Sri Lanka’s President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, lashed out during an interview with Deutsche Welle when asked for a response to serious concerns raised by the Channel 4 documentary on the Easter Sunday bombings and the need for an international investigation.
The Channel 4 documentary alleged that senior Sri Lankan government and military figures played a role in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings which killed over 250 people. When questioned on this documentary, Sri Lanka’s president criticised the interview for raising the question and maintained that there would be a parliamentary investigation into the matter.
“You take a piece of paper from the cardinal and your holding it over me. Have you spoken to the bishop’s conference? You have no right to ask me this question” Wickremesinghe maintained.
He further attacked the interviewer of “trying to corner him”.
Wickremesinghe slammed the prospect of an international investigation claiming that the “Sri Lankan government does not have international investigation”.
Wickremesinghe further alleged that numerous intelligence agencies, including the US, Indian, and Pakistani, have reported that there was no outside involvement in the attacks.
The DW interviewer cast doubt on Sri Lanka’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation and listed a litany of domestic commissions which failed to produce results, including the Lessons learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the Office of Missing persons. He notes that it is in this context that the Sri Lankan government has proposed a new Truth and Reconciliation Comission.
He further detailed that in the US, 12 representatives from Congress, from across the political aisle, have called on the Biden administration to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to curb its continued abuses.
When questioned on the dismal UN Human Rights Council report, which noted the lack of progress on accountability, Wickremesinghe outright rejected its findings.
The interview’s last questioned noted the growing international concern that Sri Lanka has failed to deliver on accountability and justice. Wickremesinghe claimed this was bunk and that Sri Lanka was continuing to work with the international community.