The Presidential Commission to Investigate the Easter Attack revealed today that a public relations director of former President Maithripala Sirisena has asked the Industrial Development Board to supply 500 tons of copper to the Cinnamon grand hotel Bomber's copper factory.
That was when the Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce gave evidence before the Commission.
Former Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce K.D Ranjith Asoka, who is presently serving as the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, testified before the Commission.
The witness stated that a three-member committee had been appointed by the Industrial Development Board to look into how scrap metal was issued to the Colossus copper factory in Wellampitiya owned by M.I. Insaaf Ahmed the suicide bomber at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo.
The witness told the commission that it had been revealed that the former Chairman of the Industrial Development Board Mahinda Jinasena had instructed to issue a large quantity of scrap metal to Colossus.
There were 25 foreign nationals in the Colossus organisation owned by the suicide bomber. Among them were a Nepalese, two Bangladeshis and the rest were Indians.
The Commission inquired whether the then Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen had a relationship with Inshaf Ahmed.
The witness stated that although one of Mr. Insaaf Ahmed's accountants visited the ministry frequently, he did not know whether there was any connection between the Minister and Inshaf.
The witness further stated that they had applied to the Industrial Development Board on several occasions to obtain scrap metal at concessionary rates and he identified two such occasions.
At one point, Shantha Bandara, the Public Relations Director of former President Maithripala Sirisena, had informed the Industrial Development Board that Colossus was to be supplied with 500 tonnes of copper.
Another witness, Devika Liyanage, a senior assistant secretary to the Ministry of Defence, had also informed the Industrial Development Board in a letter to issue Colossus 1000 kilograms of brass.
The Commission questioned whether it was revealed at some point that the scrap metal purchased by Colossus from the Industrial Development Board had been exported to foreign countries.
The witness stated that such materials have been exported to foreign countries through which foreign exchange has been generated. The Commission then asked whether he knew that the money earned into the country as a foreign exchange was used for extremist purposes.
The witness stated that he now knows about it.