23 June, 2024


Time For Truth To Come Out 

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

The Channel 4 documentary that claims to give the story behind the Easter bombing has restarted the debate within the country about who was behind the foul deed and why. The answer is not proving to be simple. It has become the subject of anger, threat and controversy. The identities of the suicide bombers and their victims are known. Eight suicide bombers died. 269 innocent people also died. All of the bombers were Muslim. Some of them were highly educated and came from prosperous families. They would not have wished to sacrifice their lives except for a cause they believed in as being of the utmost importance. The identity of the victims is also known. Most of them were Catholic, both Sinhala and Tamil, and 45 were foreigners. The victims also included a large number of children including the three children of Scotland’s largest landowner. 

By any means this was an international crime deserving of an international inquiry and international justice. The creators of the Channel 4 documentary make the storyline one that shows a conspiracy hatched to make those who had formerly ruled the country stage a comeback by undermining the government that was in power at that time. The Easter bombing which highlighted the weakness in the country’s system of national security paved the way for former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to win the presidential elections that were held seven months later. The Channel 4 documentary has accounts by whistleblowers seeking asylum in foreign countries which claim that sections of the country’s intelligence apparatus conspired with the suicide bombers to create the conditions on the ground for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to win the elections.

Those accused of this heinous crime, and others, have pointed out the illogic of stating that the suicide bombers would have sacrificed their lives to help President Gotabaya Rajapaksa win the elections. The Muslims of Sri Lanka could not have wanted him to win the presidential elections and become all powerful as they had experienced major anti-Muslim riots during his tenure as defense secretary in the government of his brother President Mahinda Rajapaksa. A similar process of reasoning would also eliminate the possibility that the suicide bombers would, on their own volition, have chosen to target the Catholic and Christian communities when there was no history of enmity between them and the Muslims in Sri Lanka. If they had wanted to target any community it might have been the Buddhists, sections of whom have on many occasions rioted against them led by Buddhist monks. It has to be therefore an external “master mind” who was behind those attacks.

Failed Investigations  

The total surprise element in the bomb attacks meant that for at least two months after the bombings there was a sense of panic in the country, particularly in its urban areas. The meticulous planning that led to the six synchronized suicide attacks suggested an infrastructure that even the LTTE, which waged war for thirty years against the government, had not possessed to launch such simultaneous and coordinated attacks. In the face of this realization, the sense of crisis among the people continued for long after the bomb attacks, especially those of the Christian community but also including the others, that they might be the next victims. The most likely possessor of such a diabolical infrastructure was believed to be the ISIS that was then bombing targets in Europe and the Middle East. But after the dust settled and the government changed, the ISIS showed no interest nor did they reappear in the country in any form.

During the past four years since that day of carnage, the government has carried out several investigations. Soon after the bombing, on May 22, 2019, the Speaker appointed a Select Committee of Parliament which presented its report on 23 October 2019. But as could be imagined, with a multiplicity of political parties represented in the parliamentary select committee, there was difficulty and impossibility in coming to consensual findings. Subsequently, on 22 September 2019, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a presidential commission of investigation headed by a judge of the Supreme Court   It made voluminous findings after painstaking inquiries and handed in its report on February 1, 2021 which the government did not release to the general public and even to the churches that demanded the full report. In the meantime, the police investigations that followed took a turn for the worse with some of the top police investigators being accused of violations of law in other unrelated areas and one of them even fleeing the country alleging persecution. The voice of this investigator is to be heard on the Channel 4 documentary.

The search for truth and accountability in Sri Lanka extend beyond the Easter bombing. Since 1971 Sri Lanka has faced periods of mass violence where truth and accountability have remained hidden. In the period 1988 to 1989 an insurrection took place in the country in which an unknown number of people, numbering in the tens of thousands, died or went missing. The survivors of those insurrections and their families still harbor memory and hope that truth and justice will emerge, though it has not for the past four decades. The civil war that ended in 2009 left even more victims, both dead and missing, and the memories and hopes continue to burn within their family members and the larger communities for truth and justice. 

Rebuild Trust 

Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been one of a handful of countries being questioned at the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. For a brief period between 2015 and 2018, Sri Lanka agreed to cooperate with the UN resolutions and there were favourable references to the country. But once again Sri Lanka appears to be back in the doghouse. The UN High Commissioner has stated at the most recent UNHRC session last week that lack of accountability is at the core of the problems the country faces. In addition to issues of serious human rights violations and crimes during the time of war, the UN system has now added the Easter bombing and the cause of the sudden economic collapse to their list of matters to be investigated as crimes against the people that need to be investigated and subjected to the tests of truth and accountability. 

The main problem of governance in Sri Lanka today is the absence of trust which it needs to rebuild. It appears that the people do not trust the government and the government does not trust the people. For there to be trust there needs to be transparency and truth. Due to the loss of confidence in the government due to the repeated failure of investigations it has undertaken to obtain the truth, any further government investigation into the Easter bombing will not be taken seriously by the people who see it as a time-buying exercise. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a committee of investigation headed by a retired supreme court judge and has stated his intention to appoint a parliamentary select committee to investigate the allegation by the former Attorney General that there was a mastermind behind the attacks. The president has also said that upon completion of these two investigations the reports will be presented to parliament for a final decision regarding how to proceed from there on. 

Alas, President Wickremesinghe’s recent proposals appear to be similar to those already implemented without success. It is the failure to identify those who were behind the attack, take them before the law and hold them accountable through the previous national inquiries that has given rise to the continuing demands, mainly by the Catholic Church and also by the families of victims, for an international inquiry to obtain truth and justice. Following the Channel 4 disclosures Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has also called for investigations with international support. In the face of formidable forces arraigned against the truth coming out, he is being courageous in stating clearly that a credible investigation is required to clear the doubts so that we will know if the Easter bombings were indeed terrorist attacks or a diabolical move to get people into power. The opposition leader also pointed to the irony of the president who replaced the president ousted by the Aragalaya protest movement continuing on the same path.

The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights has urged the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct a comprehensive follow-up investigation that is independent, transparent, and inclusive, with international support and active involvement of the victims and their representatives, such as the Catholic church. The UN demand corresponds to the demand of the Tamil people for the truth about the fate of tens of thousands who died or went missing in the course of the civil war. The only rational conclusion one would arrive at is that those who are involved in the issues do not wish to have the truth out. Investigations with international participation could help to convince the Sri Lankan people, victims and the international community about the government’s genuine intentions to ensure accountability and justice for the victims, not only of the Easter bombing but also of the war and the economic collapse. As an additional benefit it could also minimize international condemnations and sanctions that will be detrimental to the country at a time when it requires maximum international assistance.

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Latest comments

  • 11

    Fear not! He has great discipline and morals from time immemorial! …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC3TyfSPOYI …….. Together with his protector and mentor Ranil …… are sure to bring out the truth. … They are nothing but the truth personified!

    Is there any reason to doubt them?

    Culled from the comments for the clip ……. Wesa Balla Toge Ammata …… Thige Ammata hu….piya …….. Vnaya thakagana hitapan maye amma ……

    Just when I was thinking, no one could top Native Vedda for cuss words ……

    • 8

      Unfit even as member of Parliament and even a messenger!!!???
      The infantile idiot is making depraved statement and in effect questioning our Intelligence and maturity!!!
      Bes t we the voters realised it now and not after electing the Idiot!!!???
      He is complaining about ‘Gamarala’ YAPA Sorrysena, but fails to realise he will see the real culprit on if he makes that speech in ‘front of MIRROR’!!!???
      What for the Telling!!!???

      • 7

        Please amend.
        Please accept my sincere APOLOGIES!

    • 7

      nimal fernando

      “Just when I was thinking, no one could top Native Vedda for cuss words ……”

      Most people deserve it for their incompetence, dishonesty, NIMBYness (not in my back yard), whinging, distorted world view, complacency, do as I say, not as I do, tolerating all the human rights violations, ………………………….. and million of other things, especially praising and justifying psychopaths.

    • 7

      Another visionary leader similar to Ranil ………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whRN-CJZDr0

  • 5

    It looks as though
    you have provided a link to the Channel 4 video in the very firs phrase of your article. I clicked and it looks complicated; it may be one has even to pay.
    Please tell us whether these 47 minutes constitute the entire video:
    It’s available for free,
    and I originally gave it here on the 17th:
    Article by Sarath de Alwis.
    Is the video that you have directed us to any better than that; I doubt it.
    With all your experience, haven’t you yet learnt how to get to the heart of the matter directly. I’m sorry that this is rather a rude comment, but you guys make a living out of all this. I don’t. and I’m very poor, and live a pretty hum drum life.
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 4831111444V)


    • 2

      This, surely is an important and significant statement by Professor G. l. Peiris. Sinhalese, 25 minutes.:

      Postponing Local Government was serious. but postponing Presidential Elections will be inestimably worse:
      G.L bolsters his arguments with promises that j.R. Jayawardena had made about how the President’s unlimited powers will be over with thee end of his term. Let other lawyers discuss this, but on the Law there is absolutely nobody who can speak with greater authority than G.L.
      He my not, obviously, be in the best position to advise us how to push Ranil out. The Unions will obvously be important, but strikes are difficult to manage, I’ve got tickets to board a train for Colombo in a couple of hours. If the trains don’t run? Think out the results!
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

  • 4

    Part I
    “It has become — subject of ANGER, THREAT AND CONTROVERSY. The identities of the suicide bombers (SB) and their victims are known. Eight SB’s died. 269 innocent also died. All SB’s Muslim.
    Some —– HIGHLY EDUCATED and — from PROSPEROUS FAMILIES. They wouldn’t have —— — sacrifice — –except for “A CAUSE” they “BELIEVED” in— — — UTMOST IMPORTANCE.”
    Why not??? That’s Bordering, CONTEMPT at REVELATIONS, at whom “FINGER HAS BEEN POINTED” Responsible for “Dastardly Act” or Masterminds (MM)!!?? They may well consequentially (revelation proved) losing “their life-long aspirational ambits” may be thrust by their ‘FILIAL RIGHT’ Propagating “family bandyism” !!?? ‘WAILING’ in ‘Print and Electronic’ Media – adducing C4 (Messenger) revelation & Information thereof, ‘HISTORICAL CONTEMPT or ‘REVULSION’ of ‘FAMILY ANOINTING’ PROMOTION to PRIMACY both aspirants – “Uncle and Baby”!!!??? Not yet PROVED but IF, PROVED/VALIDATED, likely lose, ‘Doomed Forever’, from Public life!!??
    Therefore, Contemplation, with very Serious Consequences, to NURTURED positions, since 2004!!?? Pity is in my thoughts as should be to any in that situation!!!???
    LASTLY, NOT LEAST Comprehensive, Compelling contribution to CT!!!?? If permitted, ‘RAISE NOW’?

  • 4

    (Part II)
    Example, FDI during 2009 to 2014, declined due threats by unknown caller, whilst they dine at Taj Samudra, 5-Star Hotels – Prospective Investors to study Investment site, FIRST-HAND!!!???
    May be and in all probability an ‘Oversight’ – “RUSHING TO PRINT”!!!???
    Perhaps now, would like to hear JP’s STUDIED, ERUDITE OBSERVATION on that subject of “CONSEQUENTIAL THREAT”, as a Point of ATTRIBUTABLE Motive”!!!???
    Though the MM, His Masters Voice (HMV) exclusively has been well declared ATTRIBUTE, being in Malaysia or SL being immaterial and have proved their “Mettle” in capturing and dealing on the phone well and with adequate ‘THRUST, FORCE, RESULT and EFFECT!!!???
    If JP doesn’t want to go down that path, that too is acceptable and welcome – because we don’t want him to the actor to replicate Keith Noyahr, in these turbulent times faced by our resplendent isle!!!???
    We are Intelligent, enlightened by C4 and not least CT – draw our ‘studied, informed’ view and THEREFROM CONCLUSIONS!!!??? Hope SL Rural Voters are equally enabled!!?

  • 1

    If some claim that why a Muslims sacrifices lives needs for a Sinhalese’s to come as president, The reason that the past president did not want to remand or punish the zaharan group after so many complain attack happene and made the blast happened so that from this blast use it to become president, voter to fraud has taken place. Bad message for future Is the Assad Moulana wrong.

  • 1

    Gehan Perera:

    “If [the suicide bombers] had wanted to target any community it might have been the Buddhists [not the Catholic community, with whom the Muslims of Sri Lanka had no history of enmity]. It has to be therefore an external ‘master mind’ who was behind those attacks.”

    First, Gehan should explain to us how you persuade a bunch of Islamic jihadis to kill a group of people whom they did not hate while killing themselves and helping a group of Sinhala politicians whom they did hate to come to power in the process. Second, is he not aware that in their farewell video statement, Zahran explains why they were going to target Christians churches: To avenge the massacre of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch mosques in New Zealand on March 15, 2019 ?

    Here’s the link to the video


    • 0

      Additionally, according to the ideology of IS, which Zahran and his group followed, the Crusades, a series of medieval military expeditions made by Europeans to the Holy Land in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, never ended. IS teaches that the western countries that oppose them are the modern-day Crusaders, with whom they are waging war, from which they would ultimately emerge victorious. They are now battling against what they consider to be the final crusade of the end times. IS also hold that Christians everywhere are legitimate target for them by their association with the religion of the Crusaders.

    • 4

      “First, Gehan should explain to us how you persuade a bunch of Islamic jihadis to kill a group of people whom they did not hate while killing themselves and helping a group of Sinhala politicians whom they did hate to come to power in the process. Second, is he not aware that in their farewell video statement, Zahran explains why they were going to target Christians churches: To avenge the massacre of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch mosques in New Zealand on March 15, 2019 ?”

      There is enough evidence to show that Gota had a good relationship with Saharan for long period before Easter Bombing. The non action of Gota even though lots of Muslims complained about Terror activities of Saharan is a well known fact. Similarly, a large number of abductions, murders by Pilliyan and Karuna including the murder of Lasntha was done by the order of Gota. Gota and Ali-Sabri both involved with sending of Karuna to UK with fake deploamatic passport is well known fact with evidence of UK govt. So many evidence there to proof Saharan, Pilliyan, Karuna were paid by Gota.

    • 0

      This guy Jehan is not living in this world. He doesn’t know his history, geography or politics. A man equipped with very poor logic. It is time someone teach him on history and present day status of Islamic Christian animosity and resulting bloodshed throughout human history. That we worship idols is only a laughing matter to Muslims – not a cause of intense hatred. In this world of free communication Muslims live with pain observing how Middle East is plundered, bloodshed on Islamic land , how their holy books are ridiculed etc.etc..
      Ask him to get some education.


      • 3


        “This guy Jehan is not living in this world. He doesn’t know his history, geography or politics. A man equipped with very poor logic.”

        So were/are 6.9 million who voted for a Sinhala/Buddhist candidate. Obviously you too would have voted for him because from time to time you too escape to your own planet.

        “That we worship idols is only a laughing matter to Muslims – not a cause of intense hatred.”

        What is the Black Stone of Kaaba?

        Yesterday Prasanna Ranathunge disclosed he is married to a Tamil.It was perhaps a model “love Jihad” during the 1980s, concurring Tamils.

        “……….. Islamic Christian animosity and resulting bloodshed throughout human history.”

        How about Budhist/Muslim animosities in Burma and Sri Lanka?

        “In this world of free communication Muslims live with pain observing how Middle East is plundered, bloodshed on Islamic land , how their holy books are ridiculed etc.etc….. “

        He is probably at pains to watch how Sri Lankan treasury is being plundered by crooks, regular bloodshed, how the precious libraries of the land were burned down, … and yet no one paid the price.

        Hindians provided accurate intelligence to the authorities. How did Hindian come to know about the places and exact date and time?

        You too have to start living on earth.

        Otherwise how is life?
        Make yourself happy. Have more ***.

  • 10

    Again, an article that is arty farty and wishy washy. It is as if the writer is keen to move the debate away from the main accused; the poxes and they proxies. According to him, its unlikely that fanatic Islamists would want to kill themselves to enable an anti-Muslim man to become president! What bunkum! Suicide bombings in the way the fanatics carried them out are only for heavenly glory and eternal life in heaven with their creator. Surely Jehan cannot apply rational thoughts for the motives of these fanatics? How does he explain the long list of actions the governments then and after the Nov 2019 elections took, to cover up the many clues and evidence? The immediate transfer of the CID investigators; the whisking away of key witnesses or suspects; the erasing of all phone and laptop data of very senior policemen; the deliberate ignoring of all international warnings that included times and dates; the disappearances of key witnesses and assassinations of circumstantial witnesses; the hiding of commission report segments that point the finger at the ones who made it happen, financed them, and communicated with the terrorists; the guilt of the masterminds is written all over their recent statements denying complicity etc. Yet, this fellow writes as if in a trance or stupor. That too is tragic!

  • 8

    Truth is well known but Action is nil. Accountability never.
    It is a well known fact with evidence that Tamils were killed in 1958 and Tamil businesses were burnt in 1958. What was the legal action taken against those who did it? Nil.
    1981, Jaffna library was burnt. Every ne knows who burnt it but what was the legal action taken against them? Nil.
    In 1981, 53 Tamil prisoners were killed inside the prision. What was the legal action taken? Nil.
    In 1977, Hundreds of Tamils were butchered. What legal action was taken against murderers? Nil
    1983, Thousands of Tamils were killed and hundreds of business were burnt. What legal action taken? Nil
    A number of Journalists, Human Rights activists, Professionals including Lasantha was murdered but what legal action taken? Nil.
    It is very simple and easy to put everything under the name of LTTE Terrorists or NTJ Terrorists but Sinhala military is always pure buddhist deciples. Not a single bullet came from LTTE since they silenced their guns in 2009 but this country turned into a bankgruptcy

  • 7

    “…even the LTTE, which waged war for thirty years against the government, had not possessed to launch such simultaneous and coordinated attacks.”
    The author is comparing bananas and sausages.
    The LTTE could conduct its attacks one at a time or several at a time at varying intervals. It could afford the ‘predictability” of its attacks as its targets were varied and could be chosen at will.
    Had there been an hour’s pause between the first Easter bomb and the second there would have been only one scene of tragedy.

  • 3

    Dear Readers: Look at this> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbZXoVQ68el

    The above interview is given by Ravi Seneviratne who was the Chief of CID – the Head of the team that investigated the attack. In this, he leaves some unanswered questions that MUST be investigated. The “C4” has added further information that never came to the hands of the CID. It is interesting to know from him that the “Chief” Govt. Intelligence (Suresh Sally) was reported to the Judiciary for withholding/preventing the ongoing investigations by the CID and was “REPRIMANDED” Did you all know that up to now? Who were identified by the IP addresses (two) provided by the FBI? One was “SONIC” – SI Bandara and the other belonged to a “Muslim” in the State Intelligence. Shouldn’t they be arrested and questioned.? Some more remains to be questioned.

    I see above another link where one “Professor” who wrote a book on this attack is being interviewed.

    If I remember correctly this “Professor” was fined CA $ 50,000.00 in Canada and had been “Discredited” both in UK and Australia. So what “Credibility” does he carry to write on “Terrorist” attacks? Could he be a “Hired Professor” to write a “Book” just like that of “Gota’s War”?

  • 1

    the author says why would the mulim bombers want gota to be the preisdent.

    why did prabhaharan want mahinda to be the president instead of ranil .

    the aauthor says why target catholics instead of bhuddhists.

    The bombers new that if bhuddhists died then many muslims will die and all muslim businesses will be destroyed.The muslims will then curse the bombers.Also ISIS chief enemy is the christians and it was to be a message to the west about the mosque killings in NZ.If you kill ours we kill yours.

  • 1

    Mahinda was internationally hated but Ranil was/is liked by the West to dance to their tune. Unlike Ranil, it was easy to Tackle Mahinda with international assistance for LTTE. Not only Ranil but the UNP as a whole from DS Senanayake’s time.

    • 2

      “it was easy to Tackle Mahinda with international assistance for LTTE.”
      Will LTTE fans like the revelation “international assistance for LTTE”?

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