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Friday July 30th, 2021
Politics

Ex Sri Lanka soldier compares search for Easter attack mastermind to hunt for Adolf Eichmann

FILE PHOTO – Navy personnel guarding the Kochchikade shrine after the Easter Sunday attacks/Pathum Dhananjana EconomyNext

ECONOMYNEXT – A retired soldier in Sri Lanka has compared the search for the purported ‘mastermind’ of the 2019 Easter bombings to Israel’s hunt for SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann who was implicated in the Holocaust.

Convenor of the Mawbima Wenuwen Purawasiyo (Citizens for the Motherland) organisation Retired Major Ajith Prasanna told reporters Wednesday (14) that Israel took about 18 years to capture Eichmann in Argentina.

“The people of Israel and its religious leaders did not hold press conferences urging the government to capture Eichmann, because it was the work of the intelligence and the security forces,” he said in reply to the letter and press conference held by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith recently.

Related: Sri Lanka’s Catholic church wants action against former president, PM over Easter bombings

Adolf Eichmann was a member of the notorious SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was tasked with transporting Jews to extermination camps for the Nazis’ “final solution” towards the end of the war.

He was captured by the Mossad, the Israel Intelligence agency, in Argentina in 1960 and was later executed after a public trial in 1962.

“They took about 18 years. It has only been five months since the [presidential commission of inquiry (PCoI) on the Easter attack released its report]. There are 1,000 pages to be combed to find evidence. So is there any use in holding a press conference every week for five months asking about [progress]? Remember, the presidential commission cannot issue verdicts or imprison people, it can only make recommendations,” said Prasanna.

“If people are taken to court without sufficient evidence, they will get released. Is that what the cardinal wants?” he added.

Related: Sri Lanka Easter attack probe: Cardinal sceptical of politically compromised law enforcement

Prasanna further said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa cannot give orders to the PCol.

“If he could give orders to the commission, the first thing he would do is remove the names of those who are with him,” he said.

“Why did he allow the name of [former president] Maithripala Sirisena to be in the report. He could have removed it. He did not do so, as the commission operates independently,” Prasanna said.

Sirisena leads the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), a coalition partner of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Relations between the two parties have strained over the past few months.

Prasanna said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) assisted the PCol in investigations and the evidence was presented at the commission before the media.

“Someone has led the Cardinal astray. That is why he holds press conferences with everyone and bothers the government,” said Prasanna.

“If there are shortcomings in the commission, then scold the commission and its members, scold the CID and the officials of the AG department, What can the president and the government do about the shortcomings of the commission?” he added.

On Tuesday, a letter signed by Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, six auxiliary bishops and 27 Catholic priests was submitted to President Rajapaksa calling for further investigation into the findings of the PCoI that probed the Easter attack and the implementation of its recommendations. (Colombo/July15/2021)

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