Home News Sri Lanka archbishop criticises gov’t over Easter assaults probe

Sri Lanka archbishop criticises gov’t over Easter assaults probe

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On the second anniversary of the Easter assaults, the pinnacle of Sri Lanka’s Catholic church says he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the shortage of progress within the investigation.

The top of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday accused the federal government of stalling investigations into Easter Sunday bombings two years in the past that killed 279 folks.

Almost 200 folks have been arrested inside days of the assaults on accommodations and church buildings, however nobody has but been charged.

Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, who led commemorations on the second anniversary Wednesday, mentioned he was “deeply saddened” by the shortage of progress within the investigation.

“We’ve to emphasize that what is occurring in the intervening time is an angle of ‘no care’ the place all components aren’t correctly investigated,” the cardinal mentioned at a commemorative service in Colombo.

Catholic clergymen and nuns march whereas holding photographs of the victims of April 21’s Easter Sunday bomb assault in 2019, subsequent to St. Sebastian’s Church, one of many attacked church buildings, throughout the second anniversary, in Katuwapitiya, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2021 [Dinuka Liyanawatte/REUTERS]

Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Negombo, Sri Lanka, mentioned Ranjith accused the federal government of political posturing and the necessity to shield alliances had hindered the probe.

“He went as far just a few days in the past as saying that the bombings had nothing to do with spiritual extremism, however somewhat have been about politics and individuals who needed to make sure primarily grabbing energy,” she added.

The cardinal has beforehand known as for former president Maithripala Sirisena to be prosecuted for failing to stop the assaults regardless of advance warnings.

An investigation ordered by Sirisena quickly after the bombings discovered that he and his intelligence officers had exact data from India in regards to the assault 17 days earlier, however didn’t act.

Sirisena, who didn’t supply himself for re-election in November 2019 polls, is at present a legislator with the occasion of his successor Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Though not one of the 200 in custody have been indicted, 16 Muslim males amongst them have been charged on Tuesday in reference to desecrating Buddhist statues in December 2018.

The authorities have mentioned that the destruction of the statues in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka was the forerunner to the Easter Sunday assaults 4 months later.

Anniversary service

Wednesday’s multi-faith remembrance service was held on the St. Anthony’s Church the place 56 folks died within the assaults, which got here 10 years after the tip of Sri Lanka’s 37-year Tamil separatist struggle.

Cardinal Ranjith appealed to the nation’s Muslims on Wednesday to affix Catholics in figuring out the reality behind the Easter bombings.

Two native teams that had pledged allegiance to the ISIS [ISIL] group have been blamed for the assaults.

A member of the family kisses the grave of 1 sufferer of April 21’s Easter Sunday bomb assault in 2019, subsequent to St. Sebastian’s Church, one of many attacked church buildings, throughout the second anniversary [Dinuka Liyanawatte/REUTERS]

Islamic cleric Hassan Moulana, who additionally spoke on the service, mentioned Muslims all over the world condemn the assaults and that Islam provides no justification for the crime.

He mentioned the Muslim group in Sri Lanka has disowned the attackers and has not allowed their our bodies to be buried in its cemeteries to indicate their acts aren’t a part of Islam.

Final week Sri Lanka banned 11 organisations, together with the ISIL (ISIS) group and al-Qaeda.

Anybody linked to the teams – the opposite 9 of that are native spiritual and social organisations – faces as much as 20 years in jail, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa mentioned in a gazette notification.

Muslims, who make up almost 10 % of Sri Lanka’s 21 million folks, have confronted elevated assaults from majority Sinhala Buddhist hardliners following the tip of a civil struggle between Tamil separatists and authorities forces in 2009.