16 July, 2019

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Massacre Of The Innocents: Whereto From Here

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Unmindful are the walking dead

The known way is an impasse.” ~ Heraclitus (The Fragments)

We have been here before. This blooded precipice is familiar, this looming abyss.

What is unfamiliar, what renders the Easter Sunday massacre most vile and truly nightmarish is the total absence of any knowable rationality. There is no context to this horror, no back-story; it cannot be framed, politically or historically. Other massacres were presaged; this one fell on an unsuspecting people, a killer-bolt on a clear Sunday morning. 

It is the most heinous and the most incomprehensible act of violence in our violence-ridden history.

Every massacre of innocents leaves behind a heap of questions. The larger why, the philosophical, existential why might be unanswerable, but the smaller whys almost always are. Whether it was Black July, the Anuradhapura massacre, or any of the civilian bloodletting that came afterwards, there was a discernible path to the outrage paved with a history of real or imagined wrongs. 

Not so this massacre of innocents.

That the massacre is the work of an Islamic terror group is now certain, a conclusion made inescapable by the involvement of several suicide bombers. The attacks on the hotels are barbaric, but part of a comprehensible, global pattern. You want to hurt an economy dependent on tourism; you attack places where tourists congregate, from beaches and ancient ruins to hotels. 

Not so the targeting of Catholic churches in Sri Lanka. That is where the utter incomprehension stems from. In Sri Lanka, there has been no history of violent animosity between Muslims and Christians/Catholics. Both communities have been targeted by Sinhala-Buddhists on multiple occasions. They were both victims of majoritarian violence, but never responded in kind. 

Had the suicide bombers targeted state institutions, places of entertainment, Buddhist temples or even Hindu kovils, it would have made sense in terms of vengeance for a real or imagined wrong. 

Why churches? Why only Catholic churches?

Churches have been targeted by Islamic terrorists elsewhere in the world, including Asia; the Surabaya bombings in Indonesia and the Jolo church attacks in the Philippines are cases in point. But every one of those attacks could be placed within a national politico-historical context. There is no such context here in Sri Lanka. Attacks by a lone gunman or a lone bomber might have been comprehensible, the work of a clinically deranged man. But an operation of this complexity and magnitude, involving the willing and knowing cooperation of hundreds of people, is unfathomable. 

The killers, the human bombs, are believed to be Lankan Muslim men. For any terror organisation, suicide killers would be a valuable possession, something you don’t expend in vain. A suicide killer must be trained and groomed right up to the moment of murder, handled with meticulous care, kept on the pre-prepared path, shielded from every human emotion. Why use such valuable and not easily replaceable weapons on targeting a community that had not done you or your local co-religionists any harm?

Were the churches targets of opportunity? In Sri Lanka, churches (along with mosques and kovils) are relatively unprotected and vulnerable. But so are many other institutions and structures, both secular and religious. Was it to gain maximum publicity – bombing churches on Easter Sunday? That would have been a credible explanation had the authors rushed to claim responsibility. But so far, no organisation has claimed responsibility, another unusual occurrence. Generally, after a successful operation, the claim to own it is a race. Terrorists love publicity. That is how they gain new recruits and new resources. 

So here we are, in a hell both familiar and unfamiliar. How not to plunge from this to a worse hell is the hardest challenge ahead, much harder than identifying, apprehending and punishing the guilty.

An Unforgivable Failure

There is one haunting truth about the Easter Sunday massacre – with a little more vigilance, it might have been prevented. 

A section of the security establishment seems to have known that an Islamic terror group was planning to target Catholic churches. According to reports, they even knew the names and other details of some of the attackers, possibly ten days ahead. The speed with which the first arrests were made gives credence to these reports. Such speed by our police can be explained only by prior-knowledge. Greater the speed, greater the prior-knowledge. And the speed was great, unprecedentedly so.

That begs two critical questions. 

Who knew? 

Why did those in the know do nothing with their knowledge?

If the known attackers had been arrested, the massacre wouldn’t have happened. And it could have been done under normal law. The Defence Secretary is lying if he claims that the information was vague and the absence of emergency regulations was a handicap. 

If the churches were informed about their peril, they could have taken some precautions. That certainly didn’t require emergency regulations. 

With either of those two measures, three hundred innocent lives could have been saved.

We, as a nation, need to know why those lives were wantonly sacrificed.

The SLPP had predictably accused the government of not supporting the intelligence agencies, of persecuting and discouraging them. That is incorrect. The intelligence agencies are not the victims of this story. They received the information, and opted not to do anything with it. That was a severe dereliction of duty.   

President Maithripala Sirisena must shoulder much of the blame. As the Minister of Defence, protecting the people was his responsibility. He failed abysmally. And he has not apologised for that failure. 

That doesn’t mean the UNP can exculpate itself from all responsibility, all blame.  The ‘we were not told’ excuse cannot hold water since one of the letters warning about impending terror attacks seems to have been circulating in the social media for days. If Minister Harin Fernando’s father knew about the danger, then the Minister, his cabinet and non-cabinet colleagues and his prime minister cannot plead ignorance. 

The government’s failure to stop the massacre fits into a general pattern of indifference towards all forms of extremism. One week before the Easter Sunday massacre, on Palm Sunday, a Methodist church in Anuradhapura was attacked, reportedly by a Sinhala-Buddhist mob. The police refused either to apprehend the attackers or to protect the victims. The government didn’t condemn the attack, didn’t order the police to catch the culprits. All it did was to promise the church protection for Easter. The promise reportedly came from the Prime Minister. There was not a hum from the President. Political leaders on all sides of the divide, including the minister in charge of Christian Affairs, acted blind, deaf, and mute. 

Perhaps this blasé attitude of the political class percolated to the intelligence establishment. Perhaps those in the know thought that there was no need to act if the intended target was a church, or some other minority religious establishment. After all, thirteen months have passed since the anti-Muslim riots of Digana. Time enough for the main suspects to be tried in a court of law. Yet no one has been formally charged and every suspect is out on bail.

Had the government honoured its promise to end impunity and ensure justice, had it honoured the promise to combat extremism and promote moderation, the Easter Sunday massacre might have been avoided. This government did not promote extremism, like its predecessor. But it didn’t resist extremism either. It turned itself into a bystander. 

Three hundred innocent people paid for that cowardice, that indifference, with their lives.

The next vicious spiral

A new faultline has been created in Sri Lanka’s already seriously compromised societal fabric. A new enmity has been birthed. This is not the moment for anodyne slogans about unity and peace. The peril cannot be resisted, if its existence is unacknowledged.

Sri Lanka’s blood-soaked history provides us with ample warning of the dangers ahead.

Will the targeting of Catholics by Islamic terrorists create an endless blood feud between Lankan Catholics and Lankan Muslims? Will the wronged Catholics themselves do wrong by targeting innocent Muslims?

The fear that the Easter Sunday massacre will lead to a round of attacks on Muslim properties and religious establishments has so far not materialised. For this, the government, especially the UNP, deserves the credit. When the first attack on a mosque was reported, immediate action was taken, including the imposition of a curfew. That probably saved the country from another round of bloodletting. But the danger will not be over in a day, or even a year. Only constant vigilance can prevent another tragedy. 

Terrorists of all kinds have two targets – one the purported enemy; the other, one’s own community. The authors of the Easter Sunday’s massacre of innocents would have known that they were placing their own innocent coreligionists in peril. They would have known that retaliatory attacks could happen, if not in the immediate aftermath, then someday. 

And they wouldn’t have cared. That is a function of extremism. They not only hate their enemies. They don’t care about their own community. 

The cancer of extremism that is affecting Lankan religions must be combated, perhaps primarily from within. The first step is to start criticising one’s own extremists. It is only by taking an unequivocal stand against extremists of our own community do we earn the moral right to criticise extremists of other communities. 

Sinhalese and Tamils failed to take a stand against their own extremists; each community raged against the other’s tribalism while justifying one’s own. That failure caused both communities incalculable harm, and incalculable self-harm. Black July turned a marginal insurgency into a full scale war. The LTTE’s countless atrocities eventually contributed to its own shameful defeat.

When Sinhala-Buddhists attacked Muslims in Digana in the name of Buddhism, the absolute majority of Buddhist leaders remained mute. The Muslim leaders will hopefully set a different example, not just in the immediate aftermath, but continuously. The task would be long and hard. Though Lankan Muslims have been the victims of both Sinhala-Buddhist and LTTE violence, the atrocities committed by Muslims elsewhere in the world have rebounded on them unjustly, enveloping them in a miasma of fear and suspicion. Easter Sunday’s massacre will worsen their plight. There is a danger of Muslims being considered as enemies by all other communities. Extremists within the Sinhala-Buddhist fold will work towards such an outcome. One can almost hear the likes of Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara crowing. Forgotten will be the role played by anti-Muslim violence in fostering Muslim extremism. 

But that too would be in accordance with the intent of the attackers. As Moroccan editor Ahmed Benchemsi opined, “…..spreading hate is the terrorists’ job. Hating you is not enough; they also need you to hate them, so the struggle goes unchallenged” (Newsweek – 20.11.2008). Terrorists revel in hate, and they want that hate to be extended to their racial/religious community as well. They want their crime to become the crime of their entire community, falling even unto unborn children. When such hatred seeps into a national bloodstream, the terrorists achieve their final victory. That happened between Sinhalese and Tamils. It mustn’t happen between Lankan Catholics and Lankan Muslims.

Sadly hate is easy to cultivate. It can flourish anywhere. All it needs is an inch, a second, a thought, a glance, one unguarded moment. And a destructive atom can always survive, waiting with endless patience until the next time.

So we stand on a familiar precipice, staring at a familiar abyss. This time, the task of guiding us away from it, towards the plains of moderation and stability belongs to Muslims and Catholics. This is their moment to be what Sinhalese and Tamils were not at comparable moments in their histories. This is their moment to place their humanity above every other consideration, in a way we, Sinhalese and Tamils, failed to. And it is for us, especially Sinhala-Buddhists, to prevent our own extremists from intervening to sow hate, to prevent healing, to peddle vengeance in the guise of justice.

As Aristotle said, “For the things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them… We become just by just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts…” (Necomachean Ethics). In this moment, grand gestures are necessary; but every little act of ordinary decency and kindness counts. If our leaders, elected and self-appointed, fail to stand against extremism, fail to build an alliance of moderates, perhaps we, the people, who are outraged by Easter Sunday’s massacre of innocents can. 

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Latest comments

  • 20
    69

    Where to bloody donkey? now you donkeys know who Gotabhaya is? There wasn’t even a cracker when he was the king of defence. Bloody stupid asshole there is no solution other than Gota

    • 18
      5

      Thisaranee: Where did this so called “Clash of Civilizations” come from when there is no motive for Muslims to attack Christians, both minority communities in Lanka, and what will be next?

      Under the guise of combating ISIS and protecting Christians, a foreign military base with all necessary logistics supply lines to be set up in Sri Lanka.

      • 7
        3

        Fully agree.
        I posted similar comments to a Sinhala daily several times.
        In the month of May, the murderous government is hell bent on signing an agreement called SOFA with America, handing over 1.2 million acres of lands across the country, from Trincomalee to Colombo, including the lands belonging to both harbours.
        In other words, government is providing lands and legal rights to America to have their newest base in Sri Lanka
        From the very beginning I said the government is involved and fully aware of these attacks. Their plan was obviously to create religious riots in the aftermath of explosives to distract Sinhalese so that they can sign SOFA secretly.
        As I said in my other comment, America has a hand here. CNN’s and America’s reactions to bomb blasts were too quick. And India too.
        Moreover, a large number of explosives have been found from a well known businessman in Nochchiyagama who is close to UNP. Then in Pettah, another large number of bomb detonators were found.
        It is pretty sure that the government was planned to anticipated religious riots soon after the bomb blasts. The massive number of deaths caused were a sure way to incite people against each other.
        However, Sinhalese didn’t fall into government’s trap, so they had to abandon the plan.

      • 5
        0

        They targeted Christians and Westerners; these two groups are anathema to the Islamic fundamentalists! During the 30 year war, the Islamic Fundamentalism was taking root in SL unabated. It is a pity that the mainstream Sinhala cannot understand Tamil as hate speech videos were promoted in Tamil. It is indeed difficult to fathom their mindset as the Muslims have had the better of everything during the war. Of course there were episodes of hardships by way of northern evacuation and massacres in the East but by and large they did not suffer as much. once one is consumed by the Islamic Fundamentalist ideology one will become an evil.

    • 33
      13

      Gota is the problem and one of the biggest criminals protecting and gaining political mileage from radical religious terrorism in our country…

      Don’t try to fool us…

      • 6
        10

        Don’t try to fool us… No need you already are!!

        • 4
          3

          NAK

          “Don’t try to fool us”

          Now tell us who is behind the attacks, who benefits from the attacks, …..?

    • 6
      1

      Why can’t the lunatic government get on with building the country instead of blabbering bull shit everywhere. No concern of any one of us what ever happens out side the country.
      Shit people just opens their shit mouths for the sake of shitting to news papers blaming everyone and everything, ar ….holes.

      • 11
        0

        I’m so sorry for my language, I apologise , as I’m certainly furious of the drama by the so called rulers of this country.
        They have destroyed our country over 71 years.
        Like you give a garland to a Monkey it will shatter it to bits and destroy.
        That’s what s happening in my land. All with the agenda, of Power strength over another and a Rob the country’wealth including the beautiful national. Assets which were losing at an alarming rate.
        Who is at fault?? We !! Yes we!! Bringing self serving idiots with mouths , nothing else.

    • 19
      4

      Oh we know who Gotabaya is, very well. White vans, properties seized, journalists killed, threatened, harassed, and many fled the country.
      Don’t forget the “who is Lasantha” interview that shows exactly who he is.

      • 6
        2

        Chitra, was should ask the INTERPOL and the FBI who are in Sri Lanka to help us investigate the White Vans, Lasantha murder, Wasim Thajudeen murder and all the Rajapaksas Criminal cases this Government is unable/unveiling to investigate along with this terrorist attack and prosecute the criminals…

      • 3
        1

        Chitra,
        Unfortunately you do not know Gotabhaya who played a crucial role in sending barbarian Prabhakaran to hell and defeating the militarily undefeatable (according to some) LTTE to bring peace to this country after four decades of Demala terrorism.

    • 9
      17

      Thisaranee- “Where from here ?”
      We have to go to the front, take Islamic bull by it’s horns, ban terrorized Islam altogether from the country, ban damn Islamic prayers in public, , Ban head scarfs of muslim women, ban long beard of Muslim men or Thamibiyas, destroy all the mosques.
      Thisaranee -“Methodist church in Anuradhapura was attacked..”
      No, This is false, only a shabbily arranged prayer house in the midst of dwelling houses was attacked by few people with stones & fire crackers on Sinhala New year day, because their prayer was disturbing people around that house.
      Any way PONNA Ranils’ PONNA UNP govt. is responsible for the deaths of 300 innocent people, because they were spoon feeding both Muslim & Tamil extremists, allowing them to grow up with their weaponry &, bombs, ammunitions because UNP PONNA govt came to power from Muslim & Tamil votes, not from Sinhalese votes.
      One arrested Easter Sunday bombing suspect is a close associate of UNP govt. Minister Rishard Badhurdeen .& the safe house is owned by Badhurdeen himself.
      Govt. even ignored security establishment warnings ,knowing very well Muslim extremists were getting ready for attacks, even after huge haul of weapons, bombs were found in the possession of the same Muslim extremist outfit which was arrested after the attack on Buddha statutes in Mavanella some six months ago.
      Catholics & Christians have every right take the revenge from Muslims, their politicos & Muslim extremists for what they did on Easter Sunday.

    • 4
      7

      For centuries from the time of the ancient kings to 1948 we have been ruled by local or foreign dictators, some good, some bad. Independence has lasted for just 71 short years. Is Gota really the only answer?

    • 2
      3

      asshola – “Bloody stupid asshole there is no solution other than Gota (Gotler)” – What a stupid comment, suggesting the name of a National Hangman!

    • 2
      2

      Don’t worry. Most Sri Lankans think so.
      Only outsiders think otherwise.

    • 1
      0

      Asela, for people like you who have amnesia…

      “A closest ally of ex-defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, now a retired major general, had coordinated these Muslim and Sinhala extremists, it has now come to light.”

      https://srilankamirror.com/news/796-thowheed-jamath-bbs-both-funded-by-single-secret-account?fbclid=IwAR1sZIWCNBl6lx9HDc3J2eVXeyPS4XtoNFNmVCuxrgBX1OgvJsXb6LR-TIo

  • 16
    2

    Bring those responsible to accountability through the due legal process, especially the ‘security establishment’ including the minister of defence. Christians are encouraged to forgive and it is probably the best way to overcome the grief.

    • 10
      8

      We are seeing the ‘weaponization of religion’ in Sri Lanka by external parties who seek to entrench their war machine in the island.
      Divide, Distract, loot and rule is the bottom line as the Cold War unfolds in the Indian Ocean.

      Sri Lankan Muslims had NO MOTIVE and no history of attacking Christians in the country. These attacks were planned on foreign shores to unleash attacks against Muslims by extremists Buddhist organizations and start a spiral of violence so that the dying superpower could intervene to “save Christians”.
      A Clash of Civilizations like no other?!

      • 4
        1

        Suriya,
        ‘ Sri Lankan Muslims had NO MOTIVE and no history of attacking Christians in the country’.
        Brilliant!
        May be you have a point there as far as Sri Lana is concerned.
        But have you not heard of the history of the past many centuries old war of the Crusades?

        As a gesture of atonement for the Easter Bloody Sunday ,
        the SL government should mark the said day by prohibiting the wearing of black Hijabs and Burkas.

        How if an Islamic crazed deluded terrorist makes an entry into a public place in that garb to wreak havoc in a school, airport,hospital,or mall.?

      • 0
        0

        You have good points. Think about it. If the Muslims wanted to retaliate here, it would be targeting Buddhist institutions and temples.
        This attack on churches does not fit into any narrative. Muslims have never bombed or attacked religious institutions before. If they had anger it would be with the Sinhala Buddhists. Muslims go to churches for various reasons, and do not have anger against Sri Lankan Christians. Something is not right here.
        This cannot be in retaliation to Christchurch. Within one month NO terrorist outfit, especially amateurs, can plot and plan such an elaborate and coordinated attack, IN NUMEROUS LOCATIONS.

        FALSE FLAGS.

  • 7
    2

    Hay CT we’ve just Learned Believe it OR Not Dialog Telecom As well as Mobitel has been asked[Requested by TRC-SL] to block colombo telegraph….were guys aware of this cause dialog USer & Mobitel User were not able to access CT…it’s a fact —-but you know who’s Idea was it..DERANA through their own military Intel Liaisons… yep ..do yourself an own Investigation ! it was LIFTED yesterday morning around 11:30 Hrs

  • 12
    4

    What we are seeing in Sri Lanka since independence is the harvest of the seeds planted by the ‘father of the nation’ D.S. Senanayke: He planted the seeds of division, discrimination and denial rights as equal citizens to all communities. He elevated the Sinhalese to be the ruling class.

    The leaders that followed watered and nurtured the seedlings, growing up as trees fertilized by the Sinhalese-Buddhist Hierarchy.

    We have been witnessing the growth of hate, destruction, misery and more hatred.

    Rule of law is not applied rigorously. Aggrieved communities have no legal recourse to justice. So this cycle of hate, destruction, revenge and destitution continues.

    This is what is called the law of cause and effect.

    • 1
      0

      Thiru,
      “What we are seeing in Sri Lanka since independence is the harvest of the seeds planted by the ‘father of the nation’ D.S. Senanayke: He planted the seeds of division, discrimination and denial rights as equal citizens to all communities. He elevated the Sinhalese to be the ruling class.”
      Hon. D.S.Senanayake did not plant the seeds of division, discrimination and denied rights as equal citizens to all communities. It was British WPs who planted all those things in Sinhale by elevating Wellala Demalu who licked the boots of Brits to the ruling class. Brits with the help of Wellala Demalu who were the descendants of slaves brought to Sinhale illegally by Parangi and Olanda WPs from Hindusthan oppressed the native Sinhalayo. Wellala Demalu wanted to maintain the status quo after independence. Giving due place to native Sinhalayo after independence who were oppressed by colonial parasites for 450 years was orchestrated as discrimination.
      ——–
      When Hon.D.S.Senanayake started settlement schemes to promote agriculture he wanted to settle Demalu as well but Demalu who were scared of malaria refused to come. Despite the threat from malaria, Sinhalyo went and cleared land and developed rice farming. Now Demalu blame him for colonizing Demala land. Sheer BS! There were no Demala land in Sinhale.

      • 0
        2

        Eagle Blind Eye

        There has never been NATIVE Sinhalayo in this island.
        All of them and their Tamil brethren are the descendants of Kallthonies mostly from South India.
        Maybe you are the descendant of Dutch slaves/mercenaries.

        • 1
          0

          Native Vedda,
          Veddas in Sinhale have moved to this country from Mozambique. They belong to Mukuwa tribe. You better pack up and go to Mozambique.
          There are no evidences to support that Sinhalayo who have a unique language, culture, traditions and customs of their own came from Hindusthan whereas there are tons of evidences to prove that Demalu came to Sinhale from Hindusthan.

        • 0
          0

          At first define meaning of word Vedda. It is a Sivehela (four tribe’s Land). language’s ELU word. meaning gone for living. If birds live in tree hole or Bena it is called Bena Vedda. Snakes live in Ant’s hill or thumbasa called Thumbas Vedda, Ants who live in small hill which is made on door frame or window frame called Kumbala or kumbal vedda.likewise Vedda mean people who gone to Bedda (Jungle) for living. It is derived from Language called ELU of Sivhelay When those derived from ELU not even Darvadians came to Godavary from south west Iran .Austronesian & Makhuva tribes from Mozambique east coast roamed entire Indian Ocean with small PARU or Canon made up of tree trunks tied together. around 250 to 500,hundred thousands years ago.That was why we still can find Austronesian + Makhuva tribes mixer of people in west Sumatha Coast, Malayan Peninsular from west coast of Myanmar to south tip of Malayan Peninsular. Those areas directly faces Indian Ocean. Refer west Australian & American Universities research papers published in University Journals North America Human evolution research Center

          • 0
            0

            Mr. Sprrw
            I heard that Patabendige people use to clean fish caught by Millibars Because low cast people only do that

  • 15
    20

    Ranil must be sent to political crematorium . His Sahajeewane is a farce. The vandalised Buddha statue incident in Mawanella was slowly swept under the carpet. Had he investigated from there all would have come to light.

  • 12
    14

    You forgot to the mention the Muslim home guard violence against innocent Tamil civilians , villages , properties and religious places in the east , that triggered the LTTE violence against Muslims in the east. This violence that was started by the Sri Lankan state, and armed forces. In 1985 at the behest of JR Jayawardene , Tamil Nadu origin Muslim minster Mohammed sent Muslim thugs and criminals from the south to Kalmunai in the east to attack Tamil civilians and properties . LTTE violence towards the Muslims was nothing compared to what the Muslims did to the Tamil civilian population in the east. They were so brutal that even Sinhalese Army officers were shocked at the carnage. They raped, killed , robbed/looted, ethnically cleansed thousands of Tamil villages. Hindu temples were burn to the ground many times with the Tamil villages locked inside and burnt alive. Now many of these former temple sites have become mosques. These displaced Tamil villages have still not been allowed to return to their villages and lands. Many ancient 100% Tamil Hindu villages in the Amparai and parts of Batticaloa districts have now been converted to 100% Muslim villages and a no go area for Tamils. This sort of Islamic extremism against the eastern Tamils is still going on in the east , with the deliberate attempt to convert the ancient Hindu Tamil east to some sort of Islamic Wahhabi homeland and the government is turning a blind eye and even giving subtle support to this. This why a Muslim chief minister and a well known Islamic extremist, who has openly boasted of illegally acquiring Hindu temple lands has been appointed as governor in a province , where the Tamils are the largest community and the original owners of the land and were an outright majority until a few decades ago. They have been deliberately marginalised in their own land by the Sri Lankan state and Islamic extremists.

    • 4
      0

      There is enough of blame to go around. EVERY group has something to be blamed for. The unfortunate situation here. TIME FOR US TO GET OUR ACT TOGETHER AND WITHOUT THOUGHT OF RELIGION OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION AND WORK TOWARDS FIGHTING YET ANOTHER THREAT FACING THE COUNTRY. Finger pointing and bickering is exactly what the criminals behind this wanted.

      Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

      • 2
        0

        An extremist and an extremist, and a terrorist is a terrorist – they all belong to 1 religion called Terrorists, nothing else.

        It is time, that all right thinking people of all communities to get together and defeat these aliens & and completely wipe them out of this beautiful world. Put yourselves in the shoes of a father who has lost his kids, or the kids who have lost their parents, or the people who have lost their loved ones – Why?

        On average, our people are struggling to put food on their tables on a daily basis. Why to add an extra tension on their list? Say, even the rich have their own troubles to face on a day in and out, why these terrorism and extremism?

        Govt inaction and now passing the ball between each other to get away from taking responsibility looks very cheap tactics played by our leaders at this crucial moment.

    • 5
      3

      Siva Sankaran Sharma

      “LTTE violence towards the Muslims was nothing compared to what the Muslims did to the Tamil civilian population in the east”

      Please don’t try to ride your tuk-tuk whenever you see a gap on a road, and the lies that are like violating road-rules. Will you stop, if I agree that LTTE was an innocent baby?

      • 1
        0

        We all know that you are Wahhabi/ Salafist fanatic who will not admit to any atrocities that you fake Arab largely low caste Tamil Dravidian immigrants from South India committed . Keep on crying about injustices , real and largely imagined done to your immigrant backstabbing community , whilst committing large scale atrocities on the island’s Tamils. It is your opportunistic backstabbing selfish fake Arab converted immigrant Dravidian community from South India , that benefited the most. Still being aggressive and nasty after all the mayhem your people have committed . Will cry and howl even if an Arab f-rts but will rejoice and dance if your won fellow non Muslim Tamils are killed. So brainwashed to hate your own heritage and origin and worship anything remotely connected with Arabs

    • 0
      0

      What you have said is absolutely spot on, I wonder why no one brings this out into the public and make it known to everyone.

  • 21
    0

    The Prime Minister and our playboy president, who enjoys luxurious foreign travels while SL citizens are covered in blood, should RESIGN immediately.
    Those mentioned in the circulating letter, together with the deputy IGP of police, the PM and the spineless patholaya should RESIGNNNNN!!!!

    • 5
      0

      Bingo,

      Sorry pal, the Sevalayas and Patholayas won’t resign. They will hang on like leaches. The terrorists had the wrong targets.

  • 21
    0

    Dear Tissaranee
    Please explain to us how a separated and almost divorced government Work together and protect us people??
    The President is walking and doing wat he’s best at!! In secrecy and in his Agenda how much o be the President again.
    In this desire he has forgotten that he need to work with the GOVERNMENT WE VOTED FOR CONTAINING THE PRIMEMINISTER AND A CABINET.
    THERES NO GOVERNMENT IN SRILANKA AT PRESENT.
    ITS A ONE MAN SHOW LOOKING AFTER HIS INTERESTS NOTHING ELSE.
    We need a government working together as a team for the people and the nation to be Protected.
    GOD HELP US.
    Why has he not RESIGNED YET??

    • 3
      7

      Bond Scam Ranil and Penthouse Ravi have not bee of great help.

    • 3
      0

      ‘GOD HELP US.
      Why has he not RESIGNED YET??’

      God resigned a long time ago

    • 1
      0

      As above we are children of this fragmented government like the children from a separated/ divorced parents.
      We need guidance proper guidance externally!! Can’t go on!!
      Within all the problems of fragmented family is a soft target for mischief makers.
      Our country has become a soft target for all the wrong reasons. Fix it soon and now .

  • 17
    3

    The first gut reaction was that it is a Rajapkshe plot. Then it came to light that Muslims were involved and possibly foreighn assistance was provided. At the back of my mind I also knew I had heard a story about the PM being shut out of security council meetings. Then there was the letter circulating on facebook. At first I and most others dismissed the letter as not being credible. Then it was confirmed that the letter is genuine and warnings had indeed been issued. Also confirmed was the exclusions of all cabinet ministers and PM from security council meetings and now a new piece also confirmed attempts by Tirupathy bound Sirisena ordering the heads of armed services not to participate in any emergency security council meetings convened by the PM. I also observed Ada Derana continuing to show Mahinda making comments and visiting St Anthony’s church while the PMs visit to both churches are mysteriously never shown. Then begins the fingure pointing. Again the stooges on this forum quickly run to hurl blame on the PM and the so called ‘government’ (Code for the UNP) but not a word about the monumental and sinister actions of the president. Now I have to comeback to the question this article raises. Why attack Christian shrines and not Buddhist ones. That brings me back to the original gut feeling. Sirisena definitely and the Rajapakshes probably must have a hand in this plot. The selected targets are screaming at us that this is not just a Muslim plot. There is more to it than meets the eye.

    • 2
      4

      Man… you are so full of bull shit. This attack was in retaliation for the mosque attack in New Zealand which was carried out by a Christian fanatic.
      No Buddhists were involved in either attacks.
      Since Rajapakses are Muslims your suspicion they may have a hand in it may be right……. you bloody idiot!

      • 3
        1

        NAKia
        -.
        “No Buddhists were involved in either attacks.”

        Of course Buddhists do not involve themselves in terrorism nor indulge in killing.
        However you and your fellow Sinhala/Buddhist fascist minority have no qualm about killing, in fact you enjoy killing or watching and justifying killing especially done in the name of terrorism, Sinhala/Buddhism, ……

    • 0
      0

      Wera, you have hit the nail on the head! Only gullible Sri Lankans will believe what is doled out by the media these days…The big question is “who let loose the rabid killer outfit”? The suicide bombers are acting according to the instructions of their handlers and they only have in their minds fanatical thoughts and nothing else. But the man who got them moving through the Head of that radical Islamic unit is someone who has larger interests in THIS country. If we believe that the suicide attacks are revenge killings for the Muslim massacre in New Zealand, then we are fools! If the story that the Secretary of Thowheed Jamaath, Abdul Razik is a former NIB member and a favorite of Gota, is true, then it won’t be that difficult to get to to the bottom of this puzzle.

  • 5
    2

    WW2 unpopular saying states ” NOBody absolutely no Body is Innocent Cause Everybody Creates if not Initiates HARM…..

    don’t play the VICTIM card here….when we looks at Sri lankans they ASKED for it…for what…Global Terrorism to Officially set foot-Hole in here…..why ?

    Because Sri Lankans are nothing but a Utter selfish Lazy careless individuals and They do not cares not even a Dime about the rest of the world is going through ! cause they are Blessed-Protected by BUDDHISM….
    =
    through their B**sTT Buddhist Beliefs They actually thinks fundamentalists Islam is a punishment rest of the world Deserves [Excluding sinhala Buddhists] and they are completely Immune to it Accordance with Lunatic Buddhism & KARAMA
    =
    ….Right now they Actually do said to themselves that Christians were indeed Punished [deserves] because they were not Buddhist….That’s how Disgusting their Murderous beliefs are like….some Monks are actually PREACHES THIS to 3rd class Villages as it now [ Thay Apoldes this attack CAUSE no Sinhala buddhists were Targeted PRIMARILY…. ]

  • 10
    3

    “Sri Lanka declares state of emergency from today following the deadly attacks. President Sirisena has issued the extraordinary gazette declaring it.” – Azzam Ameen.

    I hope and prey that President Maithripala Sirisena or anyone doesn’t exploit these dark times in our country and abuse this state of emergency and make it into CoupeLk part2 In order to handover the country to the Rajapaksas.

    All citizens and relevant authorities should focus on helping the citizens of our country make it through these hard times.

    • 18
      1

      Mahinda Rajapaksa making public statement that are trying to take advantage of this tragedy and turn it into political mileage for the Rajapaksas disgusting…

    • 0
      1

      Call somebody worthy to be called a PRESIDENT a PRESIDENT, not some moron who gave instructions from overseas tell the ministers not to participate in Security Council meetings.

  • 12
    4

    Innocent lives have paid the price for a Government that does not deserve to rule this country anymore. Intelligence services outside the country knew more than those within the country and warnings were given weeks ahead. The country needs a Strong Leader to save all races from extremism.

  • 6
    2

    Massacre Of The Innocents continues.

    Thank you Tisaranee. Once you wrote lawless south oppressed north.

    No intention of diversion. But needs to be mentioned.

    “It began with deception. The Air Force bombed the refugee concentration around the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Navaly, on 9th July killing about 120 civilians. This was on the first day of an offensive in Jaffna. The ICRC in publicising the incident referred to damage to the church. It is the kind of inaccuracy that creeps in when there is an urgent need to publicise a real human tragedy. The President promised an inquiry. Subsequent reports made it clear that 6 to 8 bombs had fallen in the area missing the church, but a large number of people had been killed and several buildings in the vicinity destroyed.” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/fall-out-from-the-navaly-bombing-the-mulder-affair/

    • 3
      1

      “Having dropped leaflets asking the people to move to places of worship the Sri Lanka air force there after attacked the places of worship where Tamil civilians had sought refuge. On the day after the attack, 56 bodies were retrieved from the debris, many of whom were women and children. The death toll in this incident later increased to 120. 13 babies died in their mother’s arms. Rescue workers reported torn limbs and pieces of human flesh strewn over the area.”

  • 2
    2

    Thisaranee dear, All Sri Lankans must unit at this time of Emergency, be clear eyed, and clear headed, instead of indulging in finger pointing, excessive lament, and politicking. Those who are behind the Easter Sunday crimes want us divide, distract, loot, and colonize Lanka. Please know that:
    There is a great game unfolding in Sri Lanka at this time, Chinese owned Shangri la was also a prime target.
    Lanka is a pawn in that geo-strategic game in the Indian Ocean
    The ” Clash of Civilizations” between Muslims and Christian in an insignificant island – where did it come from and most IMPORTANT where will it lead to?
    Under the guise of fighting ISIS and protecting Christians in Sri Lanka, military bases and ‘logistics hubs’ to be set up in collusion with corrupt politicians..
    Perhaps the endgame of the Easter Sunday attacks?
    the dead, injured and grieving; collateral damage in a high stakes great game in the Indian Ocean waged by a crashing Superpower against Asia rising.

  • 4
    14

    Bring on Nandasena. –
    That is what the great majority, including the one time UNP supporting Catholic Church now say….

    Ms T got it wrong.
    It is the Sinhala Buddhists who attacked the Methodist Congregation in our Holy City Anuradahpura.
    Dr Ranil was the first arrival after the ” Attack” to protect the Methodists on Good Friday as well as Easter Sunday.

    Most probably Dr Ranil thought that Intelligence from his UNP Police boss was about another batch of “Sinhala Buddhist Terrorists” who were going to attack small churches again , because a lot of Buddhists go to Kochikade to make vows and seek Guidance from their God.

    Even the VVIPs who were privy to the UNP Police Intelligence, thought the same way as Dr Ranil
    But either wouldn’t have expected the Terrorists to attack Shan Gri La and destroy any chance of Dr Ranil increasing FDIs in his last days in the office.
    .
    No wonder Dr Ranil’s first statement said” it is an Attack to destroy his Yahapalana Economy and the Yahapalana Development”.
    I am not sure where bothof those are….

    But it is pretty low for Dr Ranil to talk about his economics when nearly one thousand poor Souls have perished or seriously maimed by this dastardly attack.

    Dr Ranil’s mate Mr Mangala who is responsible for getting rid of the strict Laws which not only eliminated Terrorism but also kept the Terrorists at Bay made even worse comments ..

    He was insulting the ex President who not only eliminated the Tamil Terrorists , but also kept the Christians Safe, despite several attempts of his opponents to pitch the poor Sinhala Buddhists against the Catholics hoping to score political points to be used to install Yahapalanaya Mk 11.

    Mr Managala probably is not aware that Sinhala Catholics and Sinhala Buddhists are Cousins..
    If he went to the Bishop’s House he would have learned something.

    • 8
      1

      Dear Sumane,
      I support your motion to Bring on Nandasena.
      Where shall we provide him official living quarters though?
      Welikada Prison or California Correctional Facility? Please advise asap!
      Cheers!

      • 1
        2

        Either would be fine if you can find a key to get them open.

      • 1
        0

        Benny,
        Looks like you are not up to speed with Yahapalana Lankawe.
        Welikada was closed by Dr Ranil and his mates after those Underworld Dudes vanished there.
        Now they are all in Dubai.

        After decimating the Intelligence Network, Dr Ranil was trying to get his mate the Old Field Marshall as the Minster of Interior so the extradition of Nandasena would have been be easier.

        After what the Muslims did on Easter Sunday, even the California Sheriff will have to fight the people in the Bible Belt to take Nandasena.

        BTW, do you watch BBC International .
        If you do, Check their latest Clip on the poor people who lost their beloved in Negambo .
        Then you will realize what the mood of the People after the Yahapalanya betrayed their Security even in their Holy Places of Worship.
        But protected the Yahapalana Minsters and the MPs by preventing them going to Church on Easter Sunday.

        Wonder whether Dr Ranil’s Christian Minister Mr Amaratunga went for the Sunday Mass ?….

  • 9
    0

    It is not a secret that communities have divided ever before after 2009. This country had a great opportunity to bring all communities together with the international support but that did not happen and we were celebrating the massacre of innocent civilians, a new form of terror attack on the Muslim community which played a key role in defeating LTTE, failing to the promisises we made to the people and international community because of greedy of power and family dominated dictatorship.
    This brutal attack on Christian community is a well planned and well organised act of terror. No one can justify the brutality. If I can remember this kind brutal massacre happened in this country in few occasions such as Kumuthini boat massacre, Navali Church bombing, Chencholai orphanage bombing, Kathaankudi Mosque attack, attack of Buddhist Monks in a bus etc during the period of civil war. But we never learned the lessons from the past and we still use hatred politics against communities and religions.
    Even now, politicians play their games with the lives of innocent civilians. Mahinda immediately called for general election. Vasudeva called only PM to resign, not the President.
    Power! Power!Power! As long as the greedy politics remain in this country, there is no peace in the country. They are the destroyers of this nation.

  • 3
    13

    Titsaranee, It is deceptive bleeding hearts like you who preached so-called reconciliation and imprisoned our military heroes of the Intelligence squad by bribing this government who should be held partly responsible for this bastadry.

    Wake up, stop deceiving people and accept reality. Islam is a bad religion and barbaric murders should not be given civil rights.

  • 6
    2

    I resent organized religion. Religions are revered as Philosophies of Peace, but more blood has been shed in their name than anything else in history. You show me one step forward in the name of ISLAM and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well. Pathetic Islamic lunatics behind the horrific carnage in our beautiful country on Easter Sunday were lured by irresistible benefits in paradise. Most notably, the promise of REVIRGINATED WOMEN. It is an offer a mortal man just cannot refuse. The context must come from its roots. Let’s not kid ourselves.
    May the innocent rest in peace!

  • 2
    0

    Very sad situation. Where can we go except down the drain !

  • 11
    0

    Very decent and thoughtful write up putting forth few questions remaining unsettled and seeking honest answers. Emphasis on the part of government’s failure to protect innocent lives shows the writer’s balanced view on the cause of horrific and unforgivable catastrophe that our Catholic brethren have faced. This write up with deep insights is well written and politically perfect.

  • 0
    9

    “That the massacre is the work of an Islamic terror group is now certain, a conclusion made inescapable by the involvement of several suicide bombers.”
    What an insult to the inventors of suicide bombing.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      somass

      Give credit where credit is due.

      The origin of suicide terrorism didn’t happen in this island.
      Read, learn and understand:
      Suicide Terrorism: Development & Characteristics
      http://www.ict.org.il/Article.aspx?ID=779#gsc.tab=0

  • 4
    0

    Rightly said Tissaranee!

    Will the Catholics/Moslems take heed? May be.. we’ll hope/pray.

    But the Racists/Terrorists from other races and the opportunist politicians who allowed this to happen in the first place and made this beautiful country blessed with every resources a hellhole for it’s Citizens, will they??? Don’t have much hopes.. but we all have to work/pray for it.

    May God heal the trauma of the affected and Bless Sri Lanka with Peace.

  • 3
    11

    “The killers, the human bombs, are believed to be Lankan Muslim men. For any terror organisation, suicide killers would be a valuable possession, something you don’t expend in vain. A suicide killer must be trained and groomed right up to the moment of murder, handled with meticulous care, kept on the pre-prepared path, shielded from every human emotion. Why use such valuable and not easily replaceable weapons on targeting a community that had not done you or your local co-religionists any harm?”
    T.G. has forgotten how cheap were Tamil lives for the Sun God!

    Soma

  • 6
    4

    Siva Sankaran Sharma

    You Racist/Terrorist liar,

    The Home Guards were set up ONLY after the Hindu/LTTE Violence against the innocent Moslems/Buddhists.

  • 2
    1

    Hello Tisaranee,

    Thank you for the article.

    This is a great tragedy and our thoughts are with the victims.

    International press has reported (based on internet chatter) on the connection between the massacre in Christchurch and Sri Lanka. In my opinion, the planning and the execution of the massacre are beyond the capability Muslims in Sri Lanka. Muslims in Sri Lanka do not harbour such hatred.

    In Sri Lanka, it is common to trace all problems, violence and deep-seated hatred to Sinhala Buddhists. You are silent on the total inaction by the government when Buddhist statues were vandalised. The understanding is that the Sinhala Buddhists just accept what is dished out to them.

    It is likely that similar attacks on churches in the South or Kandy would have provoked something unacceptable in the context of underlying tensions.

    This unfortunate massacre should lead government to take the initiative to address underlying tensions instead of dirty politics where pursuing the minority vote is the prerogative.

  • 1
    0

    Sri Lankans are playing the blame game and pointing fingers at one another. We can never solve this if we are fractured, and bickering this way.

    This is a terrible attack on ALL Sri Lankans, and it is sad that innocent people were killed this way, and there is enough of blame to go around. Unfortunately the first response to this massacre was “who the hell did this”, that was because there are groups that have done this, and politicians with ulterior motives, who could have organized it in Sri Lanka.
    Now that we are aware exactly who was responsible, it is up
    to the country to unite, and the government MUST clamp down on this curse before it gets worse, and we are in yet another bloody ethnic conflict. Yes, it is possible that these scumbags operated with support from some devious source overseas, and again there are the usual suspects. These criminals must fact the harshest punishment, and those aiding and abetting must be held accountable too. Our tiny nation cannot withstand these attacks, and as usual it hampers with our progress.

    Politicians must stop the blame game and take care of the country.

  • 3
    1

    Very well said Tissaranee. This could not have been said better. Bensen

  • 2
    1

    When I heard the news, first thing which came to my mind was an article written by you. I vividly remember you addressing the plight of Muslims then, who were targeted and racially profiled by Gota and BBS. I am sure quit a lot of Lankans then would have laughed, made fun,ignored and called you unpatriotic. Now the whole world is witnessing its consequence. In this article you have addressed the aftermath. I too see this exactly as same as you, hence I have been busy since morning sharing my comments elsewhere in CT. In this article you have brought up two most important questions 1) Who knew 2)Why did those in the know do nothing with their knowledge. As a reputable senior journalist I believe you already know the answers but prefer due diligence in revealing. My answer is definitely rogue politicians knew and still wanted it to take place for their political gain.In Lankan political history there is enough evidence (in past) of such devious and cruel thinking. The history repeats again.

  • 1
    0

    With regard to This attack government ministers and MPs claim as they are aware before hand.

    It’s illogical to understand that these government ministers and MPs worked with ISIS for political gain and let the ISIS do their job. Or ISIS took a contract to gain in the political war in Sri Lanka.

    But all theses politicians were silent and even never try to communicate to churches to which some of them go for pray.

    Therefore it’s very hard to buy the narrative that ISIS planned this. Even though they may claim the credit.

    Hopefully our security agency’s are capable to find out the source, but it’s very clear there is no visible political will.

  • 1
    2

    Police curfew is imposed again. But it is not enough.
    In fact the Police should HAND OVER THE MATTER to the Tri Forces at least now.
    It could have done when the government first received information.
    Tri Forces have the experience and knowledge about terrorists. They should carry out an intensive operation covering the entire country, under strict curfew.
    If entrusted with the task, the Tri Forces should pay attention to outskirts of Colombo.
    Moreover, the Defence Ministry should BAN ALL, ALL National Thawheed Jamath organizations (plural) in Sri Lanka.
    I saw a news item in a Sinhala Daily that one National Thawheed Jamath saying that it is not them who are responsible for explosions but another Thawheed Jamath.
    That means there are many Thawheed Jamaths in the country.
    The Defence Ministry should ban ALL of these organizations FORTHWITH.

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