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Easter Sunday attacks: Catholic Church begins “Black Sunday” protest demanding justice for victims

Police and Ambulances outside the Shrine of St Anthony in Kochchikade after the Easter Sunday attacks

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic community is leading the so-called “Black Sunday” protest campaign being launched tomorrow demanding the truth behind the Easter Sunday attacks two years ago.

The attacks which were carried out by the extremist Muslim group, the National Thowheed Jamaat on three churches and three five-star hotels killed more than 260 people and devastated the country’s economy.

The attacks helped the current government win subsequent elections by landslides as it was able to pain the then government as incompetent and lax on National Security.

Last Sunday Catholic congregants were asked to take home a special prayer asking for redress and demanding justice.

Most of the casualties were Catholic parishioners attending Easter Sunday mass and the Church of St Sebastian in Katuwapitiya in Negombo took the biggest hit.

The Church is responding to a report by a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the massacre which did not pin the blame squarely on any particular person or group for masterminding the attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has stated that he is dissatisfied with the inquiry and says his flock demands justice.

Several political groups as well as Buddhist and Muslim organisations have pledged support to the protest.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) also endorsed the call by Ranjith to “investigate and prosecute those who masterminded the dastardly terrorist attacks of 21st April 2019. The MCSL requests all Muslims to join the call by His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for silent protests on Sunday the 7th of March 2021. The Muslim community joins all Sri Lankans in asking for an immediate and impartial enquiry to find the people responsible for planning and carrying out the terrorist attacks and bring them to justice” a press release issued by the council said.

The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya said its Catholic Members of Parliament will join the protest. (Colombo, March 6, 2021)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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