On the 21st of April, Sri Lanka witnessed one of the most horrific bombings since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.
Coordinated bomb attacks on worshippers attending Easter services at churches and other places across Sri Lanka were said to be the work of a yet to be identified terrorist group. Killing 290 people and injuring close to 500 people across the island Country, this terror attack left people reeling with shock and anger.
Among the people who died were several Americans, a Japanese, British citizens and five Indians. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday, while some senior members of the Government knew an attack was coming, the relevant officials didn’t do anything to create a counter plan.
As worshippers gathered to attend church services on Easter, blasts shook through two hotels and two churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa at 8:45 A.M., on the 21st of April. According to the officials, the bombers struck three five star hotels, including the Shangri La, and a banquet hall in Colombo.
While six out of the eight attacks were carried out between 8:45 A.M., and 9:30 A.M., the seventh attack took place at around 1:45 P.M., at the New Tropical Inn in Dehiwala. The final blast took place at 2:15 P.M., in Dematagoda. The eighth blast took place when a team of officials went searching for the bombers to a house in Dematagoda. Most of these attacks were suicide bombings.
While no terrorist group has taken responsibility for the actions, there are several theories floating about why the attacks happened. According to some theories, the bombings could be a result of terrorist groups working against the government or against foriegners in Sri Lanka. Another speculation is, these attacks are somehow linked to the upcoming 10 year anniversary of the end of the Civil War in Sri Lanka.
In an attempt to prevent misleading news from spreading, the Sri Lankan Government blocked social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. A country wide curfew was imposed and countries like Japan have issued a safety warning to people living in Sri Lanka, asking them to stay indoors and avoid visiting churches.
So far, 24 Sri Lankan residents have been arrested in relation to the bombings. With so many lives lost and so many people wounded, this rise in terror seems to be a violence of the kind which is barbaric and brutal in every way possible.
Stay tuned for more updates.