The Sri Lanka Catholic Church has vowed to complain to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva against the government’s failure to carry out justice for the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.
The UNHRC is also probing Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes committed during the three-decades-long war against the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka will be discussed at the 48th Session of the UNHRC scheduled to start on September 13.
Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith told the media on Wednesday that he would seek justice from the international as the government was trying to hide the truth.
The Church was responding to Cabinet spokesman’s announcement that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will go to Italy on Thursday and would meet Pope Francis to brief him on the investigations into the bombings that killed 269 people and injured over 500 others.
“The government is trying to mislead the Vatican and hide the truth behind the Easter Sunday attack. Hiding behind the international is childish.
“We cannot allow this government to deceive the international community. If the government is going to international we are also going to international,” Cardinal Ranjith said.
The Colombo Archdiocesan head revealed that he has already informed the Vatican about the slow pace of the investigations and the Vatican has undertaken to complain to Geneva through its representative there.
However hours after a strong reply by the Church on Wednesday, the government announced that the Prime Minister would not meet the Pope nor visit Vatican City.
“At no stage has the Prime Minister requested nor has he received an invitation to visit the Vatican for an audience with His Holiness, the Pope,” Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said in a statement.
Last month, the Church complained that a section of Sri Lanka’s military intelligence had connections with the 2019 suicide bombers who were suspected to have connections with the Islamic State terror group.
Cardinal Ranjith had complained about an alleged link between the military intelligence and suicide bombers that were revealed during the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the series of coordinated suicide bombings.
The Cardinal also had said that Indian intelligent agencies had shared detailed information about the attack including the date repeatedly but the Sri Lankan military had not taken action to prevent the massacre.