The Sri Lankan government could have stopped the Easter Sunday attacks which killed over 250 people in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, according to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Last week he called the attacks “a serious lapse of responsibility on the part of the government of Sri Lanka”.
Why was it under-reported?
The world’s attention has drifted away from Sri Lanka in the two months since the April 21 attack. The country’s complex politics are little understood.
Yet the cardinal’s remarks, which constitute a remarkable accusation of government negligence, surely deserved more publicity. “The government of Sri Lanka was informed about this attack on April 4th by the Indian secret service,” he said. If he had known, he said, he “would have emptied all the churches and told the people to go home.”
What will happen next?
The cardinal fears more division. He has blamed international networks, rather than Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, for the killings “From the first moment I was convinced that it wasn’t our Muslim brothers who had done this attack, that behind this attack there is someone with global political interests,” Ranjith said.
“For this reason, I asked Catholics, and Buddhists and everyone else, to not raise their hands against our Muslim brothers, because it was clear that the Muslim community had nothing to do with this.”
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