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Top cardinal to call on international community to help investigate Sri Lanka church bombings

by Premier Journalist
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The most senior Catholic official in Sri Lanka is considering calling on the international community to help investigate the devastating 2019 terror attacks on three churches in Columbo. 

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the in-country investigation into the attacks had "failed".

“We tried our best to solve the issue within the country and do justice to our people but have failed,” he said during an online forum on January 24, according to UCA News. 

“The legal system under the Attorney General does not consider the recommendations of the commission on the Easter attacks, therefore we have no option but to go international.”

Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Columbo, has previously voiced the possibility of seeking help from the United Nations and various countries that hold global influence. 

“We can influence those countries as the Church is an international organization," he said. "We have connections all over the world." 

A total of 267 people were killed on 21 April 2019 when Islamist suicide bombers targeted three churches and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital of Colombo. 

Many Sri Lankan Catholics have grown frustrated at the lack of progress made in the criminal investigations into those responsible for the attack.

Police also reportedly arrested a local church worker which has added to the community's frustration - many Catholics believe the person has been falsely implicated.

“We trust the judiciary to take steps to rectify the wrongdoing in the court," Cardinal Ranjith said.  

In a statement released in August 2021, the Archdiocese of Columbo accused the government of being negligent in its investigation. 

“It is clear from this procedure that after such a long time the government has no interest in finding out the truth about the attack and they are going to cover it up and wash their hands," the Archdiocese said at the time.  

The trial of the 25 men accused of masterminding the attack began in November 2021. The suspects face over 23,000 charges including conspiracy to murder, aiding and abetting and collecting arms and ammunition. 

All eight of the bombers who perpetrated the attack died in the blasts. Those on trial include associates and relates of the attackers who are believed to have been involved in planning the atrocity. 

The bombing was the worst terrorist attack in Sri Lanka’s history. 

 

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