Sri Lankans Demand Justice for 2019 Easter Attack Victims

The Church has raised the issue of justice for 2019 Easter attack victims with the UN and the Vatican. Bishops, priests, nuns and laypeople took to the streets to highlight the issue within the country.

 Newsroom (19/03/2022 1:30 PM Gaudium Press) Sri Lankans stood united in their demand for justice for victims of the 2019 Easter attack while also pressurizing the government to quit for the economic good of the beleaguered island nation.

Several events were held in memory of the victims killed in the terrorist atrocity. Among them a non-violent protest at the presidential secretariat in Colombo on April 17.

A group of Sri Lankan men and women dressed as the dead staged a peaceful protest walk from Aluthkade to Galle Face, while the Young Catholic Association of the Archdiocese of Colombo held a march from St. Lucia’s Cathedral to St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, one of three churches attacked in 2019 during an atrocity that killed 269 people and injured more than 500.

Buddhist monks and other religious leaders too participated in events throughout the day.

Ruwini Anuththara, a victim of the Easter attack, said it was time for all the politicians to go home. “God always listens to the prayers of the victims. I hope we will be able to overcome the economic crisis in the country by uniting all races and religions,”.

Father Cyril Gamini, a member of the archdiocese’s proclamation committee on the search for the truth of the Easter Sunday attack, said the opinion on the streets was different from the one in the parliament.

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“We as the Catholic Church stand with the public and support the expectations of the people,” he said.

The local Church questioned Secretary of Defense Kamal Gunaratne’s recent claim that the Easter attack was not a political conspiracy at a press conference held on Maundy Thursday. The Church raised 20 questions about the progress of the investigations that were forwarded to the defence secretary.

Church leaders asked why it had taken authorities three years to reveal the truth behind the attack. they demand explanations on why no action was taken against those in power who failed to act on a prior intelligence report.

“What investigations have been done so far to prove that the Easter attack was not a political conspiracy? If so, where are their reports?” asked Father Gamini.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a message on Easter Sunday, assured that his government “is committed to enforcing the law against all the responsible parties by means of due and proper investigations.”

However, Rajapaksa has not attended his office for several days as tens of thousands of protesters have stood in front of the presidential secretariat, calling for the president, prime minister, and council to step down amid an unprecedented economic crisis. Sri Lanka is in default on US$51 billion of foreign debt.

(Via UCAN News)

Compiled by Raju Hasmukh

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