It is crystal clear from the evidence emerging out of the Parliamentary Select Committee about the Easter Sunday carnage that took place where authorities were to blame wholesale for the bloodshed that took place, while Catholic devotees were piously raising their hymns to God, from the St. Anthony’s church in Colombo and Churches in Negombo and Trincomalee, to protect them from any adversity and to improve their quality of life, and foreign tourists were enjoying their breakfast in star hotels in Colombo. They were all blown up to smithereens by a group of Islamic suicide bombers, and of course, killing themselves being conditioned to the fact by dying as martyrs for their religion they would end up in Heaven in the company of pretty angels.
It is interesting to analyse all the witness’s interpretations and their personal experiences before the mammoth blast on the 21/4 disaster. Giving a head start in the witness box, the National Intelligence Chief and former DIG, Sisira Mendis’s declaration to the PSC on 29th May, confirmed that ‘a blatant and lackadaisical approach had prevailed among responsible officials in the Government, and the final Security Council Meeting was held only on 19th February 2019′ and the blast took place while the President was abroad on a private holiday in Singapore with his family. The ‘ former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who is still in compulsory leave appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee, blamed and held responsible for the carnage quoted, ” he was asked to take the full responsibility for the carnage by the President of the country and promised him a diplomatic posting in a foreign country for doing so but “according to his principles” he did not want to accept any liability or accept any boons, as his “conscience is clear that he was not responsible for the massacre”. Both these officials have charged with the dereliction of duty and their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday disaster.
It has taken over three and a half months since the tragic incidence, but the investigations are still in the progress with the Parliamentary Select Committee ordering one by one of top officials as witnesses that seems to be a TV drama, without so far no culprit has been found guilty and punished properly or sent to gallows for the murder of hundreds of 250 people and maiming and wounding over 500 people.
It indeed is a strange situation where both the Prime Minister and the President of the Country are seen on television stating that every single responsible Islamist terrorist has been detected by security forces and all of them are detained and are pending investigations, but on a daily basis what the public comes to hear from TV news is that constantly someone connected to the bombing or an associate of Saharan, who had been trained, has been taken to custody still. Both the heads of the government need to double-check with the security forces before coming out with such robust statements because at the end of the day it’s their reputations are at stake.
It is now confirmed by the authorities that the Indian authorities had briefed the Sri Lankan top experts on three specific occasions on 11 and 16 April about the impending attacks. On the 20th April, again the Indian Intelligence seemed to have alerted (as claimed in the news media) by the SIS Chief, who had, in turn, briefed the most senior authorities about the Indian warning.
The fact that the President was abroad on holiday in Singapore at the time and having heard about the tragic incident ( only through the FaceBook) and directives had immediately been given to top brass to take preventative and remedial action by informing the churches and hotels in advance, seem to have entered deaf ears of the hierarchy responsible for national security, which at the end of it all, no action whatsoever has been taken because it appears that no one assumed or anticipated such an attack would be such destructive, with the foregone theory that Islamist terrorist was not capable of having such a devastating attack. This is the basic problem with the hierarchy in this country, because either they never believe in the theory that ‘prevention is always better than cure’ or such devices never seem to reach their swollen or barren heads! It was, in fact, akin to the repetition of the JVP insurrection many moons ago, where the impending insurrection was dismissed by hierarchy wholesale!
The most tragic aspect of this carnage is the fact that 250 people lost their lives including 45 children along with 45 foreigners, who were spending their holiday or engaged in business activities in Sri Lanka. The amount of loss of life and the consequential emotions that followed like shadows of those parents, brother and sisters of the dead seem to get diluted in the minds and eyes of the authorities, the way things are taking place at present at snail’s space.
It is interesting to note that the Prime Minister voluntarily agreed to come before the Parliamentary Select Committee as a witness to elucidate what he had to say as he has always been maintaining that ‘his intelligence division never briefed him about the Indian Intelligence Agency alerts or never has been invited to any of the security council meetings for a considerable period of time”!
It appears that only the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith who appeared as the ‘saviour’ of downplaying the emotions of Catholics and the Sinhalese against the general Muslim community who had nothing to do with the terrorists for which all credit is due for being calm and acting as a real religious leader at the hour of need . His blatant accusations that ” politicians responsible for Easter Sunday attack should be expelled and some of them are living free and pretending to be saints, and they should remember that though they are not punished by the people, they will be punished by God” and the Bishop’s request to cancelling church visits and instructed all churches to hold low key Sunday masses appears to have the entire Catholic Hierarchy in Sri Lanka to come under serious threat including the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith according to State Intelligence Reports that was revealed as a warning by a senior official within the Archbishop House in Colombo.
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith is known to be a proper religious leader who has no bias towards anyone but considers that everyone needs to be treated as a human being. Cardinal has always given credit to Buddhism by stating that ” Buddhism is the elder brother of the Sri Lankan family and other religions are younger brothers and the lifeblood of Sri Lanka is Buddhism and insisted that Christians and Muslims should accept Buddhist traditions. He makes no bones about it by stating during congregations that his life was also under threat.
As a religious leader in Sri Lanka, His Eminence has always called spade a spade and never stopped blaming local politicians and the government of the day is responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks that killed over 250 people and wounded and maimed 500 others. Taking things into consideration it is no surprise that his Eminence had to come out and criticise the politicians as not having a back born to which the President seems to have taken offence by replying in public that politicians in this country are not vertebrates; only the vertebrates do not have a backbone! It is apparent that the His Holiness Cardinal Ranjith Malcolm has thrown the hat widely and it is up to those who fit the cap to wear it.
However, while the Prime Minister has voluntarily agreed to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee as a witness to the ‘ never-ending’ saga surrounding the Easter Sunday massacre by Islamist whabist terrorists but so far it appears that the President is unwilling to follow suit. The consensus of the public that the President being the Minister in charge of National security and under whom all the security forces come, his version will be the most valuable statement in this scenario as otherwise various types of gossip is bound to generate.
With a presidential election around the corner, the Central Bank fraud, Easter Sunday massacre, false promises of the ‘Yahapalanaya during the last election campaign, amidst the rift between the legislature and the executive are going be crucial factors that are going to remind the voters when they go to vote as no one believes in politicians anymore in this country.
Pic.credit: google pics