Bishop Keerthisiri Fernando
On 21st April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital Colombo, were targeted in a series of co-ordinated Islamist suicide bombings. Later that day, there were smaller explosions at a housing complex in Dematogoda and a guest house in Dehiwal. A total of 267 people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals, three police officers, and eight bombers, and at least 500 were injured.
Following these Easter bombings and continuing unrest[i] the Anglican Church of Ceylon, with support from the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations, has called for urgent action from the Human Rights Council.[ii]
Bishop Keerthisiri is quoted in ‘The Morning’ newspaper, Sri Lanka 25th September 2021:
‘While demanding for justice to be served to the victims of the Easter Sunday Attacks, his Eminence Bishop Keerthisiri Fernando, Bishop for Kurunegala of the Church of Ceylon stated that a growing tendency to spread racial and ethnic tensions is seen in the country.
“It is quite evident that once again there is a growing tendency in Sri Lanka to create tensions amongst communities based on their religion and their ethnicities. This is a dangerous threat, and this threat is rising while investigations are still ongoing. We have a feeling this is just another distraction,” he stated.
He further went on to quote Nelson Mandela saying, “If a person comes into power by creating a crisis, he will be destroyed by a crisis,”
Bishop Keerthisiri concluded by stating that the Government is pretending to investigate into the matter, whereas the people are not satisfied with the investigations as it is not taking place efficiently.
Additionally, Bishop Fernando reminded the people that despite it being two years since the attacks, no justice has prevailed.’[iii]
1st October 2021