EU envoy: Ethiopian leadership vowed to 'wipe out' Tigrayans    Palestinians cancel deal for near-expired COVID vaccines from Israel    EU threatens Lebanese politicians with sanctions over crisis    Brazil still debating dubious virus drug amid 500,000 deaths    Biden promotes milestone of 300M vaccine shots in 150 days    Early header secures 1-0 win for Argentina against Uruguay    Hardline judge Raisi leads in Iranian presidential election, says official    LIVE: Esperance (Tunisia) v Ahly (Egypt) (African Champions League semis)    Portugal defender Dias says demanding season motivated him for Euros    'Ethiopia stabbed Sudan in the back with GERD's first filling': Sudanese FM    Egypt's central bank holds interest rates for fifth straight month amid global price spike    Egypt's first electric car Nasr E70: manufacturer, specs, photos, price    Egypt, UNFPA discuss boosting cooperation towards achieving Vision 2030    Egypt's General Intelligence chief meets top Libyan officials in Tripoli    South Korea organises forum on Egypt's tax, customs reforms    AfDB approves €83m loan to Egypt's Electricity,Green Growth Programme    Air Canada launches non-stop year-round service from Montreal to Cairo    Egypt contributes largely to peacekeeping, peacebuilding across world: Elena Panova    Egyptian technical teams, reconstruction equipment continue to flow into Gaza    Egypt's Al-Sisi orders humanitarian aid to Lebanon    UEFA asks Euro 2020 teams to stop removing sponsor bottles    Huawei announces establishment of CNCC to develop smart solutions for enterprises    Egypt will not allow anyone to harm its water rights: ECSS    Ever Given Ship insurer in 'serious and constructive negotiations' with Egypt over compensation    UNFPA Egypt announces actress Amina Khalil as honorary ambassador %    Egypt, WHO discuss approval for domestically produced COVID-19 vaccine    Egypt inaugurates 4th batch of 'Start your Dream' workshop    Ethiopia rejects Arab League resolution supporting Egypt, Sudan on GERD issue    Europe understands aspects of Ethiopian dam issue: Shoukry    Netherlands battle Austria for group lead in Euro 2020    Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 11th Euro goal beating previous record    Zamalek face Aswan in Egyptian Premier League    Cairo Opera's hall showcases first exhibition of Egyptian artist Sherif Nashed    Researchers warn of Ethiopian dam's impacts on Egypt's agriculture, economy    Egypt's Taliaa Theatre to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2022    Egyptian Ramadan series 'Leabet Newton' receives certificate of appreciation    Egyptian filmmaker Sameh Alaa selected for Cannes short films' jury    Don't miss Sudanese singer Asia Madani's concert at Cervantes Institute    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    Egypt is on short list of partner countries for U.S. COVID-19 vaccines: embassy    Russia to resume charter flights to Egypt resorts in the coming days    Biden administration to send surplus U.S. COVID-19 vaccines to Egypt, several countries    Russia expects to resume charter flights to Egypt resorts in near future    Egypt's Sisi announces allocation of $500 million for reconstruction in war-wrecked Gaza    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Sri Lanka arrests top Muslim leader over 2019 Easter attacks
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 04 - 2021

Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested a prominent Muslim lawmaker and his brother over suspected connections to the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in 2019 that killed 269 people.
Rishad Bathiudeen is a former Cabinet minister who currently leads an opposition party in Sri Lanka's Parliament. He and his brother, Reyaj Bathiudeen, were arrested in the capital for 'aiding and abetting the suicide bombers who committed the Easter Sunday carnage,' said police spokesman Ajith Rohana. He said the brothers have not yet been officially charged but were arrested based on direct evidence, as well as what he called circumstantial and 'scientific' evidence.
Two local Muslim groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group have been blamed for the six near-simultaneous blasts at two Roman Catholic churches, a Protestant church and three tourist hotels. Both Muslims and Catholics are minorities in Sri Lanka, where Buddhists make up 70% of the population.
Before his arrest Saturday, Bathiudeen wrote on Facebook that police were standing outside his house 'since 1:30 a.m. today attempting to arrest me without a charge. ... They have already arrested my brother. I have been in Parliament, and have cooperated with all lawful authorities until now. This is unjust'.
The arrests came amid growing demands for justice by Sri Lanka's Catholic leaders and community, including during a commemoration held Wednesday on the second anniversary of the attacks. Last month, Sri Lankan Catholics also attended Mass dressed in black and held placards in a silent 'Black Sunday' protest.
Most of the people connected to the groups accused of carrying out the attacks have been arrested, but Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has insisted the bombings couldn't have been planned by the leader who committed suicide in one of the attacks.
The government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who came to power later in 2019 after promising to determine the truth behind the attacks, is under pressure to find the mastermind.
His government accused an Islamic cleric arrested soon after the attacks of being the organizer, but the claim has not been accepted by the Catholic Church, which suspects there was larger foreign involvement.
Ranjith, the archbishop, has said a presidential commission that investigated the attacks focused on failures by those in political power at the time to prevent the bombings, instead of on finding the people who were directly responsible.
A power struggle between the then-president and prime minister, which led to a communications breakdown and a resulting lapse in security coordination, is said to have enabled the attacks, which occurred despite prior foreign intelligence warnings.
The Muslim community in Sri Lanka has disowned the attackers and did not allow their bodies to be buried in its cemeteries to show their actions are not part of Islam.


Clic here to read the story from its source.