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Sri Lankan defence ministry urges people not to panic over alleged bomb threat

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Colombo, July 4: Sri Lankan defence ministry on Monday urged the people not to panic about the intelligence inputs of a purported terror attack on the 'Black Tiger Day' marked by the LTTE on July 5, hours after opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) urged the government to share the details of the alleged plot.

Sri Lankan defence ministry urges people not to panic over alleged bomb threat

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told reporters that Police chief CD Wickremaratna had addressed Defence Ministry Secretary Kamal Gunaratne by a letter dated June 27 and alerted him to the alleged threat.

In a statement, the defence ministry on Monday urged the people not to panic about the intelligence information of the purported terrorist attack which is currently circulating in social media. It said that a letter sent by the Inspector General of Police to the defence secretary regarding the disclosure of the purported terror attack that may be carried out on July 5 and 6 was taken up into consideration based on unconfirmed information received through intelligence sources, the Daily Mirror reported.

These are unverified intelligence information and there is no ground information that would associate the occurrence of such a terrorist attack invoking the 'Black July’, the ministry said. It further said that the ministry was informed that such an attack could be carried out by terrorist groups and anti-government groups may also incite violence to discredit and destabilize the government.

As maintaining public security and safety is of high priority, all measures will be taken to ensure a high degree of security while investigations will also be carried into the received intelligence alert, the ministry said and urged people to carry on with their day to day work.

Earlier, JVP leader Dissanayake claimed that an unidentified foreign intelligence service was to carry out an explosion in either the north and east regions or in the south to mark the Black Tiger day on either July 5 or 6. He, however, did not name the foreign agency.

Accordingly, all employees of foreign establishments located in Jaffna and VIPs have been advised to stay indoors on the two days, according to the information provided by the police chief to the defence ministry secretary in the said letter. Dissanayake urged the government to provide full details as to how the information came to be gathered or if this was an attempt by the government to curb the raging public protests against it over the current economic and fuel crisis.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during their 30 year campaign to set up a separate Tamil state in the north and east regions commemorated the Black Tiger Week early July marking their first suicide bomb attack by their cadre termed 'Captain Miller’ on July 5, 1987. The government in the past beefed up security on July 5 every year across the country to prevent attacks by the LTTE to mark the event until the militant group was militarily defeated in May 2009.

The Tamils have alleged that thousands were massacred during the final stages of the war that ended in 2009 when the government forces killed LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. In April 2019, a local Islamist extremist group linked to the ISIS, had carried out coordinated blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, killing at least 270 people, and injuring over 500. PTI

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