Request to observe two-minute silence on April 21

Malcolm Ranjith

His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, today requested the public to observe two minutes’ silence at 8.45 a.m. on April 21 as a mark of respect for the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings.

Sri Lanka on Wednesday marks two years since the devastating Easter Sunday attacks, which killed over 250 in bombings at three churches and three luxury hotels.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said today that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks stating that his remarks he made on Sunday evening had been misunderstood as he was not referring to any local political group being directly involved in the Easter attacks.

“My remarks on Sunday have been misunderstood by many. I did not refer to a local political group when I said politics was behind the Easter Sunday attacks but international forces. There are some forces who develop weapons and use religious and ethnic extremism such as Wahhabism to create conflicts. This is done to market their weapons. I was referring to such groups,” the Cardinal told a press conference today.

“Only a small group of Muslims are involved in extremism. Therefore I would like to appeal to Muslims in Sri Lanka who have coexisted in this country with other ethnic and religious groups for more than 1000 years  to maintain that co-existence and teach their children that as well,” he added.

Cardinal Ranjith called on the authorities to protect the country and ensure events such as the 2019 April 21st Attacks do not repeat.

“It will be important for Sri Lanka’s socio-economic progress. If we divide and only aim to promote exclusive identity, will be an obstacle towards development,” said the Cardinal adding a united approach is required to solve issues.

Cardinal further said prosecuting a handful of people is not sufficient, in a backdrop where the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the 2019 April 21st Attacks lists out many people and calls for further investigations on them.

“The issue needs to be understood and it needs to be resolved,” he said.