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His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo

Ester Sunday carnage could have been averted: Bishop

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.

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 thereby 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 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 under a canal. Also, he said the request made by him to close liquor shops in Negombo after the clashes on 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. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)

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