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Catholic Church rejects President’s offer

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Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini

By Norman Palihawadane

The Catholic Church yesterday (12) rejected outright the special investigative committee proposed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to probe the allegations raised by Channel 4 pertaining to the Easter Sunday carnage.

Church Spokesman Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini said that the Church did not believe that such committees would be able to deliver the truth. The priest said that it would be an exercise that would waste time and public money.

Addressing the media in Colombo, Rev. Fr. Gamini said: “There were many such committees in the past but everybody knows that none of them could uncover the truth. There was even a Parliamentary Select Committee probe during the Yahapalana government in which incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister. There were two other high-level committees. None of their findings and recommendations could help deliver justice to the victims. Therefore, we don’t think another parliamentary select committee or a special committee headed by a retired Supreme Court justice appointed by the President will conduct an impartial and independent investigation into the Easter Sunday terror attacks.”

Rev Fr Gamini said that the Church had made a proposal in the wake of the recent Channel 4 programme. “First, we demand that an impartial, independent and transparent investigation commence based on facts revealed by Channel 4 as well as findings of investigations into the Easter Sunday terror attacks immediately. Second, such investigations need to be conducted under the supervision and observations of an independent international panel of experts. Third, a national team of experts should also be appointed for the purpose of conducting the probe ensuring transparency. Fourth, the services of all intelligence and senior police officers should immediately be suspended until the investigations are over,” Fr Gamini said.

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