Church asks govt. to prove its bona fides vis-à-vis Easter carnage investigations for any talks

By Norman Palihawadane

The government should take action to prove its bona fides so that the Church could accept that former’s offer to talk about the ongoing investigations into the Easter Sunday carnage, the Church announced yesterday.

Making a statement on behalf of Rt. Rev. Dr. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, in response to the request of Professor G. L. Peiris, who asked for an appointment to meet the Cardinal, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando, the Parish Priest of St. Anne’s Church, Kurana (Negombo), said that there was a trust deficit and serious doubts as regards the government’s bona fides.

In a video statement, released to the media, yesterday, Rev. Fr. Fernando said: “Rt. Rev. Dr. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has sent a response letter to Minister Peiris and has explained his position to the latter’s invitation stating that he was open for such a discussion but there are several conditions that the government should fulfil. The Cardinal has categorically stated in his letter that he would not attend for talks until the government fulfils those conditions. He has emphasised the need for the progression of the investigations into the Easter Sunday attacks in a more genuine and trustworthy manner. There is a need to build confidence in him, us in people in this country that the investigations are conducted properly in a more transparent manner. To build that confidence, the government should primarily commence implementation of the recommendations of the final report by the commission of inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks. If the government commences that process, then it would help building confidence and trust in us of the government’s intentions. It is up to the government to commence that process of building trust. But some contents in media statements that we happened to have heard including the one by the Director General (Legal Affairs) in the Presidential Secretariat and the statement by the IGP have dissuaded our confidence. It is a duty and responsibility of the government to create confidence if it needs us to attend the discussion. The Cardinal has stated that he would attend the discussion after the government commences its process of building eroded confidence,” Rev Fr Fernando said.

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