08/16/2019, 11.12
SRI LANKA
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Bishops of Sri Lanka: We need an independent investigation into the Easter massacres

Emphasis on government inefficiencies.  "It seems that the authorities just want to identify the flaws in the security system."  The bishops reiterate that the main purpose must be the identification of authors, supporters and accomplices.

 

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - With a powerful call for justice and to establish the truth about what happened, the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (Cbcsl) has asked for an "independent and impartial" inquiry into the Easter massacres.  Almost four months after the attacks in three churches and three hotels in Colombo that upset the island in the Bay of Bengal, for the first time all the country's Catholic bishops are united in calling for the government to do justice to the massacres that caused the death  of 263 people, the wounding of another 600, and serious post traumatic sid-effects for the survivors and of the whole Christian community.

Church leaders - formerly critical of the conduct of investigations - are once again complaining about government inefficiencies.  Card.  Malcolm Ranjth, Archbishop of Colombo, is among the 14 signatories. He illustrated the deficiencies in the administration of the island a few hours after the massacres.  Later he openly denounced the connivance of politics with international terrorism and the Western countries that sponsor it.

In the letter-denunciation, the bishops stress: "Although various efforts of recovery by the government are appreciable, we wish to repeat that what is most important is to do justice by bringing those responsible before the law rapidly."  Then they add: "In this effort all considerations on ethnicity, religion or other factors should be avoided."

The massacres of April 21, 2019, highlight the bishops, "still cause fear and a sense of uncertainty in the mind of the population".  The attacks in fact caught the faithful gathered to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, unaware of the imminent danger.  Later it emerged that the Indian security services had issued at least four warnings about the possibilities of an attack , ignored by the authorities in Colombo.  Recently Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe himself admitted the inefficiencies of his own intelligence apparatus, but pointed to the blame on two high-level officials already arrested.

The highest representatives of the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka show that they are "deeply saddened to note that a just, fair and impartial investigation has not yet been launched.  We note that various commissions have been created and their main objective seems to identify those responsible for serious security flaws”.  "Even if this commitment is useful - they say in conclusion - we want to repeat that for a matter of justice, the final purpose of the investigation should be to ascertain who the authors are, who helped them and who are the accomplices of this ignoble act.  It is unfortunate to see that no positive signal goes in this direction".

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