Prez directs intelligence services to cooperate fully with Kiwi counterparts

NZ ISIS attack:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has directed intelligence services to fully cooperate with New Zealand inquiring into last Friday’s knife attack carried out by Ahamed Adhil Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, who had secured refugee status in that country, way back in late Dec 2013.

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (6) briefed the media about the President’s decision, at the SLPP office at Nelum Mawatha.

State Intelligence Service (SIS) and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) are the primary intelligence gathering organisations in the country. President Rajapaksa brought the SIS under DMI veteran Maj. Gen. Suresh Sallay in the wake of 2019 Easter Sunday carnage.

Law enforcement officers shadowing Samsudeen gunned him down after he stabbed seven persons at a shopping mall. According to agency reports, Samsudeen inspired by ISIS was known to have publicly endorsed terrorism.

Prof. Peiris said that the NZ attack reminded the world again that terrorism affected all.

Commenting on the recent British decision to retain the proscription of the LTTE, Prof. Peiris said that those who had been near and dear to the group made a desperate bid to get the organization off the proscribed list. Referring to Sri Lanka being on the Geneva agenda, Prof. Peiris said that he would participate in the forthcoming 48 Geneva sessions via Zoom.

New Zealand last month opened a diplomatic mission in Colombo. Michael Appleton is the first NZ High Commissioner here.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Myanmar Prof. Nalin de Silva has questioned the rationale in New Zealand accepting Samsudeen as a refugee two years after he entered the country on a student visa.

Authoritative sources said that Samsudeen, like so many thousands of Sri Lankans, had obtained refugee status abroad through fraudulent means, mainly by painting a dangerous picture of the country of birth. In spite of New Zealand’s decision to revoke Samsudeen’s refugee status, the man from Kattankudy had been successful in thwarting government plans to deport him by moving court.

Samsudeen, who had been released from New Zealand jail in July after serving a three-year term, was under constant surveillance. Samsudeen has been investigated for sharing violent content and also planning to join ISIS in Syria.

Samsudeen had secured refugee status by claiming both he and his father faced death threats from Sri Lankan security authorities, sources said. They claimed to have been attacked, abducted and tortured. Samsudeen had been successful in thwarting New Zealand plans to send him back by claiming he faced death threats in Sri Lanka.

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