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Sri Lankan archbishop accuses government of ‘pleasing NGOs’ instead of investigating ‘international conspiracy’

The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith lashed out at the Sri Lankan government and called for its leaders to resign, accusing them of weakening the country’s intelligence services and acting at the behest of “international NGOs”.

The archbishop, an ethnic Sinhalese who has a long history of supporting hardline Sinhala Buddhist figures, said government leaders were not properly investigating the Easter Sunday attacks and “did not care about the international conspiracy against the country”.

“They weakened and demoralized the intelligence services to please their international partners and international NGOs,” he said in a sermon on Sunday.

He also criticised the United Nations, stating "UN representatives ask about human rights and they visit those who are in detention, but not the victims" of the Easter Sunday bombings.

"The current leaders have failed. They have no backbone. They must leave the government and go home," Ranjith said. He went on to add that he had “no faith” in any of the investigative bodies set up by Colombo. “These have been set up to write a script to suit a particular political  party,” he said. “I can’t accept them.”

Last month Ranjith visited a Sinhala Buddhist monk who launched a hunger strike calling for the removal of the senior Muslim politicians from the government. He has also previously spoken out in support of the Buddhist nature of the state and denied that war crimes had been committed by the Sri Lankan military.

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