ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Bishops are united in expressing their dissatisfaction over the investigations into the Easter Sunday attacks and will continue to protest and agitate until the planners and the funders of the strikes are identified and punished, the Archbishop of Colombo said.
Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says he speaks for all the Catholic Bishops when he says protests will not stop “unless and until justice is done through a thorough and transparent process is conducted and that is the message that we have to give our ruling class.”
He said the Catholic Bishops Conference was of the opinion that the previous reports and statements that were released about the Easter Sunday attacks did not reveal much about the people who planned and funded the whole attack.
“All that was at the lowest level of information according to our opinion,” he told reporters today in Colombo.
Referring to the Bishops Conference held last week where the leaders of the biggest Christian Congregation reviewed the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the attacks, he said they “held this meeting with the question in our minds as to when will our congregants get justice.”
In an emotional statement, the Cardinal said he “witnessed how the bodies of our congregants were broken and scattered into pieces with my own eyes. Just because they followed a particular religion they were blasted into small pieces. I don’t know whether these politicians witnessed that.”
“We cannot allow anyone to benefit from that either financially or with power. I know that the majority of people in this country do not believe what is being said. If we are to save ourselves we have to free ourselves from this type of underhand politics” he went on.
“We need political parties and leaders who will stand up for what is right. Not go after money and power using this type of tactic which has given us 40 to 50 years of grief. We need straightforward, law-abiding leadership that will deliver justice,” he insisted.
“The PCoI would have conducted the inquiry to the best of their ability, but we have various investigative and intelligence agencies we want all of them to come together to ensure this will not happen again. Therefore we will continue this action, this of us Bishops are of the same mind,” he said.
“This report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry has not provided us with the answers as to who planned and “authored” this attack and who sponsored this attack by providing necessary funds and other facilities,” Ranjith pointed out.
“There are some hints about what happened, however, we hoped the government’s Intelligence Agencies, as well as investigative bodies such as the Criminal Investigation Department, would provide some answers. That did not happen,” he said.
“Therefore we were hopeful that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry would provide answers but that has not happened and therefore we have to consider this as an incomplete report,” he added. (Colombo March 15, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana