to come in. We don't need foreign soldiers. Our forces are capable enough… (We) just need to give them powers and freedom,” Rajapaksa was quoted by News18 as saying.
Earlier, it was reported that the New Delhi has kept NSG commandoes on standby if the island nation needs any help.
Rajapaksa also held President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe responsible for the serial blasts on hotels and churches which left over 250 dead. The remarks come at a time when elections are due between October and December to elect a new president.
Indian intelligence agencies had warned their Sri Lankan counterparts about a possible terror attack hours before the terror attack, claimed by Islamic State, ripped through the island nation.
Indian intelligence officers contacted their Sri Lanka counterparts two hours before the first attack to warn of a specific threat on churches.
The inputs were sent through diplomatic channels to Sri Lanka after a thorough investigation pertaining to the ISIS case in Coimbatore was carried out by the NIA, which has filed a charge sheet against seven people.
During investigation, the probe team had stumbled upon videos of NTJ leader Zahran Hashim, which was indicative of a terror attack on the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
After further investigation which included cyber trailing of some of the accounts associated with the ISIS, the central security agencies shared an input with their Lankan counterparts about the churches being the likely target of the ISIS module, the officials said.