By Norman Palihawadane
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday called on all Sri Lankans to sink their differences and support the Church’s quest for justice for the Easter Sunday victims.
The Cardinal said that a campaign would be launched under the theme ‘Until justice is done, we are watching’ on 21 April.
The Church has organised a human chain protest and asked the public to line up on the road at 8.00 am next Friday and remain there until 8.45 am.
“You are invited to come to the Colombo- Negombo Main Road or to Galle Road from Dehiwala to Moratuwa or from Kalutara to Beruwala. Kindly line up on one side of the road peacefully and without shouting slogans or making any other noises. You should not disturb any bystanders, passengers or the morning traffic as we stage the silent protest peacefully,” the Cardinal has said.
A special message from the Cardinal was read out in all Catholic Churches yesterday during the Easter Sunday programmes. The prelate has said the government, instead of taking action to serve justice, was grooming a senior police officer accused of failing to prevent the Easter Sunday terror attack for the post of the IGP.
Full text of the message: The fourth-year commemoration of the victims of Easter Sunday violence falls on 2l st April this year. After four years, we are still in the dark as to the full truth behind these ghastly blasts which took away the lives of 272 innocent civilians, injured more than 500 while leaving a number of others maimed and permanently disabled, thus making them despondent and dependent for the rest of their life.
As regards the Presidential Commission of Inquiry tasked to investigate into the attacks, we have been able to acquire so far only one volume of its report containing its recommendations.
Notwithstanding our repeated requests to obtain the rest of the volumes presented to Parliament, which contain the evidence given before that Commission we have not yet succeeded in getting them. The Attorney General is deliberately avoiding taking the necessary steps to implement most of the recommendations found in the Presidential Commission Report against certain top level politicians, government officials and high ranking officers of the Sri Lanka police for their gross neglect of duty and doing absolutely nothing to prevent the bloodshed even though they knew about the attacks beforehand. On the contrary, we see attempts being made to promote some of these officers to high office in spite of the charges against them. Recently we read in the media that one such officer against whom the Presidential Commission recommends disciplinary action, is being groomed to be made the next IGP.
Of late, we have heard again the ridiculous case of the repeated DNA tests done on Sarah Pulasthini, the wife of Husthun, the bomber who blasted himself at Katuwapitiya. The first two tests done originally affirmed very clearly that her DNA was not found among those killed in the explosions at Sainda Mardhu. Nevertheless, the tests have been repeated now a third time so that an attempt is being made again by the police to prove the contrary. Who can accept such organized camouflage? It is ludicrous to repeat tests until the desired result is achieved which is not the standard norm to follow. Sarah Pulasthini is one person who, being the wife of the bomber at Katuwapitiya, knew many things about these attacks from the first moment of their planning to their final execution. Hence attempts to write her off as dead and suppress facts concerning her, can never be approved or accepted.
It is becoming increasingly evident that all efforts concerning investigation into the Easter Sunday attacks, on the part of the Government, are more geared to masquerading the truth than to identifying the masterminds and bringing them before the Law. Until at least the recommendations of the Commission Report are fully implemented and further investigations along the lines indicated by the said Commission are undertaken with due seriousness, the justice we envision will remain a figment of the imagination.
We, by no means, will give up our resolve to pursue truth and justice until the Lord, in the end, will triumph in this struggle through His mercy and grace. We will do it relentlessly not only because the majority of the victims are within our fold, but also as it is our duty to the nation to work tirelessly in order to bring about a country which is safe for all, which thrives in peace and truth and where the Rule of Law will reign supreme irrespective of persons.
We remember how the former Attorney General, speaking about the Easter Sunday tragedy, stated that there was a grand conspiracy behind these attacks. It was, as many have concluded, was primarily a political plot to come to power. If the culprits continue to enjoy immunity from the Law and they can still operate with impunity, what guarantees do we have that in the future, that similar or even greater violence will not recur or will not be resorted to, by someone in order to come to power?
Therefore, we earnestly urge all of you, irrespective of race and religion, ideology and political persuasion, to join hands with us to demand truth and justice to victims of the Easter Sunday violence on Friday the 21st April when we mark the 4th year commemoration of the Tragedy