SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a statement yesterday, assured an independent commission of inquiry by a future government under his leadership to ascertain those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks.
The full statement of Rajapaksa is as follows.
My attention is drawn to the statement made by the Archdiocese of Colombo and Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on 21 April in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday.
I can understand the deep sadness and pressure faced by him due to the lack of response to the demands made by the relatives of the innocent people who died and were severely injured in the ruthless terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday which shocked the entire nation.
The statement called for the appointment of an independent commission with legal authority to inquire into and bring to justice all those who are responsible for the attack, those who organised and sponsored the attack, those who – through sheer negligence of their duties – allowed the attack to take place, those who did not arrest suspects and allowed arrested suspects to be released.
I firmly believe that the Cardinal is making this appeal not only on behalf of the Catholics who are suffering, but on behalf of all the people of Sri Lanka.
The statement further urged to take all preventive measures to ensure such a catastrophe will not befall Sri Lanka once again.
As a person who was instrumental in wiping out 30 years of brutal terrorism within a short span of three years, I fully understand the gravity of the situation and request the Government to respond to the long overdue and very fair request made by the Cardinal without further delay.
The people of the country are fully aware that, together with the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we defeated terrorism and created a safe and secure nation where people could live without any fear.
I hereby pledge that the request made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith to appoint an independent commission of inquiry will be promptly acted upon by a future government under our leadership and will ensure a country free of terrorism and extremism, so that people may live without fear again.