President Maithripala Sirisena lambasted Cardinal Malcom Ranjith over his call for the government to step down for allegedly failing to ensure an effective investigation.
Sirisena said the cardinal had used the third anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings to launch a politically motivated attacks against him as well as the authorities investigating the attack.
He did not directly name the cardinal, but made it clear that he was referring to Malcolm Ranjith’s politically-charged sermon from the St. Sebastian’s church.
The Cardinal had asked Sirisena to “go home” and also accused him of failing to resist pressure from unnamed powerful countries to allegedly weaken intelligence services.
“If anyone is unhappy about the investigations, they are free to go to court,” Sirisena said adding that those who were accusing were according to a hidden political agenda and was being supported by drug dealers.
In a thinly veiled reference, the President suggested that the cardinal was being backed by a local opposition politician in Negombo who has been accused in parliament of dealing in drugs.
The President challenged the cardinal to a public debate on the current status of the investigation and the measures taken by the authorities to ensure non-recurrence.
He said he had the highest respect for the Pope, but was dismayed by underhand activities of some others he did not name.