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Sri Lankan Church to make Easter attacks global issue

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith says local investigations have failed to deliver justice to the victims

Sri Lankan Church to make Easter attacks global issue

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the head of Sri Lanka's Catholic Church and archbishop of Colombo, speaks at a press conference in Colombo on Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Published: January 25, 2022 05:53 AM GMT

Updated: January 25, 2022 06:09 AM GMT

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has said there is no other choice now but to turn to the international community to seek justice for victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

“We tried our best to solve the issue within the country and do justice to our people but have failed,” he said during an online forum with an international audience on Jan. 24.

“The legal system under the Attorney General does not consider the recommendations of the commission on the Easter attacks, therefore we have no option but to go international.”

Cardinal Ranjith, who is also the archbishop of Colombo, had hinted in April 2021 of his intentions to not only approach the United Nations but also countries with global influence.

“We can influence those countries as the Church is an international organization. We have connections all over the world,” he said.

A group of suicide bombers affiliated to local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath was suspected to be behind the bombings at three churches and three luxury hotels on Easter Sunday in 2019. The attacks killed 269 people, including 37 foreign nationals, and left around 500 injured.

We understand that this is an attempt at fabricating a story. The whole country knows that this is a drama and we can see it is a very weak script

Catholics in Sri Lanka have not been happy with the investigations and led by Cardinal Ranjith have vowed to fight for justice until the truth behind the attacks is revealed.

Cardinal Ranjith said he was not satisfied with the investigations underway since the recovery of a live hand grenade at All Saints' Church in Borella on Jan. 11.

Muni, a church worker, has been arrested as a suspect by police but the local Church alleged he was being falsely implicated.

Cardinal Ranjith said that such a thing will not be allowed to happen. “We trust the judiciary to take steps to rectify the wrongdoing in the court,” he said.

The arrest of a retired doctor in connection with the same case had further raised suspicion, with Father Cyril Gamini questioning the police investigations.

“We understand that this is an attempt at fabricating a story. The whole country knows that this is a drama and we can see it is a very weak script,” he said.

Father Gamini was earlier questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department over his claims regarding the Easter Sunday attacks during an online forum last November.

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