Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith (L) and Buddhist spiritual leader Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara Maha Nayaka Thero take part in a press conference in Colombo on 14 May – AFP
Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara Maha Nayaka Thera yesterday alleged that an invisible hand with political motives is behind the violence in the North-Western Province and in Minuwangoda.
Addressing the media, the duo said it was clear that some invisible hand had misled the people two days ago.
“People acted with restraint after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts. They were calm for about two weeks after the incident on 21 April. However, the sudden eruption of violence makes it clear that there is an invisible hand misleading the people,” the Thera said, and appealed to the people to act with restraint.
The Cardinal said he had information that some local politicians, belonging to certain political parties, were behind the violence. “We would like to tell the leaders of these political parties to control their party members,” he said and added that those who resorted to violence had even been offered liquor. The two religious leaders said the authorities had failed to heed their request to carry out search operations.
“We requested the Government to subject all houses to security checks, but the Government had turned a deaf ear to our plea,” the Cardinal added.
He said the weapons used in the two days of violence would have been found, if proper search operations were carried out.
The Thera said people should support the security forces to maintain law and order. “Attacking another person does not make you a hero. This country does not need cardboard heroes,” the Cardinal said.