Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has said they are left with no alternative but to turn to the international community to seek justice for victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, according to a report published by the Union of Catholic Asian News yesterday, January 25.
“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 January 24.
“The legal system under the Attorney General does not consider the recommendations of the presidential commission on the Easter attacks, therefore we have no option but to go international,” he said.
Cardinal Ranjith 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 organisation. We have connections all over the world,” he said.
A group of suicide bombers affiliated to local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamaath 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.
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 January 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.