Sri Lankan cardinal: Officials should not fear inquiry into 2019 attacks

RAGAMA, Sri Lanka (CNS) — If Sri Lankan leaders are honest and not involved in the 2019 Easter attacks, they should not be afraid of investigations, said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

Speaking at a healing service at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka Aug. 21, Cardinal Ranjith said it is clear from the recent events in the country that selfishness and sin have reigned for 75 years, reported

“We want to bring a system change, and everyone must change their lives,” he said.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and survivors and family members of victims of the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka gather outside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this April 25, 2022, file photo. Cardinal Ranjith said if Sri Lankan leaders are honest and not involved in the 2019 Easter attacks, they should not be afraid of investigations. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

Throughout the day, Catholics attended Masses and other services at the basilica. Many faithful brought photos of their families. Cardinal Ranjith, bishops and priests blessed and offered special prayers to heal the sick and also prayed for the victims of the Easter attacks.

On April 21, 2019, a group of suicide bombers affiliated with local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath attacked three churches and three luxury hotels, killing at least 269 people, including 37 foreign nationals, and injuring at least 500.

Pope Francis has urged the Sri Lankan government to make public the truth behind the Easter attacks and, on multiple occasions, expressed his closeness with the families of the victims, even extending financial aid for their welfare.

Cardinal Ranjith has urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to set up a mechanism to probe the Easter attacks. reported the cardinal told those at the basilica that the nation’s leaders made empty promises, and more than a quarter of the people of the country are struggling to get one meal per day.

Janet W. Fernando, who attended the service, said the priests, nuns and laypeople prayed to God in one voice to reveal the truth and ensure justice for the victims of the Easter attacks, reported.

Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

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