Easter attacks: Indications of collusion – Cardinal

ECONOMYNEXT – Expressing his dissatisfaction with the parliamentary probe on the Easter Sunday bombings, Bishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith called for a thorough investigation into, among other things, “indications of collusion” between various parties.

Short of identifying anyone by name, the Cardinal alluded to a conspiracy that he said might have involved different groups or individuals with ties to the terror outfit that carried out the attacks on April 21 last year.

“Yes, we have indications of collusion. Some involvement with these parties, with these people who blasted the bombs. They had support from some of the others. Some of the people have spoken in their favour, tried to release them. All those people have to be investigated (sic),” he told reporters yesterday.

Ranjith said any links these unnamed parties had with the suicide bombers, whether they were business or political, must be probed.

“Everything has to be investigated to find out whether they had anything more than just peripheral contacts. We feel that unless that is done, the truth will never emerge,” he said.

“We’re coming to know, gradually, that even at the top level, some people were aware of these things and they didn’t do anything. Even the top level people must be investigated,” he added.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) tasked with inquiring into the bombings, said Ranjith, was a mere “whitewash”.

“The PSC for me is only a partial look at it, without proper participation of all sides. Only a certain portion of people were called upon to give evidence. Obviously the evidence was not completed. It was a whitewash, the entire PSC process. We’re not satisfied [with it],” he said.

The Cardinal also expressed scepticism of the the findings published by the PSC.

“We believe those reports may have been an attempt to hide the truth. We hear about high ranking officials trying to conceal information. Some officials have confided in us,” he said in Sinhala.

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“When we see that no satisfactory analysis is taking place, we can’t help but wonder if these things are being used for political gain,” he added.

While he has much faith in the presidential commission probing the attacks, the Cardinal went on to say, it too is shrouded in secrecy.

“It looks as if it is something done at a corner that is not getting sufficient attention,” he said.

“We want the government, the president and [other officials] to be on their toes in order to investigate what happened and carry on with an active investigation – not just appoint somebody and say ‘okay, that somebody will look after it’. No, you have to follow up. The security council has to investigate,” he added. (Colombo, February 19, 2020)

-Himal Kotelawela

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