Sri Lanka was saved from an islandwide terrorist attack by M. R. M. Thaslim said Professor Rohan Gunaratna at the launch of his new book “Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Massacre-Lessons for the International Community” at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in Colombo on July 28, 2023. After Thaslim assisted the Criminal Investigations Department to detect the Islamic State terrorist camp in Vanathavillu, the Islamic State Sri Lanka Branch leader Zahran Hashim instructed Islamic State military wing head Milhan to assassinate Thaslim. Based on his debriefing of Thaslim, Professor Gunaratna said Milhan shot Thaslim paralyzing him.

After the police raid, the Islamic State was compelled to reduce the scale of its operation from striking all 25 districts to striking four hotels and three churches. At the request of former Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotion Kabeer Hashim, Thaslim also identified the Jamaat-e-Islami members in Mawanella that vandalized the images of the Lord Buddha, Lord Ganesh, Kataragama deviyo, Mother Mary, and Mother Theresa. Prof. Gunaratna also said Thaslim identified the Jamaat-e-Islami members that helped Zahran to establish the camp to manufacture explosives. To pre-empting a bloodbath, Professor Gunaratna identified Thaslim as a true hero.

Presided by the Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry called for an end to exclusivist and extremist ideologies, the drivers of violence and terrorism.

To counter radicalization, he said, “Both the previous and current government failed to develop a rehabilitation program.” Prof Gunaratna added, “If those radicalized are not rehabilitated they will mount attacks, infect others with their ideology, and, will become icons.” Professor Gunaratna concluded by stating, “If rehabilitation of terrorists and extremists is neglected, another terrorist attack is inevitable”.

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