Authorities in Sri Lanka rejected allegations made by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, of a possible conspiracy over investigations into the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.
The country’s police office said in a statement on Monday that the attorney general had already filed at least 12 cases in court against 42 suspects in the attacks based on evidence gathered by the police.
Addressing an online seminar on January 8, Cardinal Ranjith voiced his suspicion over the motive of the Easter Sunday terrorist attack.
He alleged that “those in power here are trying to cover this up” because the incident might have benefited politicians and government leaders.
The archbishop alleged that the investigators refused to reveal information regarding the attacks and that politicians allegedly influenced police investigation.
Authorities, however, maintained that the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, 2019, that killed at least 279 people, including 37 foreign nationals, were done by the extremist group National Thowheed Jamath.
The Sri Lankan police said that based on their investigation Cardinal Ranjith’s allegations have no basis.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka announced that it will mark the 1,000th-day commemoration of the Easter Sunday attack on January 14 with a “national prayer of supplication.”