Statement by CBCSL CBCSL has nothing to do with extension of AG’s term of office


  • The President’s intention as reported to seek an extension by making use of the Easter Sunday attacks and the CBCSL is whole-heartedly condemned
  • This insinuation that the CBCSL is responsible for the extension of the office of the Attorney General is false, misleading and malicious

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL), in a statement has condemned President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s attempt to extend Attorney General Sanjaya Rajaratnam’s term using the Easter Sunday Attack. The following is the statement. 
Our attention is drawn to the news articles published, in some of the newspapers and other social and electronic media in the first week of June 2024, with regard to a purported statement issued by the President concerning an extension granted to the term of the current Attorney General of Sri Lanka.
The said articles refer to the unfounded occurrence of an incident whereupon the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) had met with the President and that at such a stage the President had appointed a 3-member committee comprising the Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake,  Sagala Rathnayake and the Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam to discuss the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Report into the Easter Sunday attacks. The said article further astonishingly states that, the Attorney General, Sanjay Rajaratnam, is currently performing a fundamental role in his capacity as a member of the aforementioned committee appointed by the President to coordinate with the CBCSL pertaining to the future steps to be taken concerning the investigations involving the Easter Sunday attacks. It also claims that the said Sanjay Rajaratnam has been in constant dialogue with the CBCSL which is totally false. At the very outset itself, we, the members of the CBCSL vehemently deny the above mentioned misleading position set out in the given article. We seek to clarify in response that there has never been any such dialogue whatsoever which took place between the Chairman of the CBCSL and the Attorney General at any point in time. Moreover, the said article highlights the fact that the Attorney General is being granted an extension of his term in office, as he is due to retire shortly. We are astounded at the fact that the said article implies that the President is at this stage unreasonably making use of the Easter Sunday Attacks and exploiting even the CBCSL purely to seek such an extension of the Attorney General’s term. We wish to add with grave concern that the said  Sanjay Rajaratnam was in fact appointed as the Attorney General on the 26th May 2021, and that for the last 36 months he has failed to even implement the series of recommendations clearly set out in the Easter Sunday Attacks Presidential 
Commission of Inquiry Final Report, up to date.
Furthermore, we state firmly that during the tenure of the office of the said Attorney General, the Catholic Church has at numerous instances consistently addressed in writing and called for the said Attorney General to intervene and bring forth justice to the victims of the heinous Easter Sunday attacks, which have been continuously disregarded and not been acted upon by the said Sanjay Rajaratnam. We state categorically that the CBCSL has absolutely nothing to do with the extension of the period of office of the Attorney General. 
The President’s intention as reported to seek an extension by making use of the Easter Sunday attacks and the CBCSL is whole-heartedly condemned. We are also deeply concerned with the statement attributed to the President, reported in the final paragraph of the said article which states that if anyone wishes to question the extension of the period of office of the Attorney General, they should direct their questions to the CBCSL. Therefore, this insinuation that the CBCSL is responsible for the extension of the office of the Attorney General is false, misleading and malicious. In these circumstances, we the members of the CBCSL completely disassociate ourselves from these mischievous attempts to discredit the CBCSL in the guise of the Attorney General’s extension of his 
term of office. 



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