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Easter Sunday massacre: Archbishop reasserts ex-President’s acknowledgment of 2021 phone conversation

May 05, Colombo (LNW): The Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, re-emphasised that the ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa cannot refute the contents of what he described as their ‘telephone conversation’ held in 2021.

The Cardinal’s remarks came in response to a recent statement by the ex-President, wherein he denied conveying to the Cardinal that recommendations from the Presidential Commission report could not be executed due to potential repercussions on individuals and organisations with close ties to him.

Highlighting the veracity of their conversation, the Cardinal asserted that both he and his secretary could provide evidence confirming the telephone exchange that took place on February 2, 2021.

Addressing recent statements by Rajapaksa, the Cardinal stressed discrepancies between the former President’s claims and the factual contents of the Commission’s report, particularly concerning the recommendation to ban certain non-Islamic organisations.

Moreover, the Cardinal accused the former President of orchestrating the transfer of intelligence officers involved in investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

He further criticised the present government for its failure to implement the Commission’s recommendations and questioned the lack of action against former President Maithripala Sirisena, despite recommendations for disciplinary measures against him.

Expressing concerns about the current government’s handling of matters related to the Easter Sunday bombings, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith urged for transparency and accountability in addressing the aftermath of the tragic events.

The genocide occurred on April 21, 2019 through a series of suicide bomb attacks targeting prominent Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka took away more than 270 lives.

Despite recommendations from commissions appointed to probe the event and several prosecutions made, justice for the victims of the carnage and their families remains elusive.

The dialogue on the Easter Sunday attacks intensified on both local and international platforms following a detailed story unveiled by British ‘Channel 4’ citing verbal evidence from a political refugee and an ‘undisclosed’ senior government official, accusing that the carnage was executed with the political intent of developing unrest amongst nationalities across Sri Lanka aiming the bringing of a certain candidate favoured by Sinhalese Buddhists to the forefront of the presidential election held months after the carnage.

The dialogue further led to the escalation of political upheaval when former President Maithripala Sirisena recently claimed that he has ‘knowledge’ on the mastermind behind the attack.

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