Tuesday, 18 April 2023 00:30 –      – 19

 


 

  • Mobilises ‘Peoples Front’ on 21 April marking fourth anniversary of devastating terror attacks
  • Says repeated requests for the entirety of Presidential Commission report on attacks have been ignored
  • Accuses Govt. of grooming a senior police officer accused of failing to prevent the attack to be the next IGP and AG for failing to implement recommendations of the PCoI
  • Claims Govt.’s investigation into the attacks is geared towards masking the truth instead of delivering justice
Cardinal

Malcolm Ranjith

The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday appealed to all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity, to unite and form a strong people’s front on 21 April as the country commemorates the fourth anniversary of the devastating Easter Sunday bombings.

“Four years have elapsed since the Easter Sunday attacks. To date, none of the perpetrators has been brought before the law. It is evident that the corrupt objective behind the attempts to cover up the truth since then is to protect the criminals behind the attack,” he said.

The Cardinal extended an invitation to all those who strive for the downfall of conspirators and the corrupt to join them on the day. It was also announced that a campaign titled ‘Until justice is done, we are watching’ will also be launched to coincide with the solemn commemoration events. The Cardinal made these comments during a media conference held in Colombo yesterday.

The Cardinal said the Government will eventually brush the investigations under the carpet. “This is the reality of this country,” he said.

“The President who promised to deliver justice to us but did not was forced to go home. We did not force him out. We see it as a spiritual experience of sorts. If anyone is attempting to disregard the 270 lives lost and mask the truth the same will happen to them. People who were living normal lives remain bedridden to this day. Why did they allow it? Why did they do nothing to stop it? They had received a message that morning as well. They ignored that as well. If they had placed just one call we would have closed all the Churches that day. They had been alerted two hours prior. The Government continues to keep one officer found responsible for not preventing the attack in his position to date. How can we deal with a Government such as this which does not care for the law,” he added.

Issuing a special message to congregants over the weekend, Cardinal Ranjith requested followers to form a human chain along the roads in Sri Lanka on 21 April in protest against the Government’s failure to deliver justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

“I urge all Sri Lankans to join hands in demanding justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday attack and creating a safe and peaceful country where the rule of law will reign supreme,” he said. In the message Ranjith asked the people to silently line up on the road from 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m. on the day along the Colombo-Negombo Main Road, Galle Road from Dehiwala to Moratuwa or from Kalutara to Beruwala. A march of prayer will also commence from the Katuwapitiya Church at 7.00 p.m. on 20 April and conclude at the St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade on the morning of 21 April.

In the statement read out in Churches across the country on Sunday during mass, the Cardinal expressed his disappointment that after four years, the truth behind the horrific blasts remains elusive.  He also raised concerns over the Sri Lankan Government’s handling of the investigation into the Easter Sunday terror attack and said despite repeated requests, the rest of the volumes of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry’s report on the attacks have not been made available.

The Cardinal accused the Attorney General of deliberately avoiding implementing the recommendations found in the report against top-level politicians, government officials, and high-ranking officers of the Sri Lanka Police who neglected their duties and failed to prevent the attacks. In his message, the Cardinal said that instead of serving justice, the Government was promoting a senior police officer accused of failing to prevent the Easter Sunday terror attack for the post of the IGP. This move, he said, was in spite of disciplinary recommendations made against the officer by the Presidential Commission.

The Cardinal also expressed concerns over the repeated DNA tests being conducted on Sarah Pulasthini, the wife of the Katuwapitiya Church bomber, stating that it was ludicrous to repeat tests until the desired result is achieved. The Cardinal argued that Pulasthini knew many things about the attacks and efforts to suppress facts concerning her could never be approved or accepted. The Cardinal further noted that the Sri Lankan Government’s investigation into the Easter Sunday attacks was more geared towards masking the truth than identifying the masterminds and bringing them to justice. He urged everyone to demand truth and justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday violence on the fourth-year commemoration of the tragedy.

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