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* Catholic Bishops call for an independent, impartial inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 09:11 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 14, Colombo: The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka (CBCSL) yesterday again appealed to the government and political leaders to hold an independent and impartial inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks as a matter of utmost urgency.

Issuing a statement signed by 14 bishops, the CBCSL said during the recent plenary meeting it has evaluated the situation in the country in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attacks which resulted in the deaths of more than 250 civilians and foreigners and severely injured several hundreds.

The CBCSL said it is profoundly saddened to note that a just and a fair and impartial investigation has not yet taken place and earnestly appealed to the government that an impartial inquiry be held and the perpetrators brought before the law.

"We observe that several committees have been established and their main focus appears to be to find out those responsible for the serious lapses in security. Even though this effort is useful, we insist that as a matter of justice, the final aim of the inquiries should be to ascertain who the perpetrators are and who aided and abetted in any way in this dastardly acts. Unfortunately, we do not see any positive signs in this direction. The report of the Three Member Presidential Commission is yet to see the light of day," the statement said.

"The people are waiting to see the results of this inquiry as was promised to them. The government is yet to give an assurance to the people that there is only one set of laws in the country, for everyone is still in fear and there is uncertainty in the minds of the people."

"However, we are pleased to appreciate and acknowledge the commitment of the Armed Forces and the Police that has made civic life possible despite this gloomy situation."

"Therefore, we urge once again the government and all political leaders of the country to ensure an independent and impartial inquiry as a matter of utmost urgency. Although various relief efforts of the government are to be appreciated, we wish to reiterate that what is more important is to do justice in this regard, by bringing those responsible before the law of the country expeditiously.

"In this endeavor, all partisan considerations such as ethnicity, religion or any other factor should be shunned," the statement further said.

"We also wish to appeal to all our people to continue to pray for the country for the restoration of lasting peace and harmony in our dear Motherland."

The statement was signed by Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, CBCSL President Rt. Rev. Dr. J. Winston S. Fernando, S.S.S. (Bishop of Badulla), CBCSL Vice President Rt. Rev. Dr. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam (Bishop of Jaffna), CBCSL Secretary-General Rt. Rev. Dr. J. D. Anthony Jayakody (Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo), Rt. Rev. Dr. Maxwell G. Silva (Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo and Bishops of Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Galle, Batticaloa, Chilaw, Ratnapura Mannar and Trincomalee.


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