A ceremony held at St. Anthony’s Church - Kochchikade yesterday to mark four years since the tragic Easter Sunday attacks that claimed the lives of more than 270 people. The event was presided over by the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and included religious leaders, members of the diplomatic community and devotees – Pix by Ruwan Walpola
- Says though President and Minister of Public Security have expressed willingness to hold an honest dialogue on the matter it is questionable if they will sit down for the discussions together with their duplicitous policies
- Asks God to reveal truth behind Easter Sunday attack and says everyone will remain watchful till justice is delivered
- Expresses displeasure at AG, Police for failing to take action based on PCoI recommendations and Govt. for being reluctant to take genuine steps to probe
- Omalpe Sobhitha Thera urges Cardinal to seek justice through an international mechanism if domestic mechanism is faltering
By Maneshka Borham
The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says he along with the victims of the Easter Sunday attack cannot place their trust in the current leadership to deliver justice. He said while President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Public Security have expressed their willingness to hold an honest dialogue on the matter, it is questionable if they intend to continue their duplicitous policies during the discussions. “Today dictatorship reigns in the country. We cannot place our trust in the current leadership that has taken steps to dismantle the people’s sovereignty,” he said. The Cardinal made these comments while addressing those gathered at the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade to mark the fourth anniversary of the devastating Easter Sunday bombings that took over 260 lives and injured scores more.
A large number of people from all faiths gathered at the Church yesterday to remember the victims of the attacks and call for justice. Many commemoration events were organised by the Church and other groups across the country yesterday. A march of prayer commenced on 20 April from St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya to St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade where the main commemoration event was held with the attendance of religious leaders, diplomats and other dignitaries as well as families of the victims.
Masses were also held in Churches and people were seen forming human chains on the sides of main roads as requested by the Cardinal. Many carried photographs of the victims and held placards demanding justice for the attack and calling the Government to bring the perpetrators to book.
However, the Cardinal, while expressing his doubts about the leaders, called on God to hear the voices of those suffering and reveal the truth behind the attacks. He called on God to safeguard the unity achieved in Sri Lanka. “We alert everyone that we will remain watchful till justice is delivered,” he said. The Cardinal also expressed his displeasure at the Attorney General’s Department and the Police for failing to take action based on the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the attacks and at the Government for being reluctant to take genuine steps to probe into the incident.
Also addressing those gathered, the Chief Sangha Nayake of Dakshina Lanka Omalpe Sobhitha Thera urged the Cardinal to seek justice through an international mechanism if the domestic mechanism is faltering. “Though we call ourselves a Buddhist country, if there is no justice and fairness here, let us take this to the international community,” he said.
The Thera accused politicians of fuelling terrorism and extremism to achieve their selfish and power-hungry political aims. “But today there is no one answerable for the results of their actions. Providing security is one of the main responsibilities of the ruler. This tragedy took place as they did not fulfil it. This is the only country that has this many rulers who have corrupted the country and failed to fulfil their responsibilities. If the country that declares itself as Buddhist fails to deliver justice and fairness, if there is no Dhamma to be seen in the country declared as the land of the Dhamma, I invite you to take this to the international community. Let us ask them for justice,” Thera said.