Archbishop calls for independent international probe on Channel 4 revelations

Thursday, 7 September 2023 04:15 –      – 67

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  • Says yet another Parliamentary committee probe will prove futile 
  • Expresses gratitude to Channel 4 for its efforts to reveal truth 
  • Asks Govt. to temporarily suspend SDIGs Nilantha Jayawardena and Deshabandu Tennekoon until probe is completed 
  • Urges Govt. to include former CID sleuths in charge of probe into local investigations team 

The Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith yesterday said any investigation into the revelations made by the Channel 4 documentary on the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks must be conducted by an international team of independent sleuths.

“In spite of the fact that from the day of these attacks, even though a Parliamentary Select Committee and a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, as well as other Committees, were appointed to investigate these sad events and many recommendations were made by them, there has been no credible and positive action by the political authorities over these recommendations. The present and the previous Governments paid only lip service to such findings,” he said.

Addressing a press conference at the Archbishop’s House, he said another parliamentary committee would only prove futile and called for an international probe instead.

“Unless such a transparent and sincere investigation is launched, we do not feel that truth and justice will be meted out to the innocent victims of the 2019 Easter attacks,” he added.

The Archbishop also called for the temporary suspension of any security and intelligence officials who might hinder an investigation into the matter including individuals such as Senior DIG (Western Province) Deshabandu Tennekoon and Senior DIG (Administration) Nilantha Jayawardena, both of whom faced allegations of negligence in preventing the attack. “This suspension should last until the investigation reaches its conclusion,” the Archbishop said.

He also urged the Government to incorporate all officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who were initially part of the investigations but later faced political retaliation and transfers, as members of the local team supporting the international probe.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith also extended his appreciation to Channel 4 for its commitment to uncovering the truth regarding the attack, especially at a juncture when authorities have not initiated a sincere and transparent investigation into the terrorist incident. He expressed his willingness to put aside the Channel’s past actions and extend his gratitude for its current efforts and work.