Crime & Justice

Sri Lanka remembers 2019 Easter bombing victims

Colombo, Apr 21 (EFE).- Thousands of Catholics on Friday gathered for human chains and a memorial mass in Sri Lanka in memory of the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday serial bombings, in which 269 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

On this occasion, members of the minority community highlighted the continuing lack of justice for the victims.

“Has appropriate action been taken over Easter Sunday attack?” “stop hoodwinking the public,” and “find the mastermind of the Easter attack,” were some of the slogans chanted by the demonstrators – dressed in black and white – in Colombo and other cities.

Four years after the coordinated bombings, in which attackers simultaneously targeted three churches and three luxury hotels, the Church leadership continues to demand justice over the authorities’ inability to prevent the attacks.

“It is likely that there was a political motive behind the Easter attack because despite receiving four warnings from Indian Intelligence, no action was taken to stop the attacks.” Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, the leader of the island nation’s Catholic community, told the gathering in the memorial mass at St Anthony’s church, the site of one of the explosions.

In January, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court ordered former president Maithripala Sirisena and four other high officials to compensate the victims for failing to prevent the attacks despite receiving warnings from intelligence agencies.

“Investigations on the Easter Sunday attack are incomplete,” Ranjith insisted.

Although the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State terror group and attributed by the police to local Islamist group Thowheed Jamaat, the Church has alleged a political conspiracy behind the bombings in recent years.

The attacks triggered a wave of violence against Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority and became a central element in the victory of now ousted ex president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who came to power on a campaign promising better security. However, his mishandling of a severe economic crisis led to a movement that forced him to resign from the presidency last year. EFE


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