Lay Catholics say no to public Christmas celebrations without the truth about the Easter Sunday attacks
by Melani Manel Perera

Some 20 organisations urge the Bishops’ Conference to boycott government Christmas celebrations. They call for protest over the failure to find the truth about the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings. They want the authorities to pursue an impartial investigation and help survivors if they truly care about Catholics.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – For Sri Lanka’s Catholics, the failure to find the culprits of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and bring them to justice remains a painful wound.

Recently, the Coalition of Catholic Lay Organisations of Sri Lanka called on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka to boycott government Christmas celebrations to protest its failure to find the truth about the attacks against churches and hotels that killed 280 people.

The government is expected to hold this year’s Christmas celebrations in the Diocese of Chilaw.

Thilina Alahakon, coordinator of the coalition of some 20 lay Catholic organisations, made the announcement at a press conference.

"We suggested to the bishops to use this occasion to express the sorrow and displeasure of the Catholic community," Alahakon explained.

“Not only the Catholic community, but also the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim communities are waiting for justice to be done for the Easter Sunday attack,” he added.

Most of the victims were Catholics, but “some members of these communities also suffered loss of life and injuries in these attacks; therefore, as a country, it is a national issue."

The appeal signals real concern among Catholics, who demand real action such as the immediate implementation of all the recommendations contained in the report by the commission of inquiry into the attacks.

The coalition also wants the formal investigation to resume, conducted in an impartial manner, and centred on the many controversial issues that emerged. Likewise, it seeks permanent financial support for people who survived but were physically and mentally injured.

The appeal was delivered to Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala who promised to submit it to the Bishops’ Conference.