EASTER SUN­DAY CAR­NAGE COULD HAVE BEEN AVERTED

IF NOT FOR PARTY POLITICS, COM­MU­NI­CA­TION BREAK­DOWN: BISHOP

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY YOHAN PER­ERA AND AJITH SIRIWARDAN­A

The Easter Sun­day car­nage would have been averted if party politics were over­come and if the com­mu­ni­ca­tion break­down be­tween the Executive, De­fence Es­tab­lish­ments and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials did not oc­cur, Sri Lanka Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence said yes­ter­day.

It is ap­pro­pri­ate to con­vert this dis­as­ter into a turning point

Pres­i­dent of the Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence Bishop Win­ston Fernando ex­pressed this sen­ti­ment at a me­dia con­fer­ence last afternoon.

“It is ap­pro­pri­ate to con­vert this dis­as­ter into a turning point and there by de­vel­op­ing mu­tual trust among the peo­ple of all re­li­gions and ethnic groups in the coun­try,” Bishop Fernando said.

“One must look at the sit­u­a­tion in a pos­i­tive man­ner,” he added.

He said Muslims can­not be blamed for the tragedy as it had been car­ried out by a small group.

Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Bish­ops Con­fer­ence Bishop of Chi­law Valance Mendis said it is es­sen­tial to find out the truth about the Easter Sun­day May­hem.“we need to find who is responsibl­e for it,” he said. He said jus­tice should pre­vail when it comes to the events of Easter Sun­day.

Asked whether the Bish­ops are sat­is­fied on the role played by the

Muslims can­not be blamed for the tragedy as it had been car­ried out by a small group

gov­ern­ment on en­sur­ing the safety af­ter the bomb attacks, Car­di­nal Ran­jith said the gov­ern­ment is try­ing. “We re­quested the gov­ern­ment to search all houses in Negombo but that had not been done. He charged that some who were involved in the clash last Sun­day had taken out swords which they had hid­den in a canal. Also he said the re­quest made by him to close liquor shops in Negombo af­ter the clashes last Sun­day was not heeded by the gov­ern­ment. He said politi­cians should not in­ter­vene to get those who are ar­rested re­leased and to stop search op­er­a­tions.

The Catholic Bish­ops’ Con­fer­ence was held yes­ter­day un­der the pa­tron­age of Colombo’s Arch­bishop His Emi­nence Malcolm Car­di­nal Ran­jith at its head­quar­ters in Borella with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Bish­ops of their re­spec­tive dio­ce­ses. PIC PRADEEP PATHIRANA

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