Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka – more than 200 killed

The death toll in the multiple bomb attacks against Christian targets in Sri Lanka is now over 200.

Already prominent on Twitter are complaints that because Christians were the target the media has been ‘silent’.

Obviously CNN haven’t been silent. It was the lead on 1 News last night (not long after the attacks occurred) –

– and leading ‘Today’s Top Stories’:

Lead news on other New Zealand media sites:

RNZ:

Stuff:

NZ Herald:

Only Newshub has a more prominent story – promoting their own programme about ‘stars’ that hardly anyone has heard of dancing, but they also cover the Sri Lankan attacks:

Some useful information here:

I’m so shook about what is happening in Sri Lanka, I’m not sure what to do. I’ve just been sitting here staring at Twitter like a helpless goof. I thought I would provide just a snapshot of the country for people unfamiliar:

Sri Lanka is massively ethno-religiously complex and a lot of reporting is likely to get it wrong.

Of the 20-22 million people in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese comprise the majority ethnic group, with 74%. They are predominately Buddhist and speak Sinhala.

The Tamil community in Sri Lanka is made up of Sri Lankan Tamils (12.6 percent) and Indian Tamils (5.6 percent), most of whom are Hindu, but with a significant number of Christians (mostly Catholic). They speak Tamil.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka make up about 7 percent of the population. They speak Tamil, but don’t see themselves as ETHNICALLY Tamil. This has put the community in the crosshairs of many militant groups on all sides.

There have been rumours of Muslims in the country being radicalized and groups being funded by KSA/gulf states since at least the early 90s (including the group that is being linked to this attack). And it has been used as an excuse to preemptively attack Muslim communities

With this attack, the target selection doesn’t seem to point to Buddhist extremists (not sure what they would get out of killing tourists).

I would also be very careful using certain media sources out of India, random Facebook pages, and even some Sri Lankan media outlets and government officials as the sole source of info.

 

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59 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  22nd April 2019

    Àre Muslim extremists far right or far left?

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  22nd April 2019

    It was breaking news on tv1’s 1news at 6 last night & returned to for an update later in the bulletin. At that stage little was known, & the last update I think referred to something like 200 injured & 55 killed so far. No claim of responsibility had been made then & I wondered immediately if this was payback for Christchurch.

    Reply
    • I think that bomb attacks like that would take quite a bit of time to plan and organise.

      If someone claims responsibility they may cite Christchurch, but there has been a civil war in Sri Lanka and they have had a long history of terrorism.

      Terrorism in Sri Lanka has been a highly destructive phenomenon during the periods of Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009) and first and second JVP Insurrections (1971 and 1987–89).

      Sri Lanka is a country that has experienced some of the worst known acts of modern terrorism, such as suicide bombings, massacres of civilians and assassination of political and social leaders, that posed a significant threat to the society, economy and development of the country.

      Terrorism found in Sri Lanka can be mainly categorized in to ethno-nationalist terrorism, left wing terrorism and state terrorism. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are mainly accused of the destruction caused by terrorism in the country.

      The 2019 Sri Lanka bombings were the first acts of terrorism that occurred after the end of the civil war in 2009; eight explosions on Easter Sunday 2019 April 21 [93] (Kochchikade Church, Katuwapitiya Church, Church in Batticaloa, Shangrila Hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel) 200 confirmed deaths, More than 300 injured and hospitalized. The reason or the group behind it is still unknown

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Sri_Lanka

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  22nd April 2019

        Terrorism found in Sri Lanka can be mainly categorized in to ethno-nationalist terrorism, left wing terrorism and state terrorism.

        From your content above. That’s been my understanding of the terrorist attacks. This one, on the fsce of it, with what’s being reported so far, seems to have specifically targeted Christians & foreigners.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  22nd April 2019

          *past terrorist attacks

          Reply
        • I have added a useful Twitter thread to the post on the ethnic and religious situation in Sri Lanka.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  22nd April 2019

            Cheers. And I’v only just spotted Missy’s report in today’s World View, which adds a little bit to the puzzle as I haven’t read all the posted news items yet.

            Missy / April 22, 2019
            Sri Lanka bomb attack update:

            It is being reported that 207 are dead in the multiple bomb attacks targeting christians and tourists this morning.

            There is still no reports of anyone claiming responsibility, however, Sri Lanka police have arrested 7 people in connection to the attacks. AFP have seen documents in which the Police Chief issued an intelligent alert 10 days ago warning that suicide bombers planned on targeting prominent churches. The alert said that a foreign intelligence agency reported that “NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,”. The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka.

            Reply
            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              Speculation: It may not necessarily or primarily be a reprisal for Christchurch, but more an imitation of the methods to publicise their pernicious ideology, based on what they assess was an effective PR job by an ideological competitor on March 15.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Yes, obviously it is speculation – but there was a discussion here the other day about the threat level here being likely to still be being assessed as quite high because – although obviously it would be impolitic & insensitive to say so publicly at the present time – the threat of a retaliatory attack by a radical Jihadist against some similarly unsuspecting & defenceless target would undoubtedly be something Western security & intelligence agencies would on the alert for.

              A suggestion was made that Canada & Australia might be the most likely targets.

              I took the view that such an attack, if it did happen, would probably be a fairly high risk in Australia, but otherwise any country where there were vulnerable foreigners – especially white Westerners – could just as likely be a target.

              As this attack was unfolding, & being sketchily reported on the 6 pm telly news, & hearing that foreigners were among those targeted, the thought went through my mind: “OMG – is this a retaliatory attack?”

              I knew I wouldn’t be the only one wondering that. And I also knew we:
              1. We won’t know until more information is known
              2. If a Jihadist group claims that it was, unless it is a specific local group whose members explicitly state that it was, we won’t know for sure anyway. If ISIS just comes out later & claims that it was, retaliation Chch, for example, unless they show good evidence that it was ordered or coordinated by them in advance, they are likely just being dishonest opportunists, hoping to inspire others to do the same – as always.

              I haven’t caught up with the latest news yet. As far as I know, no one has yet claimed it was retaliation for the attack in Christchurch, so I’m assuming it wasn’t.

            • harryk

               /  22nd April 2019

              ‘a foreign intelligence agency reported that ..”

              Sue them. The information should have been released directly to the public and not just to counterparts in Colombo. Protection of sources and methods is the usual excuse for this type of obstinate secrecy. Sometimes you have to go with the public interest, sacrifice a well placed source and get him/her and family to safety. Then tell the public asap. If it’s a false alarm, so what. Better than what just happened.

      • harryk

         /  22nd April 2019

        The propaganda releases of both IS and AQ since Christchurch, some of which I’ve previously referred to citing analyst Tore Hamming, have made it clear they want revenge attacks and the strategic reasons why. I’ve also mentioned that important dates and anniversaries have in the past been used to stage violent events, and that the first anniversary of Christchurch will see tight security.

        I’ve also decried the lack of transparency Govts show toward the public in sharing information. In part, that was the cause of so many deaths in Bali 2002. The same reluctance to trust the public has been a factor in this latest crime against humanity. Sue them.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  22nd April 2019

    It will be interesting to note ”IF” a Muslim group claims responsibility whether they will mention New Zealand and retaliation in their press release. If not, Western countries will still have to maintain a high alert status.

    On gun laws in Sri Lanka ( who needs a gun?), things seem to be a little vague. This is what a native Sri Lankan has to say:

    https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-buy-a-gun-Sri-Lanka

    Reply
  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  22nd April 2019

    Will the Burj Khalifa have Cross projected on it as an act of solidarity? I doubt it…

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  22nd April 2019

      Isnt that ‘virtue signaling ‘ , something you despise.

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  22nd April 2019

        Dont be a dick Duker. Its highlighting hypocrisy. And you’ve jumped right in and confirmed you couldn’t care less that Christians continue to be targeted around the world… all funded by the Gulf States and Saudi money….

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  22nd April 2019

          There’s wuite a mixture of Nationalities, so, likely, religions, & the vast majority of the dead & injured are Sri Lankans, according to Al Jazeera. So, your comparison isn’t really apt. Possibly, for a more apt comparison, you should be asking whether the UN HQ building in New York will be showing a picture of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister consoling grieving relatives of the victims. But at least everyone is sending thoughts and prayers. That always helps stop this sort of thing.

          Reply
  5. Stefan Molyneux trying to stir up crap again.

    If he tries to come to New Zealand to speak I will speak more strongly against him.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd April 2019

      The guy is an A Grade weasel, bulshitter, & shit stirrer, making money exploiting people’s prejudices across a range of what he sees as profitable target areas.

      As for any terrorist attacks anywhere, while I can understand people killing an enemy agressor who is hell-bent on killing them in some justifiable circumstance of self defence, I can simply never get my head around what possible justification there can ever be for deliberately murdering completely innocent people anywhere, in any circumstance.

      It’s just beyond me. I can’t even imagine how I could event want to do it.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  22nd April 2019

        “I can simply never get my head around what possible justification there can ever be for deliberately murdering completely innocent people anywhere, in any circumstance.”

        Because; 1. It is easy, and 2. it is often effective at achieving the desired goals.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  22nd April 2019

          Thank you. That is correct. I mis-stated what I was trying to say, which is:

          I can never get my head around what possible MORAL justification there can ever be for deliberately murdering completely innocent people anywhere, in any circumstance.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  22nd April 2019

            Humans can find a moral justification for anything, just spend a few minutes looking at the world around you.

            “completely innocent”

            Innocence in is the eye of the beholder. There really isn’t any such thing.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              That puts you 100% in the mindframe needed to do it. Do you really understand & mean what you just said.

            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              Yes, Pink David does. Doesn’t mean he agrees with it, much less qualifying as a likely suspect candidate to slide down that slippery slope.

              But the ability to step out of oneself temporarily, including laying aside or at least suspending existing personal assumptions and morality, and put oneself in the shoes of another is often a very useful skill. And one that some can improve with practice.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Hence my query. Is he putting himself in the shoes of the attackers & meaning he is seeing it from their perspective, one interpretation – or is he making a personal statement that HE believes there really isn’t any such thing as innocence?

              Both interpretaions are possible because it is ambiguous.

            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              Plenty of people, with valid reasons, consider there is no such thing as objective innocence. Like “good” it is arguably a social and intellectual construct.

              And if you adopt the position that we are all interlinked in some way as social beings in a global community, then we all share some degree of responsibility for those social conditions. The degree of responsibility may differ according to the level of direct influence one can exert. Nonetheless the idea of universal culpability/lack of innocence is reflected in the two activist mantras:

              “Think globally, act locally”, and

              “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem”.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              And that’s how these things happen.

              Can you elaborate on how we all somehow share responsibility for the social conditions which have contributed to this attack in Sri Lanka? I can see how religions might be perceived as bearing some responsibility for it, but not how I might?

            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              I’m not saying I agree with these links in the chain, but:

              NZ politician Jan Logie was thrown out of a Sri Lanka after trying to do what she could to publicise and end alleged human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government.

              Most Kiwis, based on voting patterns, ignored Logie and agreed with John Key’s assessment, who was in Sri Lanka at the same time for CHOGM (thus representing all Kiwis, including you too, Gezza, as our PM), that Logie was in effect a loon (I paraphrase).

              If you don’t confront human rights abuses, then they demean a society, normalise violence, and make others forms of retributory violence more likely. “All that’s needed for evil to prevail is for good men t9 do nothing”.

              Like a bombing of a Sri Lankan churches.

              Again, I stress that I don’t agree with this, not with Logie in Sri Lanka at any rate. Indeed, in that context it is such a long bow, not even Robin Hood, William Tell or Henry V’s famed archers at Agincourt could fire an arrow out of the alleged logic. 😂🏹 But if I understand the radical critical dialectic activist perspective where “everything, including the personal, is political” correctly

              …then “innocence” is a quasi-religious construction, indeed a ultimately a tool of the hegemony to cover up their oppression and responsibility. Like the ideologically-terms “evil”, “good” or “right”. Because all of those terms, as may have been Pink David’s point, imply some form of objective source and/or universally-agreed definition and practice.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Thou shalt not murder is an universally expressed & easily understood principle for social harmony.

              It is widely understood to apply to people to who are innocent in going about their daily lives being no threat anyone.

              It takes an ideology, revenge for a wrong like another family or tribe member killed, a mental disorder or drug inducing a psychotic state of being under serious threat, a murderous -likely psychopathic personality- , or a belief in a divinely or otherwise legitimately authorised mission or instruction, and reward, or honour, to do this, imo.

              Few of us if any would ever consider murdering someone who is innocent like these people & are no immediate existential threat to us.

              The rest is looking for ways to understand or excuse it. I think it’s pretty simple. It’s wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              You are looking – and I’m amazed a theist is saying this to a self-confessed atheist 😀 – from within the bubble of your culture. Those morals mediated by civilisation which is much more fragile than you seem to assume, are hardly well-attested in history. Yes, we have natural empathy, but in the main “you shall not kill” was prohibited with those within a tribe. Outsiders? Fair game for the chop. And if you didn’t, they would do it to you in a heartbeat. The fact that current civilisation means you are likely never to have to contemplate murdering another means, in the known scope of human history, you are very fortunate.

              “It’s wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong”? Without an absolute moral authority, the best case you can make is situational, and based on overall teleological (best outcome) considerations. Bomber Harris and Curtis “Bombs away” LeMay incinerated tens of thousands of “innocent” German and Japanese kiddies in WWII. Rightly IMHO. But they call it “war”, not “murder”.

              Anyway, in light of the tragedy in Sri Lanka, maybe further discussion of the point is in bad taste, on this post at any rate.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              One thing I can say, Kimbo, is that I am not surprised a theist is saying that to an atheist. Anyway, I think I’m a humanist, & an agnostic.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              And Harris & LeMay, & Goering, fighting what amounted to total war – compared to this event – are whataboutism.

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2019

              “That puts you 100% in the mindframe needed to do it. Do you really understand & mean what you just said.”

              Yes I did. I make a moral choice not it ‘do it’, but I can get my head around it.

              “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart “

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Yes I did. I make a moral choice not it ‘do it’, but I can get my head around it.
              Exactly. You make a moral choice not to do it. But on what basis?

              Why would you doing it, or taking part in enabling such an outrage be immoral – for you?

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2019

              “Hence my query. Is he putting himself in the shoes of the attackers & meaning he is seeing it from their perspective, one interpretation – or is he making a personal statement that HE believes there really isn’t any such thing as innocence?”

              That is very binary. We have decided innocence is a thing, that does not make it an absolute, understood by all.

              I’ve just started watching Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation on youtube. Some of your questions raised here are also asked in that. The series starts in front of notre dame coincidentally.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              @ David. Huh? So if “we” (who is we?) decide these people are not now (for some twisted reason) “innocent”, you would do such a thing, because being innocent is only a “thing”?

              We are talking about this day & age, & I am certain I wouldn’t.

              What could possibly make you decide to carry out an attack like this?Have a think. Let me know.

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2019

              “Few of us if any would ever consider murdering someone who is innocent like these people & are no immediate existential threat to us.”

              Mostly true for the vast majority, aside from actual psychopaths. Generally I believe this is why most terrorist actions are really quite poorly executed and not very successful compared to what, potentially, could be done. Doesn’t help those who’s lives are devastated of course.

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2019

              “David. Huh? So if “we” (who is we?) decide these people are not now (for some twisted reason) “innocent”, you would do such a thing, because being innocent is only a “thing”?”

              If you really want to get your head around this, I recommend a book called ‘Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland’

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Well, we don’t know yet very much about what the group is who has carried out this atrocity or why. Sri Lankan officials seem to be very tght-lipped, but they could be very concerned about a backlash & revenge attacks if the group are ethnically, culturally or religiously motivated. There are several religions practised there.

              I can understand how people who are not necessarily psychopaths (like Graeme Burton, or William Bell) or extreme narcissists (like Clayton Weatherston) can be motivated to do this. I don’t need to see any documentary on the final solution. I’m particularly well-versed on Nazi Germany.

            • Kimbo

               /  22nd April 2019

              Sorry to misrepresent you, Gezza. Agnostic and humanist. Duly noted.

              And also, just to clarify, I’m not implying that non-theists don’t have morals, much less that they are morally deficient. They might struggle to come up with a watertight basis for morality based on objective truth, but as you implied, your appeal to best outcomes is a quite sufficient basis for morality. To be honest I think the Christian apologist implication that “correct objective foundations” is the most important thing in good moral decision-making is bunkum. Most people decide and act morally on the basis of personal reasoning and circumstances shaped by custom, peer pressure and empathy.

              But no, I disagree total war is whataboutism. Whoever did this attack likely perceived/rationalised at some point that they are in a total war, and the payoff justified their action. Including the further rationalisation those you call “innocent” weren’t. Or if they were, the “greater good” justified their horrible deaths and injuries. Reprehensible but very, very human. Including the moral reasoning.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              What I can’t – and won’t do – is put myself in that mindset that requires a belief that somehow, in some circumstances, or at some time, killing innocents is ok because they are somehow guilty, by association with someone else of disobeying or offending against a leader, an ideology, or a higher power. That requires finding a reason to justify it. A case in point:
              https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Examples_of_God_personally_killing_people

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2019

              “I don’t need to see any documentary on the final solution. I’m particularly well-versed on Nazi Germany.”

              It’s a book, not a documentary. And given your statement above about this being ‘beyond you’, that book details very well how a group of men, just like you, ended up killing hundreds of civilians, including pregnant women, in cold blood. If you haven’t understood that, I’d question just how well-versed you are on Nazi Germany.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd April 2019

              Firstly, Pinky, you don’t know that it is a group of men, “just like me”. You don’t even know me. If you mean it was a group of men, just like YOU, I am ok with accepting your speaking on your own behalf.

              Secondly, the process of teaching or persuading ordinary people to dehumanising other people so they can be persuaded to k
              murder them all is well-studied and understood, so if it’s along those lines I doubt I will learn anything I don’t already know.

              Thirdly, My Lai showed the world how circumstances can arise where e.g. God-fearing soldiers can be put in such stressful & confusing circumstances for so long they get into a situation where they can’t tell who among the people they are moving among is an enemy & who is not, and begin to see EVERYONE as an enemy, and have one soldier snap & set off the others in a massacre of hundreds that nobody can stop. Thry got into a killing frenzy. The reality sank in later. I think Callley actualky only served one year for it. But he’s an Americsn. So that’s ok. They do that.

              So what was this book going to learn me that’s not covered by one of those above?

            • Kimbo

               /  23rd April 2019

              Er, Gezza. I think it’s very clear from the context of Pink David’s words, what he means when he says “you” are the same as cold-blooded killers. You share the same human nature. Maybe he was provocative using the 2nd person pronoun instead of the softer 1st person plural “we”. Mind you, you objected to that earlier in the thread too, so some people just can’t be pleased nor placated.

              Not sure why you are pissy about this. Has someone contradicted some humanist perception you have of yourself? If so, I suggest you don’t post in a place of public debate assuming others will share that perspective, indeed they might suggest a much darker assessment of human nature.

              Either way, “I don’t see”, and doubling down by appealing to little more than your personal perspective and experiences is not likely to foster much worthwhile debate. Especially when you present an appeal to self-confessed ignorance “I just can’t get my head around…” as some type of virtue, then take offence when others seek to educate you to dispel that ignorance. Including your assertion, indeed prejudice that “ideology” just explains everything.

              Either way, either read the book or ignore his advice. Is bloody rude to reject someone’s offer of the recommendation in the proud and arrogant manner you have, then inquire “what’s it going to learn me?” Wi h that attitude, as with a lot of prejudices you seem to have, Gezza, likely very little…

            • Gezza

               /  23rd April 2019

              I’m talking to Pink David, Kimbo. Leave the moderating to PG.

    • Corky

       /  22nd April 2019

      Does he have a point about the so called corporate media? I mean,from my perspective, regarding our media, it has been clear they are biased,starting with the Sunday programme about Molyuxneux ..which in reality was a total dud.

      I doubt he will come back to NZ after this incident with a prime wanker.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/08/former-politician-shane-te-pou-confronts-lauren-southern-stefan-molyneux-in-heated-exchange.html

      Reply
      • His ‘point’ in this case, as was a ‘point’ he made on the Christchurch killings, is pandering to extremist views and conspiracy promoters with no facts to back his points up.

        It’s a nasty way for him to fleece those who react to his brand if division and intolerance.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  22nd April 2019

          I sincerely hope that this pair of wankers don’t want to come back here.

          Reply
  6. Just seen the pictures on CNN. Horrific.

    Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  22nd April 2019

    Update from AlJazeera (6 hours ago)

    (Seems their President & Prime Minister are at odds politically)

    “Sri Lanka’s government was “aware of information regarding a possible attack” before a series of deadly bomb blasts rocked hotels and churches in the capital Colombo and two other cities, according to the country’s prime minister. Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking to reporters late on Sunday, acknowledged that “information was there” about possible attacks.

    “We must also look into why adequate precautions were not taken,” he said.
    The coordinated assaults, which killed at least 207 people and wounded more than 450 others, was the worst violence in the Indian Ocean island nation since its civil war ended a decade ago. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

    A police spokesman said 13 suspects were arrested in connection to the bombings.
    Wickremesinghe said “the names that have come up are local”, but said investigators will look into whether the attackers had any “overseas links”. World leaders offered help in the probe, he added.

    Three police officers were killed while conducting a search at a suspected safe house in Dematagoda, on the outskirts of Colombo, when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest, according to the defence minister. 

    Sri Lanka bombing
    Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the three hotels and one of the churches, St Anthony’s Shrine, are frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreigners from a variety of countries were recovered.

    The US said “several” of its citizens were among the dead, while Britain and China said they, too, lost nationals.

    The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka’s government to “mercilessly” punish those responsible “because only animals can behave like that”.

    Bloody civil war
    The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. During the war, the Tigers and other rebels carried out a multitude of bombings. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

    Sri Lanka bombing: ‘No one can dry our tears today’
    Mangala Karunaratne, a resident of Colombo, said: “During the 30 years of civil war we had lots of explosions in Colombo. We are used to the airport getting blown up and the central bank, things like that. But it’s been 10 years of peace and we got used to that. So that’s why it’s really surprising and shocking.”

    Rajiva Wijesinha, a former member of Sri Lanka’s parliament, called the attacks “extremely chilling”.

    “The range of these attacks and the concentration on the Christian churches and then the hotels as well suggest we are dealing with something really quite horrible,” he said.

    Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka condemned the church attacks, as did countries around the world, and Pope Francis expressed condolences at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing in Rome.

    “I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis said
    More…
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/sri-lanka-gov-alerted-attacks-bombings-190421165822214.html

    An Aljaz tv reporter just said, in a brief item on a half-hour news summary, that it’s understood 3 of those arrested are women.
    3.44 pm

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd April 2019

      I did a search with the ch+ on the remote, no Aljaz anywhere.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  22nd April 2019

        🤔 Hmm. Have you tried searching for “1ewes” to see if it can find 1news, Kitty?

        Might be something wrong with the remote, possibly. Try searching for Al Jazeera? Any luck? 😳

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  23rd April 2019

          It’s supposed to be on 16, but ‘No Signal’. I went through all the channels, just in case, but no luck. It could well be the hills; mobile coverage is erratic here, too.

          Reply
  8. harryk

     /  22nd April 2019

    Names mentioned in the Intelligence report posted on Minister Harin Fernando’s twitter account include Mohamed Cassim, Mohamad Zahran, Zahran Hashmi and Mohamed Milhan. The 2016 item below may be relevant –

    ‘Unholy tension in Lanka’s Muslim East’

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/090816/News/nws_23.html

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  22nd April 2019

      A similar story is happening in parts of Indonesia..likewise Mauritius and Europe. This is what I can’t get through to some people. You have a peaceful Muslim population; then agitators or a new sect enter the community. Next minute it’s war..and the peaceful Muslims are shut out of their community power structures.

      There is only one answer for that..and I have voiced it numerous times.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  22nd April 2019

        Then shut up about it. It was rubbish all the other times and it’s rubbish now. Repeating it won’t change that. We all know your Islamophobic views by now. What happened in Christchurch doesn’t seem to changed them at all.

        Reply
    • harryk

       /  23rd April 2019

      As i suggested in my comment yesterday and link to a 2006 media report, one of the men pictured, Zahran, was indeed one of the suicide bombers. IS has now distributed photos of three of them including Zahran.

      Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  23rd April 2019

    Was just having a quick look at Al Jazeera & they were talking to a local Sri Lankan commentator. He was saying that little is known about the group suspected of being involved in this attack. They were also being investigated for most likely being involved in a spate of recent attacks on Bhuddist temples, which is how they first came to the attention of Sri Lankan police.

    But they were not taken by the government as any kind of serious threat & a police report that indications that planning for some kind of attack of this nature was being picked (somehow) was not acted upon immediately by the government & security agencies.

    He said that while the group was said to be Islamist, they had no support at all among the local Muslim communities & little is still known about them by anyone. The authorities are putting a lot of effort into finding out whether they may have had outside support to plan & mount this attack.

    Reply

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