Colombo, May 6 (Daily Mirror): The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said on Monday that some trouble makers are using the Easter Sunday suicide attacks to foment Christian-Muslim clashes and pave the way for foreign intervention.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has appealed to the media not to cover searches going on in relation to the Easter Sunday blasts as these premature reports are endangering innocent people.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that cash amounting LKR 140 million and assets worth LKR 7 billion have been discovered in raids on the premises of terror suspects.
The CID has already suspended these bank accounts, the police spokesperson said
During a raid at a house in Thalapitiya, Galle police have arrested a person along with over 1000 clothes similar to uniforms of the tri-forces and the Sri Lanka Civil Security Force.
Gunasekara said 54 suspects including 7 women arrested in connection with the attacks are currently in custody of the CID, while 19 suspects are held by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).
Referring to the communal clashes in Negombo last Sunday, the Cardinal said that they were the work of several outsiders who had entered Negombo to create unrest between the Sinhalese and the Muslims.
Cardinal Ranjith told a press conference that the said outsiders inebriated the residents in the area and provoked them into violence.
“I request the government to close all liquor shops in vulnerable areas. These forces are trying to create unrest in Sri Lanka to pave the way for external interference. Some forces are trying to provoke people and create religious unrest. The clash in Negombo is a perfect example for this. Those who are behind it are outsiders. They are attempting to create unrest among the Sinhalese and the Muslims. I ask all Catholics not to raise their hands against Muslims as they are not behind these destructive efforts. It had been done by a group of individuals who had gone astray. They are backed by some international forces. We don’t have to harm innocent Muslims because of this group,” he said.
Cardinal Ranjith said no one should jump into conclusions without knowing the real facts. He said some were using social media to mislead people.
“People supported the police and the security forces to carry out search operations since the Easter Sunday tragedy. We appreciate the patience of the people,” Cardinal Ranjith said while appealing to the Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus not to get agitated but to help maintain peace in the country.
“I appeal to people to continue to support the security forces. I request the Catholics to live according to the teachings of Jesus and pray for the country.
President’s Request To Media
A request not to telecast search operations at houses and public places through media has been made to President Maithripala Sirisena by several persons.
Clear instructions have been given to the security forces to not allow the participation of civilians when conducting search operations and that they have to be conducted exclusively by the members of the security forces.
At the present, a special security program has been implemented across the country, as per instructed by the President and under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Defense, following the unexpected and regrettable incidents of violence on the Easter Sunday.
Under this process, investigations are carried out continuously and houses, public places, and vehicles are inspected.
As a result of unwarranted media publicity for these investigations, various communities in the society are facing difficulties and persons who are not involved in terrorist activities in any way face great inconveniences as the society has deemed them as terrorists.
Various sections of the society, including religious leaders, have made requests to the President with regard to this several times. Considering those requests, in order to prevent any further inconveniences to any community in the society, the Government has requested all the media institutions not to conduct media coverage on these search operation