Gotabaya Rajapaksa refutes Cardinal Ranjith’s allegations on Easter Sunday Attacks

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has responded to allegations made against him by Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith regarding the Easter Sunday suicide bombings.

In a statement addressing the accusations, Rajapaksa disputed several points raised by the Cardinal.

Firstly, he denied claims that he spoke to the Cardinal over the phone following the submission of the Presidential Commission report, expressing difficulties in implementing its recommendations due to potential arrests and bans on supportive organizations.

Rajapaksa asserted that he had no such conversation and emphasized that he couldn’t have had allies within implicated organizations.

Regarding the delay in providing the Cardinal with the commission report, Rajapaksa clarified that the report was promptly handed over to relevant authorities, including the Speaker of Parliament and religious leaders, without any undue delay.

He also defended the formation of a cabinet sub-committee to oversee the implementation of recommendations, stating it was standard procedure for effective governance.

Responding to allegations of obstructing the Easter Sunday attacks investigation by transferring CID officers, Rajapaksa cited procedural changes made by the Police Commission, denying any personal involvement in such decisions.

He highlighted the failure of law enforcement prior to the attacks and stressed that bringing perpetrators to justice falls within the jurisdiction of police, the Attorney General’s Department, and the courts.

Rajapaksa concluded by reiterating the extremist nature of the Easter Sunday attackers and criticized the Cardinal for allegedly downplaying the failures of relevant authorities while targeting him.