The Sri Lankan security establishment has ostensibly been jolted by the revelations made by the Channel Four documentary on the Easter bombings in 2019.

There is a general perception in Sri Lanka that Channel Four is fabricating stories against the Sri Lankan state when the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) sessions are about to begin as a smear campaign against the country’s Human Rights record. However, most of the Channel Four expose had details that had already been divulged by some of Sri Lanka’s top detectives.  They paid the price for it when the Rajapaksa government framed, gagged and incarcerated them. Nevertheless, this episode of Channel Four has created and generated unprecedented interest among people, politicians and journalists. The documentary amplified the Rajapaksa regime’s uncanny and eerie disposition towards the country’s journalistic community which plays the vital role of whistleblowers at times. The documentary provided the public with a detailed timeline of the government’s attempts to silence the media and journalists, which has caused a great amount of outrage and concern among the people. It has also raised awareness of the role the media plays in a democracy and the importance of protecting it. The heinous murder of Lasanatha Wickramatunge also figured prominently along with other flagrant violations of human rights.

One time minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was prompt to  describe the Channel Four whistleblower content, which is rather disturbing, as a fabrication and sheer falsehood.

Alutgamage cast doubts about the Channel’s credentials during Parliamentary proceedings on Tuesday.

He told Parliament that the documentary is a fabrication containing so-called evidence from a dubious character, and this is what Channel Four did in the past as well when Sri Lanka attended the UNHRC.

He said such documentaries by Channel 4 have been released in the past to create a negative image of Sri Lanka’s human rights position at the United Nations sessions.

“What is clear is that whenever the Geneva Human Rights Council is scheduled to meet, videos like this are brought in continuously,” he said.

The Channel Four matter figured in Parliament following the assertion by Minister Manusha Nanayakkara in Parliament that a Parliamentary Select Committee will be set up to investigate the allegations made by Channel 4 about the Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 250 people. He said the Cabinet of Ministers discussed the possibility of conducting comprehensive investigations into these allegations through a Parliamentary Select Committee.

Nanayakkara said that the Cabinet also discussed providing facilities for international investigations into the Easter Sunday attack if required.

An international investigation on the Easter Sunday Attack has been a repeated call by the Archbishop of Colombo and the Catholic Church.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa in Parliament stressed the importance of an international probe into the Channel 4 disclosure.

When Azad Moulana’s name figured in Parliament on Wednesday, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, the Eastern province’s former Chief Minister who is now a state minister, asked the Speaker for time to make a statement on the matter and later denied any involvement. Moulana, who used to be Pillayan’s Media and Finance Secretary, squealed to Channel Four and became the primary whistleblower for the documentary to come to fruition. Moulana who developed a close affinity with the top brass of the Rajapaksa administration because of his links with Pillayan, told Channel Four he had to talk about it because what he knew about the bombings weighed heavily on his conscience. Pillayan’s denial prompted Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to raise the question whether the assassin of Lasantha Wickramatunge is a member of this House. He posed the question to President Ranil Wickremesinghe saying that Lasantha had been a strength to him during his political journey until his assassination. Many speakers dwelt on Wickramatunge’s assassination and called on the government to initiate a fresh probe.

Meanwhile Moulana, who broke ranks with Pillayan and is now domiciled in Switzerland, explicitly alleges the involvement of Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay in the Easter Sunday massacre. Moulana also alleged that he personally fixed the meeting between Sallay and Saharan Hashim in an isolated house located in a coconut grove.

Sallay was quick to reply to the programme’s producer when he was informed of the documentary produced by them. Below is Sallay’s response:

9 August 2023

Dear Mr. Ben de Pear,

I trust this message finds you well. Without prejudice to my rights and entitlements, I state the following.

First and foremost, I extend my gratitude to you for reaching out to me prior to the telecast, broadcast, or publication of the purportedly false allegations provided by your ill-informed sources. It is indeed a fundamental principle of justice to allow the accused to present their response before any dissemination of potentially damaging information.

I wish to categorically state that I hold no involvement whatsoever in the events you have mentioned, nor do I have any association with the individuals referenced in your communication. It is important for the sake of accuracy and fairness that this fact is clarified for the record.

For the first and second points referred in your letter, I must register that the facts present therein are outright false. I must emphasize that during the specified period, I was not present in Sri Lanka. To be precise, I was entrusted with the position of Minister-Counsellor at the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Malaysia during the specified time frame. This can be readily verified with the Malaysian authorities, who can attest to my official presence in Malaysia during the entirety of that period.

For the third point referred in your letter, I must reiterate that the facts present therein also are outright false. To be precise, during the period I was not present in Sri Lanka and was attending a training programme in the National Defence College in India (January 2019 — late November 2019). If so desired, this can be readily verified with the Indian authorities, who can attest to my official presence in India during that period.

For the fourth point referred in your letter, I must re-reiterate that the facts present therein also are outright false and I have no connection whatsoever in the Easter bombing.

I wish to bring to your kind notice that there are already three lawsuits filed by my lawyers pending in the Courts in Sri Lanka on defamation over the similar baseless allegations leveled against me by several other parties.

Further, it would be prudent to note that during the time periods mentioned therein in your letter and referred in above paras, I was not operative within the defence or security structure of the country nor bear any official responsibility connected to any defence or security structure of the country.

While I acknowledge the importance of investigative journalism and the media’s role in informing the public about actual historical and political context of the Easter bombings and the consequences for Sri Lanka, I earnestly hope that you will honor and respect my legal rights. Should you proceed with the telecast, broadcast, or publication of any material connected to Easter bombings in the interest of investigative journalism but intentionally or unintentionally aimed at tarnishing my reputation without substantial evidence, I must regrettably inform you of my intention to take legal recourse. This would extend to jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, where I am committed to seeking redress in order to protect my reputation from unwarranted defamation.

I trust that the principles of fairness, accuracy, and justice will guide your decision-making process in this matter. I believe in the importance of a transparent and just society, and I am confident that any responsible media entity would uphold these values.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to a resolution that upholds the truth and respects the legal rights of all parties involved.

My Attorney-at-Law, Mr. Pasan Weerasinghe, Esq will respond to your said letter in a more detailed manner if necessary.

Warm Regards,

 Tuan Suresh Sallay

He also through his lawyer Pasan Weerasinghe requested Channel Four to refrain from telecasting the said documentary since the falsehoods contained in the evidence would cause immeasurable damage to his reputation and that of his family

The said letter is as follows.


PASAN WEERASINGHE                  

LL.B (Hons)(London) LL.M (West London)

Attorney-at-Law (Sri Lanka)



14th August 2023


The Office of Communications (Ofcom)

Riverside House

2a Southwark Bridge Road




To whom it may concern


Intended malicious publication/broadcast by Basement Films/Channel 4


I write this letter as the registered Attorney-at-Law of my client Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay.


I am instructed to notify you that my client is a decorated officer of the armed forces of Sri Lanka with an illustrated career. Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army on 16th March 1987 and having completed his basic military training, proceeded to serve in infantry and signal regiments. Later, owing to the display of skills, knowledge of several languages and on the merits of his performance, he was selected to military intelligence in 1993. Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay has also served as the First Secretary at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris from 2006 to 2009.  Upon his return, he served as Coordinator – Foreign Intelligence at the Ministry of Defense until he was appointed as Director Military Intelligence in October 2012.  Subsequently, he worked as Minister Counsellor at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Malaysia from 2016 to December 2018. Thereafter, from January 2019 to November 2019 he followed National Defense Studies Enfield at National Defense College, Delhi. From December 2019, he is serving as the incumbent Director of State Intelligence Service, Sri Lanka. As such, Major General Suresh Sallay has amassed for himself an excellent reputation both internationally and globally as a decorated military officer, skilled diplomat and as a resourceful person in the field of global security.

I am instructed to notify you that my client is a serving Officer of the armed forces of Sri Lanka responsible for the territorial integrity, unity and protection of the country and the equal protection and safety and security of people of the country.

I’m instructed that on or about 07th August 2023, my client received a letter sent by Ben de Pear in his capacity as the Founder of Basement Films, c/o Channel 4 Television, 124-126 Horseferry Rd, London, England SW1P 2TX. (A copy of the said letter is annexed hereto marked as X1)

I’m instructed that the said letter carried several allegations against my client, denoting an alleged involvement of my client in the infamous Easter Sunday attacks of 2019, which transpired in Sri Lanka.

I’m instructed that my client responded to this letter by email dated 09th August 2023 denying the allegations and providing context and necessary information to Basement Films/Channel 4 to establish the complete non-involvement of my client in the said Easter Sunday attacks. (A copy of the said response is annexed hereto marked as X2)

Thereafter, on the 11th August 2023, I have, on the instructions of my client, sent a notice of cease and desist to Basement Films/Channel 4 inter alia providing a detailed clarification of circumstances and absolving my client from any and all allegations. (A copy of the notice of cease and desist is annexed hereto marked as X3)

Despite the above, my client is reasonably concerned with the publication of these allegations via a digital broadcast or otherwise by Basement Films and/or Channel 4.

These allegations, devoid completely of any factual basis, have the capacity to cause irreparable harm to my client’s reputation and cause danger to the lives of my client and his family.

Further, it would cause harm to my client in his capacity as a serving officer of the armed forces of Sri Lanka responsible for the territorial integrity, unity and protection of the country and the equal protection and safety and security of people of the country.

Whilst my client acknowledges the necessity of journalistic freedom, such freedom should be exercised with caution and responsibility so as to not cause harm to other individuals or entities.

As such, my client humbly requests the Office of Communications to intervene and ensure that any baseless material is not published that can cause harm in any manner to my client.

I would appreciate it if any further responses and/or queries in this matter can be communicated to me via <>



Pasan Weerasinghe


Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay via


In another letter written by Pasan Weerasinghe on behalf of Suresh Sallay, he states that they would be compelled to pursue legal action against the said digital broadcast.

In Colombo, the Archbishop called for an impartial and transparent investigation into the Easter carnage. While criticising the government for its inaction, the Archbishop denied that he directly or indirectly backed any candidate during the 2019 presidential election. The Archbishop also rejected Minister Tiran Alles’ claim that more than 90 percent of the investigations into the Easter carnage have now been completed. The Archbishop challenged Alles to tell the people who “Abu Hind” was.

In the meantime, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a lengthy statement, denied his involvement and said that the Channel Four documentary was a tissue of lies. He said it was an anti-Rajapaksa tirade aimed at blackening the Rajapaksa legacy.

He defended Suresh Sallay and faulted Shani Abeysekara, who used to be the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, for allegedly trying to influence an ongoing case in the High court in complicity with a politician.

Rajapaksa elaborating on his close affinity with Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, recalled how he was instrumental in the construction work of the Benedict XVI Catholic Institution in Bolawalana Negombo.

‘I also helped facilitate the arrangements to invite His Holiness the Pope to Sri Lanka, and I headed the committee formed by the then government to organise the visit. I also played a key role in the construction of the Benedict XVI Catholic Institution of Higher Education in Bolawalana. I worked very closely with His Eminence the Cardinal during that period’, said the former President.

However, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s explanation fell short of a fully-fledged and composite narration by straying without taking the allegations directly and diffusing the lethal attack on him.