The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka (CBCSL) today once again urged the government and all political leaders to ensure an independent and impartial inquiry into the Easter Sunday attack as a matter of utmost urgency.
In a statement signed by 14 bishops, the CBCSL said, “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 endeavour, all partisan considerations such as ethnicity, religion or any other factor should be shunned,” it said.
The statement said the CBCSL during the recent plenary meeting evaluated the situation in the country in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attack which resulted in the deaths of more than 250 civilians including foreigners and severely injured several hundred.
“It has been our earnest appeal to the government that an impartial inquiry is held and the perpetrators brought before the law. The CBCSL is profoundly saddened to note that a just and a fair and impartial investigation has not yet taken place. 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 those who have aided and abetted in any way in this dastardly act. 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 people are waiting to see the results of this inquiry as it 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.
There is still fear and 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,” it said.
The statement was signed by 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), His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith (Archbishop of Colombo), Rt. Rev. Dr. J. Vianney Fernando (Bishop of Kandy), Rt. Rev. Dr. Harold A. Perera (Bishop of Kurunegala), Rt. Rev. Dr. Norbert M. Andradi, O.M.l. (Bishop of Anuradhapura), Rt. Rev. Dr. Raymond K. Wickramasinghe (Bishop of Galle), Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah (Bishop of Batticaloa), Rt. Rev. Dr. Maxwell G. Silva (Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo), Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Valence (Bishop of Chilaw), Rt. Rev. Dr. Cletus C. Perera, O.S.B. (Bishop of Ratnapura) and Rt. Rev. Dr. F. L. Emmanuel Fernando (Bishop of Mannar) with Rt. Rev. Dr. Noel C. Emmanuel (Bishop of Trincomalee).