06/03/2021, 16.55
SRI LANKA
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Easter Sunday massacres: Card Ranjith speaks out against cover-ups, wants the truth

by Melani Manel Perera

The prelate is leading Christians in their fight for justice and truth about the massacres. He slams the government, the president and law enforcement for failing to shed light on the “grand conspiracy.” Key witnesses have been ignored. The cardinal would like to see international organisations, like the UN, involved.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Archbishop Card Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has renewed his criticism of the Sri Lankan government and top officials for botching the inquiry into the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, which remain an open wound for Sri Lanka's Christians as well as others.

While the authorities might have ignored the report by the commission of inquiry into the bombings, for the prelate the Church will continue its fight for justice so that those responsible are prosecuted for the crimes committed and the hundreds of broken lives.

In media briefing held yesterday at the Archbishop's House, Card Ranjith said he wrote a letter to Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara two weeks ago, without getting a response.

For the prelate some of the country’s political leaders and high office holders are involved in the affair, but their role in the attacks was not be thoroughly investigated.

In this regard, he cited the case of a witness named Jameel, who allegedly said that one of the bombers who carried out the bomb “visited an Army officer by the name Sonic”.

According to Card Ranjith, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) “is not investigating the way they should”. What is more, its “teams are working according to political agendas.” That is why “we don't trust them.”

The prelate also has little faith in the Inspector General of Police (IGP) because he reportedly overlooked some of  the key elements that emerged during the investigation and are found in the commission’s report.

The prelate does not spare the attorney general, who was supposed to investigate former President Maithripala Sirisena and some leading members of the police, who at the time of the events did not act to prevent the bloodbath.

The Archbishop of Colombo wonders: “Who did nothing? Who ignored the warnings? Who threw cool water?” to prevent justice from taking its course.

Under the circumstances, “we are left with no other option but to carry on with our campaign against the present government for its negligence,” said Card Ranjith, and for “the indifference shown by the president who had said that he would give top priority to the matter. Instead, “he has not done that. We are not satisfied with what has happened.”

Finally, as he leads the charge to shed light on the issue, the cardinal said that he would like to see international organisations, including the United Nations, to be become involved into a “thorough investigation into this famous grand conspiracy,” as the former IGP described it. “We want to know what the conspiracy is.”

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