6 December, 2021

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‘Sonic’ Sallay On The Warpath: Reprisals Begin Against Catholic Priests Demanding Justice For Easter Attacks

The head of the State Intelligence Service Major General Suresh Sallay has lodged an official complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department, demanding criminal proceedings against Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, a Catholic priest who has been at the forefront of a global campaign to demand justice for victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.

The complaint marks the first public reprisal against the Catholic clergy in Sri Lanka. However, Colombo Telegraph learns that the SIS had already deployed officers to infiltrate Catholic parishes in Sri Lanka. The intelligence agency is also using paid informants to observe and report on the movements of prominent members of the Catholic clergy. Sources told Colombo Telegraph that ever since the Cardinal and his band of priests made it clear that they suspect a hidden political hand behind the Easter terror attacks, the SIS has placed the mobile telephones of leading clergymen under direct surveillance.

Colombo Telegraph learns that the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Administration’s Pegasus surveillance operation has also targeted Catholic priests and other community leaders, as accusations against the Government have mounted from this quarter.

Remarkably, protests are erupting worldwide, with Sri Lanka’s Christian diaspora and Catholic clergy taking to the streets demanding action against the true perpetrators of the 2019 Easter bombings. Two and half years have passed since the terror attacks that killed 269 people. The attacks propelled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power on pledges that he would strengthen national security and deliver justice to the victims.

In October 2021, two well-attended webinars were held by the Global Forum for Justice for Easter Sunday victims. Both events were chaired by the head of the Catholic church in Sri Lanka, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. At the first webinar, Father Cyril Gamini Fernando was seated beside the Cardinal as he made a lengthy presentation regarding questions, doubts and facts pertaining to the Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019.

His remarks appear to have irked Sallay, who featured prominently in the presentation. Father Cyril Gamini pointed out that the NTJ and Zaharan Hashim who is believed to have led the terror cell, had been intelligence operatives nurtured by the Directorate of Military Operations led by then Brigadier Suresh Sallay until 2015. The NTJ’s links to state intelligence agencies is well established. For years, these links to intelligence prompted law enforcement agencies and intelligence officers to ignore repeated warnings from the Muslim community in areas like Kattankudy about the extremist tenor of Zaharan’s preaching and the activities of the NTJ. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa famously admitted in 2019 that his Government had paid NTJ for intelligence.

In his complaint to the CID, Major General Sallay vehemently denied allegations about his handling of Zahran Hashim and noted that the objective of the priest’s claims was to mislead the public, tarnish his reputation and put him and his family in harm’s way. Sallay says he never communicated with Zahran Hashim or his followers. He has demanded that the CID institutes legal action against Father Cyril Gamini Fernando as well as others who attended the online forum.

Maj. General Suresh Sallay served as head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence between 2006-2016. [Image Source: www.army.lk]

In both his keynote addresses during the webinars, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith pitched into President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Government, accusing the administration of a high-level cover up after gaining politically from the bombings. The Cardinal claimed that throughout history, Sri Lankan politicians have sowed violence and turbulence between communities to win power. He accused the President of picking and choosing whom to prosecute and investigate over the attacks. The Cardinal fully endorsed the lecture by Father Fernando, and answered several questions from participants pertaining to the presentation.

At the second webinar held on October 24, Cardinal Ranjith read out excerpts from a handwritten letter delivered to him from His Holiness Pope Francis. The letter was written in Italian, and contained messages of solidarity, support and concern over the facts pertaining to the Easter Sunday bombings as revealed to the Vatican by the Sri Lanka priests and his own Papal Envoy in Colombo.

The Cardinal read out relevant excerpts from Pope Francis, which stated: “Cardinal Bagnasco has handed over to me your letter of last August 24 in which you explained to me about the ugly situation and that the reality of April 21, 2019, remains without clarity to the public. Also in the last few days, a message has arrived from the nunciature in which the same facts were recounted. I promise to pray more and remain ready to do whatever you consider opportune. Tomorrow I will speak with the secretary of state about it,” the letter said. “Please count on me and indicate what would be best to be done from here,” Pope Francis’ letter said.

Maj.Gen Suresh Sallay has been in the spotlight in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks, after SJB MP Harin Fernando famously exposed the existence of an individual code-named “Sonic-Sonic” in communications between the Easter Sunday bombers. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and his brother priests are demanding that the Government investigate allegations swirling about an entity called “Sonic” and probe links exposed at the Presidential Commission on the Easter attacks between the terrorists and Sri Lankan state intelligence officials. MP Fernando’s remarks in Parliament enraged the SIS Chief, who ordered his immediate arrest. Fernando escaped prolonged detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act because he was hospitalized suddenly with a cardiac ailment. Subsequent to his release from hospital MP Fernando’s home was raided by the police in breach of his parliamentary privilege.

Questions have been raised regarding Sallay’s intrusions into investigations into the terror attacks, including his “updates” about the probe to the Attorney General and efforts to guide the CID investigations. Sallay has also met members of the Catholic clergy to “clarify” matters regarding the current investigations into the bombings.

Colombo Telegraph also learns that Major General Sallay, who has tremendous influence within the security establishment, is also behind the 18-month effort to link attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah to the Easter Sunday bombings to satiate a personal grudge against the incarcerated lawyer.

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Latest comments

  • 58
    2

    Rajapaksas have unleashed their Buddhist racist rabid dogs and female canines against Christians now.

    All this just because they demand justice for the victims of Gota’s 2019 terrorist attack (election trick).

    • 29
      1

      It seems the Cardinal is not holding back now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok6GdEwjtqQ

      Better watch out ……… the Rajapakses are very capable of turning this into a bloodbath against the Catholics.

      • 11
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        • 2
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          Eagle ‘Dumbo’ Eye, brilliant comment and thanks for keeping it brief.

      • 11
        1

        Did you mean another bloodbath?

        Rajapaksas started killing Catholics since 2011 Chilaw, 2012 Katunayake, 2013 Rathupaswala and 2019 multiple churches.

    • 9
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    • 3
      20

      GATAM,
      “Rajapaksas have unleashed their Buddhist racist rabid dogs and female canines against Christians now.
      —-
      Please do not drag Buddhists into a problem that exist between Muslims and Catholics because Buddhists have nothing to do with terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims.

      • 9
        1

        EE,

        1. The mastermind is a Buddhist.
        ………………………..
        2. BBS G-Sara is also mentioned in the presidential reporting into the 4/21 attack. He is a Buddhist monk.
        ……………………………………
        3. Whenever anyone asks for justice for 4/21 it is only Buddhist racists who get excited. Muslims are silent! Why is that?
        …………………………….
        4. This is not an isolated incident in SL. Similar things happen in Myanmar, etc.
        ……………………………..
        5. BBS G-Sara invited the Myanmar Buddhist who is branded a war criminal by many countries to SL in 2014.

        • 0
          0

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          • 0
            0

            Now, You Mahila have monopolised the Latest Comments section, – a record previously held by SJ! Congrats!!

      • 0
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      • 0
        0

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      • 0
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        EE
        None is dragging the Buddhist into this Muslim/Catholic episode
        The issue is appears to be between Catholics who were attending Easter Sunday mass and principally the suicide bombers who happened to be followers of Islamic faith on Easter Sunday Mass held at various Catholic and non-Catholic church congregations about 2 ½ years ago which is agreed a Catholic Muslim issue no doubt.
        The underlying causes for this occurrence as detailed at various times, including the fact, that the planning, training and funding of the purported terrorists headed by Zahran has been by State funds of SL.
        This gives a slightly different slant to the motives and desired outcomes and the lack of a proper legal enquiry by the SIS – purported financier and CID, under the control, the SIS, is concerning to many affected by this unfortunate episode. The government of Sri Lanka is not influenced at all, or if so only superficially, by Catholics or Muslims.
        Attorney general’s silence and the Presidential election pledge to hold this enquiry as assured at election is compounding as to whether this is a cover up by the government, which is predominantly Sinhala Buddhist 6.9 million voters as claimed by the government!.

  • 28
    1

    I was surprised to see a news item that the new Bishop of Kandy, Valence Mendis called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on 20 October 2021 after his appointment. The photograph appears on the PMO website https://www.pmoffice.gov.lk/news.php?para=bG5nPUVOJmNhdD1OZXdzJmlkPU4wMDAwMDAwMDE0MyZwYWdlPTE%3D

    This has never happened before. Is he one of those in the Catholic hierarchy “kade yanavaa” for the Rajapakses.

    • 22
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      MR was always close to Malcolm R what with Shiranthi being in the flock. Bur the Cardinal is changing his stance because MR is never considered the MasterMind , and he has no allegiance now to this MM.

    • 2
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      Jayasiri Samarakoon,
      MR was an ardent supporter all the way through, even before he became a Malcolm R became Cardinal.
      In Fact, It is firmly believed that MR and Shiranthi R, gave their blessing and recommendations (implied) at the audience with the Pope Post 2009 war or around that time being concluded.
      This is a family connection Mahendra R and Malcolm R because Shiranthi is a staunch Catholic an undeniable and indelible Fact

    • 1
      0

      Hi
      Jayasiri Samarakoon,
      MR was an ardent supporter all the way through, even before Malcolm R became Cardinal.
      It is believed that MR and Shiranthi R, gave their blessing and recommendations (implied) alongwith Cardinal Malcolm (Then Arch Bishop) at the audience they had with the Pope as President and First Lady during 2010-2014 Presidency, stating that, they (MR and Shiranthi in chorus) “would like to have a Cardinal in Sri Lanka”!
      This is a family connection President Mahinda R and Cardinal Malcolm R because Shiranthi is a born and staunch Catholic an undeniable and indelible Fact.

  • 32
    1

    It is time for Buddhist Monks, Islamic Priests and Hindu Clergies unite together demanding to find the truth who was the real master mind in the Easter Bombing. It is impossible to get the truth unless Buddhist Monks to save the Buddhism and Buddhist Sinhala. The “Easter Bombing” is a real challenge to Buddhist Philosophy. No one should allow to mis use or mis interpret Buddhist philosophy for their personal benefits. It is a habit of governments whether it is SLFP (SLPP) or UNP(SJB) to cover up each others crimes because they mis use Buddhism to divide this country and people. There is nothing equal to justice.

    • 10
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      • 8
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        Why this kunu harapan Eagle keeps writing BS but all get rejected. What a lost case and still believes there is a country called SL. He is fed well by Aussie tax payers so he goes on. I will prefer to use him as a Chinese organic manure to further ruin SL

      • 5
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        Eagle ‘Dumbo’ Eye, brilliant comment and thanks for keeping it brief.

    • 10
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    • 6
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    • 5
      1

      They don’t misuse Buddhism to cover up crimes.
      They use Buddhism to cover up crimes.

      Burma, Cambodia, Laos, etc. Same thing.

  • 28
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    It appears Rajapaksas have decided to solely depend on China for their (Lanka’s) existence. Now they are against Christians, Church, Muslims, Tamils and all Non Buddhist to earn the wrath of entire world except China. Soon those single digit countries who supported Lanka in Geneva, will find it difficult to justify supporting Lanka anymore. A country like Philippines or any other country especially the Pope had visited will not go against his direction. Keep digging, deeper the better.

    • 2
      2

      chiv

      dont forget russia,the second strongest military power in the world.It is conducting naval operations with the chinese to show their solidarity.China+russia+iran is always what you should look at,not china only.Anyway economic power is more critical than military,though both are important.Economic war fare now is the first preference for all countries to bully the other one,while flexing their military muscle but being careful not to use it because the world economy will come down like a pack of cards or a pyramid scheme because of the intertwining world economy.

      economically china +russia+iran(let us say the axis powers)= USA+japan+UK+Australia(let us call them the Allied powers).

      sri lanka if it does join the axis powers will still be able to survive i think,but will have to shift its economy away from the heavy reliance on the allied powers which is a very big task for it and it should tread very carefully in order not be bring economic catastrophe in the short to mediem term.

  • 5
    3

    Ajith ,

    The majority voters that may even include all communities are attracted to personal
    preferences than a common or national objective . This attitude is one area that
    all politicians are exploiting instead of trying to correct it . Correcting such situations
    are also a big challenge that no one wants to take . That is one reason in my view ,
    why J V P is lagging behind the rest . What this would mean is , unless people of all
    hues want to Genuinely focus on building a better nation through a better
    understanding of how hard it is , nothing tangible could be achieved . And the
    complete opposite could happen with their failure to do so . I read somewhere this :
    ” If you try to correct Fools , Fools will start to hate you . ” It looks , our politicians
    know this Mantra !

  • 13
    1

    Please see the following for more information.
    “Maj. Gen. Salley files CID complaint against Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini
    Zulfick Farzan, NEWS FIRST, Colombo, 25 Oct 2021″
    AND
    “Church wants Ex-SIS Director prosecuted
    By Buddhika Samaraweera, THE MORNING, 25/10/21

  • 7
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  • 6
    1

    Happy that Cardinal is taking a leadership role to protect his flock. Some may say he is doing politics, but it is not. Gnasara is the bloke doing politics and offering wandibatta service with no shame and no respect to yellow robes.

  • 6
    1

    Why is this fellow Suresh Sallay getting all excited about this? What does he have to fear, about an allegation (or more appropriately, an insinuation) if he has had nothing to do with that heinous crime?

    I can tell you this, though: If I were the head of military intelligence, now promoted to head of state intelligence services, I would go to my boss and demand a free hand to investigate this cowardly act. If my boss refuses, or asks me to bugger off, I would hang my head in shame, resign from my position and take ‘polidol’ and die, for allowing this humungous tragedy to fester un-investigated for more than 2 1/2 years.

    • 1
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      Part II
      Once court martialed the truth could be elicited.
      Why, What, When, How?
      What was his fears/concerns, if any, to discharge the duty he was hired for and installed by HE, under 20th amendment, which he pleaded with “Fines Nihil”!!
      Nandasena Gotabaya Shouted from every “tree top” in the country, he could climb and muster a crowd (there was no dearth of crowd, because of the self-claimed victor of Nandikadal and 1st American to contest as President of SL).
      Emphasised he wanted to retire and get back to the US and that SL National Security concern was the prime and sole perspective, for which he is contesting the Presidency and the reason and necessity for the 20th amendment and otherwise Sri Lankan sovereignty would be jeopardized and as such one of the 1st appointments was that of Sally as HoSIS!!!!
      Blistering Joker indeed, they have lied through their teeth to the 6.9 million and fool them selling the “Sinhala Buddhist” card to grab the Crown!!!
      To release his compatriots in crime from the prisons and court cases by commissions and Pardons!
      My question is “Are Sri Lankans so naive and foolish to accept this Californian Tom Foolery”?

    • 1
      0

      Part I
      Easton Scott,
      Sonic Sonic, Head of SIS (HoSIS) is a shameless Nincompoop. To be ashamed of what?
      To be insinuated or defamed, as alleged by him SS must have residual fame! He has none!!
      If he was of a person of repute and integrity, that is different, but he is not. Did not discharge or attempt to do so at the least done nothing to safeguard his integrity as Officer and Gentleman!!!
      Without “Residual Fame and integrity” it is not possible to be defamed’! Is it not simple logic?
      I agree with you, he didn’t have the gumption, conviction of mind or purity of intent as HoSIS. If he did, no need not to have waited on the sidelines doing nothing but “twiddle his Thumbs”, – 2.5 years!
      Instead of commencing investigations waited silently as de facto accomplice or for whatever reason on the sidelines without clearing his name? He should have gone ahead and completed the enquiry as the HoSIS – that was part of President Nandasena’s 2019 election pledge and 6.9 M elected!!
      Why wait? Fear of Self-incrimination or else what?
      My view, SS should be court-martialed, for “Dereliction of Duty of the National Interest and Security

  • 4
    1

    EE and their other avatars are keeping their comments very short.

    Thank you EE for keeping it short.

    Hope Rajapaksa rule will be as short.

  • 2
    4

    This theory that a Sinhala politician had direct contact with Allah or paid money to someone to preach Islam to Zaharan and condition him to commit suicide with the whole family and relatives deserves a Noble nomination.

    Soma

    • 5
      0

      The theory of a Master Mind is not Nobel Prize level. We below that.
      These scoundrels who have sucked SL dry by looting the entire citizenry without any qualms – every cent they amassed is from even the poorest.
      Nirupama (US$162M) is at level 4 but imagine the higher levels.
      ……”direct contact with Allah or paid money to someone to preach Islam to Zaharan and condition him to commit suicide”……… is well within their bounds.
      Not Allah (praise be to HIM) but these villains will intercourse with even Satan to get power and money.

      • 0
        3

        Myview
        Are you ready for the next question:
        Who is the Mastermind behind the Mastermind?

        Soma

        • 2
          0

          Dear Soma.
          Are you trying to trap me to put something in the public domain so that I will be the next in line after Father Cyril Gamini, at the interrogation queue.
          Sometimes, one does not want to hear the unpalatable.
          Knowing people know – Danno danithi.

    • 5
      1

      Soma,
      I see that you have (carefully?) recommended a “Noble” for this politician. Perhaps you should recommend a NOBEL for the chairman of the One country One law commission, the Venereal Gandasara Hamuduruwo.

      • 0
        6

        Old codger
        This Noble to be shared between the Hamuduwo and the one who appointed him.

        Soma

        • 1
          0

          Noble thought indeed for the Noble

    • 6
      2

      soman

      I am afraid day by day, your mental faculty is rapidly deteriorating, I suspect your ability to communicate is diminishing. The ability to communicate (language) sets homo sapiens apart from all other animals.

      I am yet to see the difference in this island.

      • 1
        7

        NV
        “I am yet to see the difference in this island.”
        No hope until Sun God worshippers find another object to offer pujas.

        Soma

        • 5
          0

          Somooooooooooo, all the sun god worshippers coolies are working for your handler.

        • 3
          0

          You mean that all Politician worshippers?
          Confined to Thirupathy, or all enveloping?

      • 1
        5

        Native Vedda, do you remember the 1962 Catholic coup? During the Sirima Bandaranayaka period?

        • 3
          0

          N. Pererass

          “Native Vedda, do you remember the 1962 Catholic coup? During the Sirima Bandaranayaka period?”

          Should I remember it?
          The one I remember is a Sinhala/Buddhist Govi coup by Mahinda and his b***s carriers that took place on 28 October 2018.

          I wonder why Hopper Sirisena didn’t sent Mahinda to count the number of grains in a large sack of rice.

    • 2
      0

      Soma,

      Who paid Zaharan from the defence ministry taxpayer money to get radicalized with BS, buy bombs?

      They used the same fund to pay for BBS too.

      MR and GR.

      Both MR and Keheliya accepted it.

    • 4
      0

      soman

      “……………………… Zaharan and condition him to commit suicide with the whole family and relatives deserves a Noble nomination.”

      Don’t waste all your chances of nominating anyone for Nobel Prize.
      You should nominate the saffron clad thug Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara for one.
      I wish him well.

    • 0
      0

      Hi Soma,
      Good Morning.
      Confusion – “Sinhala Politician and Islamic Terror on Catholics and pleading to Allah”!
      Story has a different “tilt” or connotation was perhaps “necessary to escape suspicion”!
      Sinhala politician did not and could not have direct contact with Allah. Whether felt inadequate in meeting the 7 virgins on offer, as part of the Deal, was the reason or not, for the diversion, I am not aware and therefore will leave it out of my submission!!
      The politician, instead used another “Intermediary or Medium” to access and plead his case to Almighty Allah for his merciful intervention!!!
      No not at all, your premise is incorrect, politician could not use the usual legal luminary, who has been successful in all his past endeavours to plead, but not in this case, which has to be special and different!!!
      Therefore a Muslim Malay, who had always sworn allegiance to him without reservation was chosen for this inculcation – for Taming the invincible Zahran and his team to ensure compliance and successful execution of project and plead to Allah.
      So goes the story. True or not Time will tell, when the AG comes out of slumber and benumbed limbs start functioning!!!!!

  • 2
    0

    According to the above news coverage, it is clear that Sonic Salley wanted to defend himself and no one is there in the government to defend him. One could predict that, when the international pressure mounts to name the mastermind behind the bombing, the MR family may turn the card in their favour and use the sonic as a scapegoat to divert the blame game. Thanks for the article.

  • 1
    2

    Either this is staged drama or the freemasons are turning on each other.
    All the religious leaders in SL along with all politicians are illuminati (freemasons).
    Many players both local and foreign were involved in the Easter attacks.

  • 2
    0

    Sampath Sam ,

    Many know that politics is Trash in many countries . That in mind , this Easter attack
    may turn to any side but neutrally thinking , Racism as the trump card and the cheap
    behaviour of Yahapalanaya + Bond Scam + the fraud allegations of MARA & Co going
    real crap , all these alone would have been enough for MARA come back ! Racist card
    is the most powerful election win that was time and again exploited by all sides and
    to be precise , SLFP led coalitions fully depended on it and did anything for it . No
    argument necessary . A dangerous and reckless weapon against the minority with an
    Anti West tone gold-plated on top !

  • 0
    0

    “The attacks propelled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power on pledges that he would strengthen national security and deliver justice to the victims.”

    quite a co incidence that it came just before the elections.Let us see what could have happenned if it did not happen at that time.gota’s vote may have come down by 10% and sajith’s vote may have gone up by 10%.So instead of gota getting 52 % and sajit 42% it could have been gota 47% and sajit 46% ,a neck and neck contest as everyone including me expected at that time,resulting in a second round with only these 2 candidates.The outcome then would have been decided by those who voted for anura kumara 3% and the others 2.5%.Assuming out of the others 1% vote for gota and 1% vote for sajit and .5 % dont vote at all,the tally becomes gota 48% and sajit 47%.It is anura kumara’s voters that become cruciaal here.If the 3.16% who voted for him vote for sajit because anura kumara asks them to as he definitely would have after he and sajit talk to each other,then sajit would have become the president.So whoever planned the bombings did it to stop sajit from becoming the president and for gota to become the president.Coincidence in politics is not coincidence at all.

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