Sri Lanka disregarded Turkey warnings: Ex-Minister
Amid the apparent failure of the Sri Lankan government to act on intelligence on Easter Sunday's suicide bombings, information has now surfaced that the defence authorities had also ignored Turkish government alerts that 50 members of the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) had arrived in the island country.
Sri Lankan former External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said that Turkish Ambassador Tunca Ozcuhadar had handed over documents related to the matter to him, the Daily Mirror reported on Saturday.
Peiris is a loyalist of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
There was an attempted coup to overthrow the Turkish government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15, 2016. The coup bid was blamed on FETO, a terrorist outfit led by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, in which 250 people were killed. Later, FETO terrorists fled to different countries.
Peiris said that the Turkish Embassy had repeatedly alerted the Sri Lankan government, Denmark, Austria and some African countries about the terrorists sneaking into their territories. While the governments of these countries took prompt action on the alert, the Sri Lankan authorities paid no heed, he added.
The former Minister said that he then brought this to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena when he met him with a delegation led by Rajapaksa on Thursday to discuss the security situation in the country.
Sri Lanka has been on alert since the April 21 bloodbath in which over 250 people were killed and hundreds injured. The authorities have cancelled weekend mass in the capital due to fears of fresh bomb attacks.