By Norman Palihawadane
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on Sunday said that Sri Lanka would not achieve its true freedom until the supremacy of the law was established.
Addressing a ceremony at the St. Anthony’s Church, Kotahena, to distribute financial aid sent from the Vatican among the families of Easter Sunday carnage victims, the Cardinal said: “The legal system is warped and bent as per the whims and fancies of political leaders over and over again. This is what we have witnessed during the past 74 years. Till this system is changed, Sri Lanka will never be free. The slavery to politicians will continue, till the day the legal system is completely independent of persons in power.”
“Sri Lanka will not achieve its true freedom until its political leaders themselves obey the rule of law,” he added.
The Cardinal said justice did not prevail in Sri Lanka, in most instances, and people had lost faith in the judicial system.
“Despite the concerns and appeals made by Pope Francis for justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, our authorities have not taken any action against the culprits,” the Cardinal said, adding that for generations politicians had interfered with the law to obtain personal benefits, whilst dragging the country down the drain in the process. All of Sri Lanka’s political leaders had contributed to the destruction of the independence of the judiciary, after coming to power. “Sri Lanka is not truly independent, even after 74 years, if the Police continue to be influenced by politicians and connected persons,” he said.
Last week, Pope Francis granted €100,000 in aid to the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. The financial aid was disbursed among the affected families at St. Sebastian’s Church, in Katuwapitiya, and St. Anthony’s Church, in Kotahena, on Sunday.
Cardinal Ranjith said that they would continue their struggle, seeking justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks, and also urged the incumbent President to probe allegations of a political conspiracy behind the attacks.
“Even though the Galle Face struggle has stopped, this struggle will continue. We will not give up,” he said.
He said the current President should ascertain those things as the report of the parliamentary selection committee, appointed by him at the time, said that there was a semblance of a political conspiracy behind it.
“If so, this President is duty bound to analyze what the parliamentary committee, appointed by him, said. Therefore, I request the President to please be honest about what the select committee you appointed said.” The Cardinal said that a senior police officer, who was about to arrest the suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, had been falsely accused of a conspiracy to kill influential people and arrested, allowing the suicide bomber to proceed with his plans. Those who allowed the attackers freedom to act were also responsible for this attack,as well as Zahran Hashim, the Cardinal said.
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