Card Ranjith urged his fellow Sri Lankans to display the symbol of mourning to protest the government’s failure to find the truth about the 2019 attacks. Many civil society groups support the prelate’s request, but for others, it is lip service. At least 25 people have been charged in connection with the attacks, but authorities have not identified the perpetrators.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – Archbishop of Colombo, Card Malcolm Ranjith, urges Sri Lankan Catholics and non-Catholics to display black flags in every home, church and store to protest the Sri Lankan government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and in memory of the victims of Easter terrorist attacks two years ago that killed 269 people and injured more than 500 in three churches and three hotels.
Last Sunday, 28 months after the attacks, prayers were held, bells rang at 8.45am and lamps were lit to commemorate the victims. However, while some people heeded the request, others were critical.
“After such a long time, it is not enough to just raise black flags and organize a silent protest against the government,” some people said. AsiaNews. Even some non-Catholics called the gesture half-hearted.
“There is no point in displaying flags to show our opposition to this government which allowed innocent people to be killed while they were in church,” some said.
For others, “Cardinal Ranjith should take more decisive action to ensure that the government continues its investigations to find those responsible for the tragedy.
Last week, 25 people were charged in connection with the attacks, but the archbishop called for the main ones to be found, not just the people who collaborated.
“The selfish arbitrariness of the authorities has allowed so many people to die,” said the cardinal. “Even today, from time to time we try to cover up the truth that God indicates. But we pray to God to expose the great political conspiracy behind this tragedy. “
Many secular and Catholic civil society groups support Archbishop Ranjith’s appeal. The Negombo Citizens Committee, the Maradana Society and the Peace Center and Justice Foundation joined in the peaceful protest.
“Failure to respond to the Church’s request and reveal the truth will not prevent citizens from pointing fingers at the government,” one protester said. “President Rajapaksa was elected thanks to the votes of many Catholics because he promised he would do justice.