By Kumar David –
Believe me my column today is not intended to accuse anybody, not the government, not the armed forces, not Muslim religious bodies (the looney bomb-throwers excepted), not Buddhist extremist, not self-flagellating Catholics and not even the Man-in-the-Moon, for the 2019 Easter Sunday bombing. My bottom line is that I am flummoxed, confused and as bewildered as a sightless man blindfolded on the darkest night, about ‘who dunnit’, ‘why dunnit’, who cover up and why cover up!! What in pluperfect hades is going on?
Let me start with an email from someone who is as perplexed as I am.
I trust you are aware of the incident where Navy personnel from the Welisara Camp visited several churches in the area warning priests that there could be an attack on churches similar to the Easter Sunday attack and to take suitable precautionary measures. Subsequently, when the Church made a fuss and demanded an investigation the Navy Commander apologized and said that it was a mistake (sic!). The Minister of Law & Order stated that this was a routine exercise (sic! sic!) and there was nothing to worry about.
Pl see the article by Mr. Tassie Seneviratne in the Sunday Times dated October 17. Then just weeks ago the Police visited several Temples and warned Buddhist Priest that there could be an Easter Sunday style attack on the temples and to make their own security arrangements. A complaint was made to the IGP by Ven Hadigalle Wimalasiri thera on Oct 4 demanding an investigation but nothing has been done. Coming colours are not good.
Is the government behind these visits? Is Gota up to some pranks? If so for what conceivable reason? It simply makes no sense to say the government or the president are the culprits who instigated these intrusions. What for, why? I cannot, however hard I try to WD-40 my rusty brain, think of a possible reason. Are some political forces setting up the navy and police to go around spreading fear – the Greens, some disgruntled section of the Blues? If so investigators would have been on them within minutes. Obviously the sailors and policemen who went on these rounds have been grilled like pickpockets, so why no explanation. Saying “sorry” without telling people why this muddle happened only heaps more suspicion on the state. Who is being covered-up!? If it’s a cover-up it must be somebody hugely more important than Pissu Sira. It’s trashing the reputation of the government internationally, so if it’s a cover-up it has to be a person of the stature of a President, a Prime Minister or a very high religious prelate. But such a possibility sounds weird. More important there is as yet not one shred of leaked information pointing in any of these directions. Are the Chinese, the CIA, maybe RAW or Vladimir Putin the lead suspects? Oh come on, that’s lunacy that even Sri Lanka hasn’t reached.
While the authorities dilly-dally, international pressure is rising like a tidal wave. A petition is being circulated in Australia (“Secure Justice for Victims of the Easter Sunday Bomb Attacks in Sri Lanka”) and is winning a lot of support. A webinar about a week ago reached an international audience of maybe thousands and even Cardinal Ranjit sat-in for part of the time. A petition like the Australian one is to be launched in Europe and will reach the UNHRC Commissioner and the UN Secretary General – both Catholics. And the Pope, it is rumoured, is having a fit atop his Vatican Throne.
Why doesn’t the government instead of floundering like a fish out of water release all inquiry reports in full and adopt a 100% transparent policy? Why does Gota say in public that he “Dare not release all the reports”? Has everybody gone mad?