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Sri Lankan cardinal calls for ‘human chain’ to demand truth about Easter attacks

Cardinal Ranjith has questioned the government’s narrative of attacks and has consistently called for an international investigation

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo invited the people of Sri Lanka to form a “Jana Paura,” a human chain, to demand for truth about the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

“We will remember the statement by the former attorney general, according to whom there is a great conspiracy behind these attacks,” said the prelate during a media briefing in his residence.

“For the good and the future of the country, the citizens must know what happened during the massacre,” said the cardinal.

He said incidents of violence and religious and inter-ethnic conflicts have ignored the principles of the rule of law and justice.

“This corrupt political culture adopts the strategy of making people forget all these crimes,” said the prelate.

He urged the people “to show that we will not stop our efforts to expose these evil methods.”

“We are convinced that if we abandon this commitment we will set a bad precedent for the country,” said Cardinal Ranjith.

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He said the country “has a deeply corrupt political power base,” and it is “the context in which it is necessary to discover the truth behind the Easter attacks and bring the masterminds and criminals behind them to justice.”

“Four years have passed, yet it has not yet been possible to identify the perpetrators and bring those responsible to justice,” said the cardinal.

He called on “all citizens, irrespective of their racial or religious differences,” to gather along the side of the Colombo-Negombo road by 8.30 a.m. on April 21 to form a human chain.

On April 21, 2019, terrorist bombers attacked two Catholic churches, an evangelical Christian church, and three luxury hotels, as well as a housing complex and a guest house.

The eight suicide bombers, whom the government alleged were linked to the so-called Islamic State, killed 261 people in the coordinated attacks.

Cardinal Ranjith has questioned the government’s narrative of attacks and has consistently called for an international investigation.

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