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Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (CNS/Carol Glatz)

Sri Lankan Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has denied allegations levelled by the country’s parliamentarians that he was politicising the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings ahead of the polls this year. Source: UCA News.

A three-day parliamentary debate on Easter Sunday attacks that concluded on Friday saw members accuse each other of responsibility for the attacks and criticise Cardinal Ranjith of being politically biased ahead of presidential elections due later this year.

Some parliamentarians also reportedly said the 76-year-old cardinal sought an extension from the Vatican to continue in office and fight for the families of the victims of the Easter Sunday attack.

Cardinal Ranjith refuted allegations he had requested to vote for a particular political party recently during a program that marked the fifth anniversary of deadly Easter Sunday attacks on April 21.

The allegation is “a fallacy by itself, and I have never asked anyone to vote for any party”, the Church leader said in an April 29 statement.

“The only thing I have mentioned when talking about the attacks is to not vote for parties that have violated human rights or [are] not willing to take steps to ensure justice and fairness over probes into the attacks,” the statement said.

The cardinal also noted that only two political parties – the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya and the left-leaning Peoples Liberation Front-led electoral alliance National Peoples’ Power – have proposed ways to ensure justice for victims’ families if they are voted to power.

“We have asked all of them and we are asking them today to conduct a fair and transparent investigation into the Easter attacks,” he said, urging people to “vote for any party that offers such a solution.”

Cardinal Ranjith has been campaigning for a transparent probe into the attacks and sought an international investigation if the local government failed to provide justice to the victims.

The deadly 2019 bombings targeted two Catholic churches, a protestant church, and three luxury hotels in Colombo, killing 279 people, primarily Catholic mass-goers, and wounded over 500.


Sri Lankan cardinal rejects parliamentary allegations (By Rubatheesan Sandran, UCA News)