2 March, 2024

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In Reference To The Channel 4 Documentary Exposing The Perpetrators Of The Easter Sunday Bombing

By Priests and Religious for Peace and Justice, North-East and South

This statement comes in the wake of the release of a documentary by Channel 4, exposing the perpetrators of the Easter Sunday bomb attack in 2019. The documentary has recently drawn the attention of various stakeholders. The Priests and Religious for Justice and Peace, North-East and those in solidarity with them from the South and stand for the cause of the Eelam Tamils express that the unitary state structure would continue to perpetrate violence against the numerically fewer communities especially the Eelam Tamils. The Eelam Tamils have been living in the island affected by the protracted war perpetrated by the state and continue to experience genocide as a historical process due to genocidal policies of the state endorsed by the parliament of the unitary nation-state.

We,  thus, state the following: 

We have witnessed the enthusiasm among the brothers and sisters in the South insisting on the international nature of inquiry needed for the investigation into the crimes committed. The archbishop of Colombo in his press release dated 6th September 2023 emphasised calling for an “ international team assisted by Sri Lankan officials of the CID whose services were originally sought by the government …. [for] free, impartial, just, transparent and broad based investigation into what the Channel 4 Television Network revealed …” and requested the “fellow citizens to focus their attention on the facts that have been spoken of in and through this programmes and our concern is not to find fault with this Channel on its past relationship with this country but the content of their findings which are important for us.” Further to note, “unless such a transparent and sincere investigation is launched, we do not feel that truth and justice will be meted out to the innocent victims of the 2019 Easter attacks.”

We strongly endorse the demands of the Cardinal and sincerely support his plea for holding perpetrators accountable so that the victims have justice meted out. Recongition of the responsibility of the government/state structure in perpetrating the crime is a significant milestone. The government/state structure have  to be held accountable for the crimes it committed on their own citizens as it is their responsibility to protect their own citizens. It is to be noted that the state has a monopoly over the  practice of violence. 

On another note we as Priests and Religious for Justice and Peace, North-East and South would like to emphasise that Channel 4 also released previous  documentaries  on crimes committed in violation of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law which were painted as fabricated and fake but we Eelam Tamils know too well the truth of those crimes as we remain witness to truth and tell the truth to the power. 

We would like to reiterate our demands that there cannot be an international nature of investigation demanded for one documentary released on the Easter Sunday bombing, while completely refuting the truth of the documentaries previously released by the same Channel 4 on crimes perpetrated against Eelam Tamils.  We feel this exposes deeply polarised  understandings of justice and further divides the communities and unravels the hierarchy of victimhood. It is unfair to neglect the emblematic cases that the recent documentary discloses. 

Eelam Tamils have been demanding an international investigation into crimes committed with the deep experiential knowledge and conviction that the Sri Lankan judiciary which is part of the unitary state structure  is deeply flawed and hence it cannot render justice to Eelam Tamils. We would like to state again with emphasis that Eelam Tamils demand international inquiry into genocide, as a historical process which is the crime of the crimes and of which state is responsible and complicit.  Eelam Tamils lost hope in the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism long ago. 

We are also deeply disappointed that the Daily Mirror publication online carried the news titled, ‘Perpetrators behind Easter Sunday attacks can be forgiven: Cardinal’ that reports “Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith over the weekend stressed that the perpetrators behind the Easter Sunday attacks can be forgiven if they accept responsibility and repent.”[1] The statement was supported by citing the example of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. The example and the Cardinal’s statement in the context of the Easter Sunday bombing is quite misleading. The historical context of  South Africa is distinct from that of Sri Lanka. South Africa’s transition of power from the minority rule to allowing universal voting rights for the oppressed majority included a long process of consultation within the country and in designing a Truth and Reconciliation model, they did not eliminate retributive justice but emphasised the need for restorative justice for victims in that specific context, at that time which need to be taken into account of. 

Forgiveness to the perpetrators, if repented without retributive, transformative and restorative justice in Sri Lanka is problematic, for the following reasons:

1. Sri Lanka has a culture of impunity embedded in its nationalistic consciousness justifying the crimes of the military apparatus as a mechanism that; 

a) safeguards the Sinhala-Buddhists, the Sri Lankan citizens,

b) protects the nation and 

c) religion which is Buddhism

2. Impunity sustains militarisation of the island especially in the North-East. As reported the North-East remains heavily militarised, especially the district of Mullaitivu where the last phase of the war was staged. The ratio of militarisation is, for two civilians there is one military personnel.[2]

3. Militarisation continues to perpetrate crimes, and as a result of heavy militarisation, Tamil women are the worst affected demographic.

4. The culture of impunity has become an intrinsic characteristic of unitary state structure.

5. Sri Lanka’s unitary state structure continues to construct the ‘Other’ who are non-Sinhala-Buddhists, as the non-chosen.

6. Forgiveness cannot be compromised for justice because it is not a substitute for justice. 

Victims of state violence are not a monolithic group in Sri Lanka. Treating victims as a homogenous group is to have all the victims on the same pedestal which is deeply problematic. The portrayal of victims as passive victims shows  “having power over” is problematic for they are the agents of transformation and are entitled to ethics of representation. 

We would like to call upon all those who love humanity to uphold peace for which justice is a precursor to work together in bringing justice to the victims of crimes without any discrimination. 

[1] Yohan Perera ‘Perpetrators behind Easter Sunday attacks can be forgiven: Cardinal’ Daily Mirror (11 September 2023) available at: <https://www.dailymirror.lk/top-story/Perpetrators-behind-Easter-Sunday-attacks-can-be-forgiven-Cardinal/155-267058#:~:text=Archbishop%20of%20Colombo%20Cardinal%20Malcolm,they%20accept%20responsibility%20and%20repent.> 267058#:~:text=Archbishop%20of%20Colombo%20Cardinal%20Malcolm,they%20accept%20responsibility%20and%20repent.

[2] Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research ‘Mapping Militarisation in Mullaitivu’ available at:  <https://adayaalam.org/mapping-militarisation-in-mullaitivu/>.

 

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    A corrupt government joining hands with a genocidal military and kangaroo courts expects victims to wholeheartedly pardon perpetrators for crimes against humanity while the same victims are prevented from commemorating their dead.

    This should be Gota’s one country one Sinhala Bauda Law now followed by Gota’s house servant Ranil.

    • 5
      0

      Bert

      “……………………. while the same victims are prevented from commemorating their dead.”

      Now it appears the law applied is “Tiran’s Law”.
      Jayani Natasha Edirisooriya was arrested on May 28 for defaming Sinhala/Buddhism during her comedy routine and detained for almost 40 days until 06 Jul 2023, released on Rs 100,000 bail.

      On the other hand many threatened with sticks and six of those who physically attacked Selvarasa Gajendran MP were arrested and bailed out on the second day.

      PS
      Tilvin Silva told a press conference that Edirisooriya had “no right to hurt the religious beliefs that are being embodied within hearts of people” and “such actions do not come under the freedom of expression.” Silva denounced the comedian for paving the way for the world to “defame our country.”

      This was echoed the same day by Pubudu Jayagoda, propaganda secretary of the pseudo-left Frontline Socialist Party (FSP). He told that the media that Edirisooriya’s comic routine was “an attack on cultural and religious beliefs of the people who suffering from various issues.… Buddhists thoughts have been hurt.” He claimed the comic was among those who wanted to divide the masses who had united in the last year mass uprising.
      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/07/13/riik-j13.html

  • 7
    0

    Channel 4 did not bring any new truth to our people or our country. It is not a secret that the people of this country chased away Rajapaksa family in 2015 by democratic votes after they claim that only they won the war but people were angry with them because they found they are against to people and country. Unfortunately, people couldn’t find the correct alternatives for the country and they have to be trapped by Rajapaksa family again in 2019 after Easter Bombing. Rajapaksa family again broke the line again within two years and people send them by people revoluion back to hide in barracks and the head ran away from country. It is a good time the so called whistle blowers or brave men who escaped from Rajapaksa family and Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists came out with the truth who was the mastermind behind the Easter Bombing and the murders of Lasntha and other journalists and human rights activists during the Rajapaksa _Ranil _Sirisena regime in the past 15-20 years. Now, people should go for complete change demanding that the whole system of governance and government structures changed to a better country.

    • 3
      6

      ” Now, people should go for complete change demanding that the whole system of governance and government structures changed to a better country.”
      Interesting.
      To change ‘the whole system of governance and government structures’ to ‘ a better country’.
      We must first find a country which we will agree to change for what we have.

  • 3
    0

    Ajith says
    “Now, people should go for complete change demanding that the whole system of governance and government structures changed to a better country.”
    This is what the ‘ARAGALA MOVEMENT’ wanted as well.
    We need to get the legal/law to go after those who create ethnic & religious disturbances [Rulers/ Monks/ politicians].
    We need a new constitution PRIOR to holding any form of elections -presidential/ parliamentary/Provincial.
    We need non-interference with the legal system by the rulers
    We need the ministry of Defence personnels changed completely.
    We need justice to all the victims at the hands of the STATE

    • 3
      5

      “We need justice to all the victims at the hands of the STATE”
      Agree, but what about victims of other killers?

      • 5
        0

        “Agree, but what about victims of other killers?”

        Sure, victims of 1958 riots, victims of 1974 massacre at the World Tamil Research Conference, 1971 killing of nearly 18,000 youth, …. ……. ……. …..

        • 1
          6

          Does not “all the victims at the hands of the STATE” cover your list?
          I pointed to a serious omission, which some people seem shy even to mention.

          • 5
            0

            “”Does not “all the victims at the hands of the STATE” cover your list?””

            A handful of Mao’s b***s carriers still believe SWRD Banda and Siri Mao could do no wrong, hence their selective memories have to be jogged, re-jogged, and re-jogged, ……. until they realise they have been defending crooks, murderers, racists, ……….. female fascists, ….

            • 0
              2

              Has your glass ball not missed something?

              • 4
                0

                “Has your glass ball not missed something?”

                My b***s are alright, will please stop your clanking.

                • 0
                  2

                  Did not realize that you have glass b***s.
                  Not very convenient to look in though!

      • 7
        1

        SJ:
        “but what about victims of other killers?”

        State should be held responsible for that too. The state has a duty to protect its citizens irrespective of race or religion and it failed in its duty to protect its citizens or to bring the criminals to justice.

        • 2
          7

          But then there was parallel government in the N&E for two decades.
          *
          Why are we reluctant to admit guilt on our part for hosting and hailing mass murderers as leaders and liberators?

          • 5
            1

            SJ
            “But then there was parallel government in the N&E for two decades.”

            What happened to this parallel government? Didn’t you kill over 70000 using cluster bombs from China, Pakistan, India and masscred all the surrendered LTTE men which is now under the your military camps etc.Didn’t you rape hundreds of Tamils women? Are you not satisfied with this? Do you want to kill more and more Tamils and rape more and more Tamil women until your thirsty ends?

            • 3
              5

              The parallel government destroyed itself by its suicidal strategies when defeat was staring in their eyes..
              The LTTE’s propaganda machine was giving hope of victory up to the day before the LTTE accepted defeat.
              The strategy was really worse than suicidal as it was murderous for an unwilling public that was dragged along towards almost certain death.
              Do not blame any other for your stupidity.
              *
              As for your questions:
              Didn’t you rape hundreds of Tamils women?
              How could I? My sex life was perhaps not as exciting as yours.
              *
              Are you not satisfied with this?
              With what? Your stupidity? I am not even amused.
              *
              Do you want to kill more and more Tamils and rape more and more Tamil women until your thirsty ends?
              Why should anyone when the LTTE had enabled the armed forces backed by India to do the needful.
              *
              Wake up from your wet dreams.

        • 1
          6

          B
          The state can handle only the part of it, that deals with the ‘other killers’.
          I would not trust any state in these matters. The state represents a class that dominates society.
          Kindly name a few states that have ‘protected its citizens irrespective of race or religion’.
          (I can name only a few, but you may not like the names.)

          • 6
            0

            “Kindly name a few states that have ‘protected its citizens irrespective of race or religion’.
            (I can name only a few, but you may not like the names.)”

            Does the list include China, Cambodia under Pol Pot (and later), Albania, Romania, …. North Korea, … Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, …… ?

            • 1
              5

              Sorry, one cannot include your favourite states however hard you try.

      • 5
        1

        “Agree, but what about victims of other killers?”
        State is recognised as a country that should provide equal treatment to all and the institutions under the state should be answerable to all. State has the power (Judiciary) to punish according to international law to all unlawful killers, and all criminals.

        • 1
          4

          See response to Bert.

  • 7
    0

    The reason that the Rakshapakses considered themselves invinsible and never contemplated losing power was on the pretext that they won the war against the LTTE which was bullshit as the USA, India (like it provided intelligence on the Easter bombings provided intelligence on the LTTE armaments shipments) Pakistan (bankrupt and a good example of the if you live by the sword you die by the sword ie enjoying itself daily the fruits of the terrorists it created to target india and now targetting itself) Israel (terrorist occupiers of Palestinian lands and sold sinhala land paid armaments to LTTE) , Ukraine (facing their Karma), all countries aided the Rajapakses. If sinhala armed forces are so great why sinhala land kow towing to other countries instead of telling the other countries to bugger off!

  • 6
    0

    The Tamil Government in Exile should set up the equivalent of the Simon Wiesanthal Centre to keep detailed records of sinhala land saffron robed thugs, politicians, army personnel etc that have been and are involved in human rights abuses and other abuses against minorities

    • 1
      7

      G
      Rest assured that there will be over a dozen rival Tamil “Simon Wiesanthal Centres” claiming to be the authentic body.

  • 3
    6

    Another attempt to make political capital out this most sorrowful event.

    Soma

    • 5
      2

      soma

      “Another attempt to make political capital out this most sorrowful event.”

      The tragic event itself was the outcome of political machination.

      Seriously, do you agree with the Ranjith the cross dresser’s demand for an International Independent Investigation?

      • 2
        7

        NV
        Machinations of Allah cannot be categorised as ‘political’.
        .
        International investigation? If you are prepared to waste your time and money why would I worry?

        Soma

        • 7
          0

          soma

          “International investigation? If you are prepared to waste your time and money why would I worry?”

          Forget other people’s time and money, are you in principle ready to let an thorough international probe into all the crimes that had been perpetrated by your politicians and armed forces?

          If you are how about your saffron patriots, Gamanpilla, Weerawansa, Weerasekera, ….. ?

    • 6
      1

      Soma:
      Cut that F’King Sinhala Bauda Crap. This cry is for justice not vengeance or political gain.

      • 5
        1

        Bert

        “Cut that F’King Sinhala Bauda Crap. “

        Having had his distant cousin M K Stalin’s rice, soma has been ponderously recovering from his gloom and doom mental state. Note how fit he is.
        Well done soma.

  • 3
    1

    Three commissions of inquiry already brought out the facts. They have been known. There is nothing new in this so called Channel 4 expose. The main brains behind the organization of this attack are Gota and Sirisena. Their main overseers are Nilantha Jayawardhana and Salley. Under them worked a cohort of so called military intelligence officials but really the scum of the earth. This lot upon the recommendations of the three commissions need to be arrested and prosecuted. But this will never happen. There are two patterns of behaviour that cements the guilt and identifies the two main culprits. Sirisena in how he blocked investigation of Saharan before the incident (Namal Kumara conspiracy) and Gota in how he sabotaged the investigation after the bombs went off and he got himself elected president illegally(US Citizen while handing over nominations). (Arrest of Shani Abeysekera etc..) This whole country is full of nasty moronic people who are uninterested in the truth. Their only focus is to get rich quick.

  • 3
    1

    Among the cohort of get rich quick scoundrels are quite a big chunk of senior Catholic clergy. You can definitly count several bishops and one Cardinal among them. Also involved are a plethora of Buddhist monks who need to be forcfully dealt with but that too will never happen. It is one of these monks athana methana rathana a millionaire businessmen who wears robes to make deals that one cardinal took his ques from immediately after the incident that the one responsible for this whole sordid affair was RW. He then broadcasted this view to the grieving and unsuspecting victims. The cardinal of the catholic church hated RW as did Rathana because RW never tolerated the likes of these two corrupt yakkos. The culture of impunity stems from unbridled greed. It extends to the clergy as well. Neither the public nor the writers of the above article will ever realize level of rot that infests Sri Lanka. This rot began with the racism in the Bandaranaike era. Now it is completely out of control. Can anyone put the genie back in the bottle and reform society? How can one reform a society that does not wish to be reformed?

    • 3
      3

      “This rot began with the racism in the Bandaranaike era.”
      What were the Kochchikade riot in late 19th Century and the 1915 riots about?
      SB racism started a little earlier than that.
      Much later, but before 1956, the UNP housed.

      • 5
        0

        “Much later, but before 1956, the UNP housed.”

        Since SWRD Banda could do no wrong he is not responsible for 1958 riots, …. Sinhala only language policy, ….

        Perhaps UNP had its hidden hand.

        • 1
          4

          You can be desperately pathetic, and you are.
          Have you still not seen the doctor?

      • 4
        1

        “Much later, but before 1956, the UNP housed.”
        where was SWRD housed before 1956?

        • 0
          3

          For once, read the relevant comments.

    • 4
      0

      Thiha
      ”How can one reform a society that does not wish to be reformed?”
      Good question. We have blind followers with blind loyalty, happy to be in denial. We accept corruption, injustice & lack of law & order as normal way of life in SL. We are happy to vote for thugs, murderers, uneducated yobs & hypocrites over & over again. So, what is reform? The genii can never be put back in the bottle. It has multiplied.

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