By Kumar David –
The prospect of imminent anti-Catholic pogroms have abated for now. The government has been so mauled in Geneva, Washington and New York that it seems to have nipped any Gnanasara et al type of threat in the bud. And also the foreign currency, price and shortage crises seem to have eased in the last fortnight thanks to the IMF tipping $600 into the begging bowl. A pogrom is a tool of political distraction to be kept in reserve for some other time of greater crisis. However, quarrels about who killed cock-robin, that is the baffling, mystifying, perplexing and confusing (choose your adjective) who-done-it, who-plotted-it and whose-the-mastermind (if one exists) in the 2019 Easter Bombings, rage on unabated. Detached as possible in the midst of this bewildering puzzle, the following is my objective assessment of the current state of play in the blame game.
* There is no doubt that a jihadist clique, based mainly in the Eastern Province but with contacts in Colombo, provided the foot-soldiers who blew themselves up and churches, hotels and about 200 other folk. However, there is inadequate reason, very inadequate indeed, to suggest that ISIS or any global terrorist outfit had a hand in inciting or planning the Easter Bombings.
* The government, if it is not guilty, directly or indirectly of any involvement prior to the event, is behaving like a right-royal fool from president down. Hiding reports! The idiotic conduct of State Ministers, prosecutors and police investigators is, quite rightly, blamed on the government. If Caesar’s wife behaves like a harlot she cannot enjoy the privilege of being above suspicion.
* Point (b) aside I see no hard, concrete evidence to link GR, MR or the government to the outrage before the blasts. There are raised eyebrows regarding Pissu Sira’s conduct but his characteristic insanity is in evidence mostly after the event and falls into category (b).
* Ranjith is sputtering like a fish out of water. His cardinal assertions are not logically organised.
I have a few more words to say about (c) and (d). Regular readers of column may be a little surprised by (c); perhaps they expect me to accuse the government of any and every conceivable wrongdoing. But because the regime is contemptuous of human and democratic rights, and poses an authoritarian threat to the country, we cannot from that alone conclude that it had a hand in the Easter Bombings. There has to be hard-evidence like eyewitness accounts, documents, phone calls, people who come forward and say “so and so told me this or that” and the metaphorical equivalent of a smoking gun. But there is nothing like that I am aware of and nothing that could even be lead as evidence in an impartial court. Point (c) is true but you can’t hang an accused merely for lurking suspiciously, in the absence of tangible evidence. Why then is the government behaving like a sly and sneaky felon? I don’t know, it beats me; maybe the whole blooming lot are bloody fools! But sneaking around in the aftermath of a crime is not evidence of involvement. Many of you, like me may abhor the regime but no one can deny the reasonable of this statement.
Ranjith is very angry and this is very justified. But his anger is all about (b) and about being treated like a jilted lover – his fondness of the Rajapaksa clan, in particular Mahinda is not hush-hush and has never been denied. If he were saying, as are most people, that the government, its commissions of inquiry, police investigators and roaming naval platoons are making a cockup, he certainly is on terra-firma. But his cardinal illogic is that he confounds it with allegations about a mysterious Mastermind and implied allegation that the regime is covering up for and protecting miscreants. If this were true then it follows that there is substance to (d). But Cardinal Ranjith, if you listen to him carefully distances himself from such an extension. This is plainly irrational, how is it possible for a government to protect culprits, but not itself in some manner and to some degree be involved in the crime? What’s the answer to this part of the circus? Well this one is easier to answer, his Eminence’s colic has got the better of his logic.