Brigadier Salley’s removal political – former Defence Secretary | Daily News
Presidential Commission probing Easter Sunday attacks

Brigadier Salley’s removal political – former Defence Secretary

A political influence is behind the removal of Brigadier Suresh Salley from the post of Army Intelligence Chief as he had some close relationship with the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said.

He stated this in his testimony to the Presidential Commission probing the Easter Sunday carnage on Saturday (19).

“Salley was a clever intelligence officer. He does not talk much but thinks deeply. The few words he utters are very important. Salley had some connections with the foreign intelligence agencies and also had a good network of information. He had good contacts with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa too. Salley was well aware of the Islamic extremism, too. Each and every report he sent had been presented in a well-structured manner,” Hettiarachchi said.

He said that although it was in the discussion that Salley had with some closer contacts with the former President, as the Defence Secretary he did not have an idea that Salley had such a behaviour. But he was removed due to a political influence. When the Commission asked as to who ordered the removal of Brigadier Salley, Hettiarachchi said it is difficult to mention it at that moment. Then the witness was ordered by the Commission to submit the name in writing if it is difficult for him to mention it. Then, the witness gave the name in writing, and his answer was accepted by the Commission.