Cardinal Ranjith says Sri Lankan officials out to mislead pope over probe into 2019 attacks

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, warned that Sri Lanka’s top government officials are out to mislead Pope Francis regarding the result of the investigation into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in the country’s capital.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris are reportedly set to meet with Vatican officials this week to brief them about the investigations into the Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 260 people and injured over 500 others.

“A conspiracy is being carried forward in a tactful manner to save those who are behind the attack and an effort is being made to convert the situation to be favorable toward the government,” Cardinal Ranjith said in a statement during a media briefing on Wednesday, September 8.

A report in Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror, however, said the prime minister has not sought a meeting with Pope Francis and his delegation will not be visiting the Vatican during the visit to Italy this week for the G-20 Interfaith Forum.

The Sri Lankan prime minister is scheduled to deliver the keynote address during the meeting in the city of Bologna.

During the Wednesday media briefing, Cardinal Ranjith said he already briefed the Holy See about the update on the Easter Sunday bombing investigation, adding that the Vatican is expected to refer the issue to United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Media reports early this week quoted Sri Lanka’s Cabinet spokesman, Plantation Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, saying that Rajapaksa and Peiris were scheduled to brief Pope Francis on the progress made in the investigations into the Easter Sunday attacks.

“Yes, the government is of the view that we must make the Vatican aware of the full details of the massacre and the government’s action taken in the aftermath of the bomb blast,” Pathirana was quoted as saying by media reports. - LiCAS.news