Perpetrators of 2019 Easter Sunday attacks still engaged in politics: Cardinal Ranjith

Cardinal Ranjith, while delivering a sermon, urged the public to look at the fate of the rule of law within the country

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The perpetrators of the heinous 2019 Easter Sunday attacks have either integrated with the country's political fraternity or employed with the police force, Sri Lanka's Catholic Church Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has said, as he accused the previous governments of turning a blind eye to the country's worst act of terrorism.

Cardinal Ranjith, while delivering a sermon at the festive mass held on Sunday to mark the annual feast of St. James Church in Mutuwal, urged the public to look at the fate of the rule of law within the country, news portal newsfirst.lanka reported.

The Archbishop of Colombo hailed Sri Lanka a 'Dharmadweepa' (country of religion), but pointed out that it has fallen into an abyss due to people who are greedy for power and wealth betray the policies agreed upon by all, the report said.

Referring to the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, the Cardinal said: Those who set off bombs in three churches and a few hotels in 2019 are still engaged in politics and also work as police officers. Our cry for justice has been neglected because of this. However, we as Catholics will have to keep on praying that justice would be done, the Daily Mirror newspaper quoted him as saying.

Nine suicide bombers belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat linked to the ISIS carried out a series of devastating blasts that ripped through three churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21, 2019, killing nearly 270 people, including 11 Indians.

In April, Cardinal Ranjith along with a group of kin of the Easter Sunday victims met Pope Francis in Rome in an attempt to take the case to the international community for justice as he accused the government of turning a blind eye to the country's worst terror attack.

"We should be ashamed before the world. There is no law in the country. There is no room for justice. There is only lawlessness and the law of the powerful in the country. No matter how much we asked for an independent investigation, the law of our country did not do anything to prosecute those who have been identified as the culprits," he asserted.

The attack stirred a political storm as the then government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were blamed for their inability to prevent the attacks despite prior intelligence being made available to the authorities.

Interestingly, Wickremesinghe is currently the President.

The Archbishop of Colombo added that religion is not just about coming for the Sunday Mass, but one must also live within religion.

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