03/08/2022, 18.15
SRI LANKA
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Card Ranjith calls on UN body to help find truth and justice for Easter Sunday victims

by Melani Manel Perera

Speaking before the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the cardinal called for an “impartial investigation” to discover “the truth”, describing the case as “a serious violation of the fundamental rights of the aggrieved victims”. For him, “a rand political plot” is behind the failure while attempts are made to discredit those seeking justice for the victims.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has called on United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to support an “impartial investigation” to “unravel the truth” and shed full light on the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks that killed hundreds of innocent people.

Card Ranjith made the request during his address to the 49th session of the UNHRC at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Describing the case as “a serious violation of the fundamental rights of the aggrieved victims”, he urged the UN agency “and all its member countries to support the continuation of evidence gathering initiated by the Council last year”.

He noted that the attacks killed 269 people, including 82 children and 47 foreigners, with more than 500 wounded from 14 different nations.

“The first impression of this massacre was that it was purely the work of a few Islamic extremists,” he said; however, “subsequent investigations indicate that this massacre was part of a grand political plot.”

“Despite our repeated requests and those of civil organisations pursuing the truth, the incumbent government of Sri Lanka has failed to mete out justice to the victims.

“Instead of uncovering the truth behind the attack and prosecuting those responsible, there are attempts to harass and intimidate those who clamour for justice.

“As a result, nearly three years after the horrendous crime, we are still in the dark as to what really happened on that Easter Sunday.”

For Card Ranjith, the current Sri Lankan government has failed to the victims; what is more, whilst leaving those responsible unpunished, it attacks and tries to discredit those who investigate or ask for the truth.

At the end of his speech, Card Ranjith expressed hope that the international community and the UNHCR will support “this process of truth-seeking”, which is now needed more than ever.

(Fr Jude Chrysantha Fernando, director of Social Communications at the Archdiocese of Colombo contributed to his article)

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