Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith says the report by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that probed the Easter Sunday attacks, revealed that unrest was created in the country in order to ascertain victory of a 2019 Presidential Election candidate, by putting forth promises of upholding national security.
The Cardinal said creating conflicts between ethnicities was also part of the ploy.
Cardinal Ranjith speaking at a service at the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade this morning, to commemorate the lives of the victims as the country marks the third year since the Easter attacks, said the summary of the report is that the 2019 Presidential Election was focused on national security while unrest was created and fear instilled in citizens, with people pitted against each other.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Easter attacks were used for one candidate to garner support.
His Eminence also stated that the former President, the intelligence units and the Police concealed details of the impending attacks despite having prior knowledge and thereby failed to ensure public safety.
The Cardinal also stated that former President Maithripala Sirisena was aware of the storage of explosives that was discovered in Vanathavilluwa, yet failed to make inquiries from the Security Council.
His Eminence recalled that requests by certain officials to arrest Zahran Hashim and the group of extremists, went unheeded by the former President, and attributed this too as a reason for the attacks.
The Cardinal said the former President grossly neglected his duties and failed to fulfil his civic duty as the country’s leader.
The Cardinal added according to the Commission report the former President can face charges under the Penal Code, while the report too recommends the Attorney General to file charges.
However, the Cardinal said the Attorney General and the government’s failure to take action in this regard is questionable and raises concerns why the government protects the former President.
The Cardinal stated that questions arise whether the government is fearful of former President Sirisena, former Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando, former Inspector General of Polcie Pujith Jayasundara and former head of State Intelligence Service Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena, revealing facts to the public that may cause issues to the government.
The Cardinal also condemned the process through which investigations are being carried out in to the Easter Sunday bombings.
His Eminence said individuals linked to the incident will face the repercussions of their actions before long.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith also charged that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who took to stages during the Presidential Election vowing to bring the perpetrators of the Easter attacks to book, has today failed to fulfil his promises and is also concealing facts revealed in the report issued by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry.