The Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has questioned the failure of the Government to take action against former President Maithripala Sirisena and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over the Easter Sunday attacks.
In a 20-page letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Archbishop said the National Catholic Committee for Justice to Easter Sunday Attack Victims is saddened by the lethargic pace at which the state machinery is moving in order to find those who are responsible for these attacks, those who planned it, and those who, even though they had forewarnings about it and could have easily prevented it, did not fulfill their responsibility and willfully neglected it, and bring them before the law.
He further questioned why those in authority are delaying or are neglecting their duty in implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to investigate the 2019 Easter attacks.
Highlighting excerpts from the report which had recommended action against former President Maithripala Sirisena for failing in his duties and responsibilities to prevent the attack, the Archbishop said the Government has taken no action in this regard, adding that the past five months or so would have been amply sufficient to at least initiate action on this recommendation.
He further questioned why the PCoI had not made any recommendations on former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, stating that his lax approach to Islamic extremism was an irresponsible attitude and called for an additional investigation into the matter.
In his statement, the Archbishop thereafter pointed out the recommendations against the former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, and several Police officers, Including former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis, and the Director of the State Intelligence Services Nilantha Jayawardena.
Pointing out that legal action has been initiated against only former Defence Secretary Hemasir and former IGP Jayasundara, the Archbishop said action has not been taken against the other state officials, while some of them have been promoted in recent times.
His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has also highlighted politicians M.L. A. M. Hizbullah and Rishad Bathiudeen, along with several others as persons who have assisted the terror attacks in different ways. He also called for further inquiries to be launched into the conduct of Hizbullah.
The Archbishop further questioned the whereabouts of Sara Jasmine, the wife of the suicide bomber of the Kattuwapitiya church, who he mentioned was a key suspect linked to the attacks.
Questions were also raised with regard to the Police officer attached to the Kaluwanchikudy Police station who had helped Sara Jasmine flee the country after the attacks and an officer from the Military Intelligence Unit who had been in contact with the suicide bomber who was unable to stage the attack at the Taj Hotel in Colombo as planned.
Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith called on the Government to take stock of the lethargic approach to investigations, which he said seems to reveal a conspiracy to protect certain individuals and prevent the truth from emerging.
Urging the President to ensure that the investigations are conducted soon to provide justice for the victims, the Archbishop warned they will have to resort to alternative measures to continue the agitation if the Government fails to address the requests in the letter.
Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith further urged the Government to provide a credible answer within one month of their appeal. (Colombo Gazette)