11/17/2021, 16.49
SRI LANKA
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Only those who complain are investigated over the Easter Sunday massacres

by Melani Manel Perera

For two days, police have questioned Fr Cyril Gamini Fernando, a member of a committee representing victims, after he accused the intelligence services of failing to follow certain leads in connection with the 2019 massacres.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The investigation into the 2019 Easter Sunday massacres shows no progress; yet the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been questioning Fr Cyril Gamini Fernando for days on end. Today, he refused to be questioned for a third consecutive day.

The clergyman is a member of the National Catholic Committee for Justice to Easter Sunday Attack Victims, a group set up in the wake of a series of attacks against three churches and four hotels on Easter Sunday in 2019 that left 280 people dead and more than 600 wounded.

At an online forum on 23 October, Fr Gamini said that intelligence operatives had provided assistance to Zahran Hashim, the leader of the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a movement blamed for the attacks.

Major General Suresh Sallay, director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), branded the claim as false, and filed a complaint against the priest two days later.

For his part, Fr Cyril noted that “Former Attorney General Dapula de Livera made a very serious statement” about “a grand conspiracy behind the Easter attack.” Yet, “neither the CID nor the police have taken any statement from him” so far.

What is more, “no one has acted upon the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, nor has any victim be questioned.”

“Two and a half years have already gone by without the truth being revealed,” Fr Cyril laments. Behaving like this “is completely unjust”.

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