Pix by Pradeep pathirana
By Yohan Perera
Catholics in Sri Lanka will be compelled to take to the streets to ensure that those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks are brought to justice, a group of priests said yesterday.
Members of the Catholic Priests forum of Negombo told a media conference that the Catholics will be compelled to hold peace protests if no one is brought to justice soon” Fr. Cyril Gamini said. “We were kept back from holding street protests when a year was completed since the attack because of COVID-19 but would do so when the crisis ends” he said.
He also said the police and intelligence units should not give into undue influence but try to bring those who are responsible for the attacks and also those who neglected prior warnings.
Asked as to why the church was silent about the attack on Zion Church Batticaloa, Fr. Gamini said the Catholic church in Sri Lanka does not mean that justice should be done to Catholics alone but also to Christians of other denominations. “ We don’t mean that justice should be done to Catholics alone but we speak on behalf of others who were affected by the attacks” he said.
One of the victims S. L. Sirimanne who lost both children in the bomb blast at the Kochchikade Church said he still had faith on incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he will bring those responsible to book. Mr Sirimanne said his two children went to make a vow to St Anthony as they were sitting for an exam.
“ My son was sitting for the advanced level and the daughter was sitting for an exam in the university. They both died in the attack,” he said. Mr Sirimanne added that the defence authorities failed to protect the churches but only focused on safeguarding other establishments such as foreign missions.
Other victims Awisha Kumari,Jude Prasad Appuhamy and SJ Premalal said they too want those who are responsible for the attacks be brought to justice.
- Catholic church in Sri Lanka does not mean that justice should be done to Catholics alone