Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has expressed his gratitude to Britain’s Channel 4 television for the interest and trouble it took to focus attention worldwide on an alleged plot behind the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.
Cardinal Ranjith spoke to the media in Colombo and urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the government to launch a ‘free, impartial, just, transparent and broad’ investigation.
The alleged plot behind the bombings were unveiled in the controversial documentary aired yesteday.
The Archbishop of Colombo said this probe should be conducted through an independent international investigation team, assisted by all CID officials who were removed from investigations and transferred on political influence.
He emphasized that the investigation should be carried out on the findings outlined in various commission reports already presented and recommendations that are yet to be implemented.
Calling for a probe into the individuals who were accused in Channel 4 exposé of being complicit in the supposed plot hatched to create insecurity in the country, Cardinal Ranjith said ‘their role in this mass murder’ should be examined extensively.
Since these fresh investigations need to be independent, Cardinal Ranjith said all those officials in the police and intelligence services coming under investigation and those in top posts at present should be suspended forthwith to ensure the independence and transparency of the inquiry.
Similarly, DIG Nilantha Jayawardena who was found guilty and fined by the Supreme Court for culpable neglect of duties during the time of Easter Sunday terror attacks and DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon whose neglect of duty during this atrocity had been cited by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) for disciplinary action should both be suspended from service until the new inquiry is over, Cardinal Ranjith’s statement read further.
Referring to Minister Manusha Nanayakkara’s announcement on plans to appoint a parliamentary select committee to look into the allegations in the Channel 4 film, the Archbishop of Colombo slammed it as a waste of public funds and time, and an exercise of simply misleading the public.
Recalling that despite the appointment of a PCoI and a PSC to probe the bombings soon after its occurrence, the political authorities have not taken any credible, positive action on the recommendations made by these panels.
“For this reason, we do not endorse such a strategy and reject that plan outright.”
Unless a transparent, sincere investigation is launched, Cardinal Ranjith said truth and justice would be meted out to the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings.
“We do not believe in mere promises, but we need action, and action that is absolutely independent, transparent and internationally monitored.”