Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's revelation that the country had information about the presence of Islamic State terrorists had sparked more controversies around the globe. On his interview to Sky News, Wickremesinghe said that officials were aware that people had gone to Syria, joined ISIS and returned to the island nation. But the perpetrators could not be arrested as there is no law in the country that forbids them from joining foreign terrorist organisations.
According to the Sri Lankan PM, going abroad and taking part in an uprising or protest is not an offence and they can only arrest those who are operating terror outfits inside the country. Hence, the terrorists wander free in the country that has only freed itself from the grip of terror just a decade back.
However, this comment from the PM has faced severe criticism as to how a country that promotes tourism and other leisure activities can ignore acts of terrorism with a comment that there are no laws against such activities.
Sri Lanka has accused National Towheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) for the ghastly Easter Sunday attacks targeted at churches and five-star hotels even though the attacks were claimed by ISIS. According to the Sri Lankan military intelligence director, Mohammed Zahran Hashim, the leader of the NTJ was killed in the suicide bombing during the breakfast buffet at Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo.
President Maithripala Sirisena said that there is information that around 130-140 ISIS-linked suspects are present in Sri Lanka and around 70 of these suspects have been arrested. He alleged that terrorism and drug mafia are connected and that his campaign against drugs may have played a role in the dreaded bombings.