Easter attacks investigations: ‘Delays could make the public suspect Govt. involvement’

  • Catholic Church levels damning allegation
  • Reiterates Prez/Govt. responsibility to implement report recommendations

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

While claiming that the current Government is continuously delaying the investigations into the Easter Sunday terror attacks on 21 April 2019, the Catholic Church alleged that this continuous delay would create some suspicion among the public that the incumbent Government may also have had some involvement in the said bombings.

The National Catholic Centre for Social Communications Director and the Parish Priest of the St. Anne’s Church, Kurana, Negombo Rev. Cyril Gamini Fernando alleged to The Morning that this continuous delay would create some suspicion among the public that the present Government may also have had some involvement in the bombings.

Speaking to The Morning, Fernando noted that it is a serious question as to why the Government is not taking steps to expedite the investigations into the Easter Sunday bombings and reveal the suspects to the public.

He also commented on the Government’s failure to implement the recommendations made in the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday bombings.

“The PCoI was appointed by former President and incumbent Parliamentarian Maithripala Sirisena, but continued after the incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power. It has been nearly five months since the final report of the PCoI was handed over to the President and the responsibility to implement the PCoI’s recommendations lies with the President. However, so far, there does not seem to be any interest in implementing those recommendations,” he added.

Noting that those who represent the Government were frequently accusing the previous United National Front (UNF)-led Government of creating a conducive environment for the Easter Sunday bombings to occur, Fernando observed that it is therefore problematic for the current Government to daily postpone taking action on the matter. “The President and the Government have a responsibility to enforce the law and to expose all the perpetrators to the country,” he emphasised.

He further added that matters pertaining to the bombings discussed at the PCoI and during the recent Parliamentary debates and the statement made by the former Attorney General President’s Counsel Dappula de Livera that there has been a grand conspiracy behind the Easter Sunday bombings must be investigated.

“Otherwise, if these investigations are further delayed despite all the powers vested with the Government, there would be a suspicion among the public that the present Government has also had some involvement in this incident,” he reiterated.

Attempts to contact the Public Security Minister Dr. Sarath Weerasekera, the Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, and the Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana to inquire about the matter, were not successful.

The Easter Sunday bombings targeting churches and hotels claimed the lives of many while injuring a large number and causing damages to property.