Wickremesinghe orders review of investigation into Easter 2019 attacks
by Melani Manel Perera

After Channel 4's exposé calling former President Rajapaksa into question, the successor commissioned a committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge to review all information. But Card. Ranjith for an international inquiry into the massacres. Skepticism from victims' committees, "It will only serve to cover up the truth again."

Colombo (AsiaNews) - In response to the revelations of the British broadcaster Channel 4, the president of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the establishment of a committee, led by a retired Supreme Court judge, which will have the task of carrying out a reconnaissance complete with all the open information relating to the Easter 2019 attacks.

The main mission will be to investigate the serious accusations brought to light by the documentary broadcast a week ago, which implicated some officials close to former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who allegedly facilitated the organization of the attacks to create a climate that would pave the way for his election.

Rajapaksa strongly rejected the accusations of any involvement in the massacres which caused the death of 269 people including 8 British citizens, defining the documentary as a simple invective against his political legacy.

But his successor Wickremesinghe still recognizes the need for a more thorough investigation. "He showed his availability of him - some human rights activists commented to AsiaNews - but he still did not accept the request for an international investigation", which had also been requested by the archbishop of Colombo, Card. Malcolm Ranjith. And the Ministry of Defense has already released a statement in which it is excluded that "any terrorist involved in the Easter 2019 attacks has ever been on the government's payroll".

According to the president's office, the new committee will present two new reports to Parliament, along with existing ones to provide legislators with a complete understanding of the situation, paving the way for new actions. However, it should be remembered that 113 out of 225 parliamentarians still belong to the SLPP, Rajapaksa's party.

“All police and secret service officials who are under investigation for this matter and who currently hold positions should be suspended immediately,” the card had written. Ranjith in a note released the day after the documentary, reiterating that the investigations carried out so far have not been adequate.

“Without a transparent and sincere investigation, there will be no truth and no justice will be done - the archbishop of Colombo continues -. We don't believe in mere promises, we need absolutely independent, transparent and internationally monitored actions."

Deep skepticism was expressed to AsiaNews by a citizens' committee from Colombo and Negombo, the places where the massacres took place. “What this president is going to do once again is to protect his friends without resorting to independent foreign bodies. He only wants to ensure their safety and survival through political power."