4 October, 2023


Three Weeks Since Easter Sunday Attacks: Sri Lanka Must Resist The Terrorists Agenda 

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

It’s been nearly three weeks since the Islamic State-inspired series of coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday, and Colombo is yet to return to normalcy.

The government has re-opened schools for the second term with increased security, but attendance remains low. The city is yet to return to its usual hustle and bustle. Ongoing search operations and daily reports of explosives, weapons and firearms being found by the security forces have created fear among many Sri Lankans.

There is also a deepening sense of mistrust between the Sinhalese and Muslim communities. Persistent social media campaigns discouraging the Sinhalese communities from engaging with Muslim-owned companies in business continue. This polarization comes even as businesses, especially in the capital city of Colombo, are still reeling from the catastrophic effects of Easter Sunday attacks.

Sri Lanka — a country that grappled with a three-decade long war— has seen many explosions. The nation has withstood debilitating terrorist attacks that shook the very foundations of our economy. But Sri Lankans have always remained strong and resilient. The country’s economic machinery functioned under highly challenging circumstances and the people went about their daily lives, despite constant threats of terrorist attacks.  Even the Central Bank explosion in 1996 — arguably the most destructive terrorist attack carried out by the LTTE — could not bring the country to a complete standstill for three weeks.

The Easter Sunday Explosions, however, has plunged Sri Lanka into unchartered waters. Apart from the visible casualties and colossal damage to properties, the attack has struck fear into the hearts of every Sri Lankan, leaving the economic machinery and the business sector in the doldrums. Sri Lanka has thus far failed to demonstrate the same resolve and resilience the country espoused in the face of terrorism a decade ago.

The primary objective of any terrorist movement is to instill fear in society and destabilize the lives of people in every possible way. If we let the recent unfortunate developments affect our daily lives, we will end up serving the interests of those carried out the heinous terrorist attacks on April 21.  So it is important to place stronger faith in our defence forces and support them in their consistent efforts to establish normalcy in the country.

There are sufficient grounds to believe that certain unscrupulous political elements are exploiting the situation in the country to jeopardize the national economy by not allowing the public to return to normalcy. These attempts are tied to their petty political needs, as they have no qualms about furthering their narrow agenda at the expense of the country’s economy.

One of the key tactics they use is the spread of fake news and misinformation on social media platforms and messaging apps; deliberately creating fear among members of our society.  Fake news, rumours, unverified reports and misinformation thrive during this current situation and the public — oblivious to the agenda of these unscrupulous elements — have fallen prey to their systematic and well-timed campaigns on many occasions.

The government has taken certain measures to counter this problem by creating a mechanism to release verified information through official spokespersons of the defence forces on a regular basis. Members of the Cabinet and the official spokespersons of the security forces and the Police address the press on a daily basis, updating them on the current situation and the measures adopted by the government to reestablish normalcy.

The government has also warned the public that under Emergency Regulations, printing or publishing any document that gives information on, or comments on the activities of any banned organisation, or any matter pertaining to investigations of the government into a ‘terrorist movement’, or any matter pertaining to the security of Sri Lanka are strictly prohibited. The spokespersons of the defence forces have made it clear that those who disseminate false information and rumours aiming to destabilize the country will run the risk of facing legal action under the Emergency Regulations.

What the country requires at the moment is a multi-pronged approach by all stakeholders, including the citizens, to restore normalcy in the country as soon as possible. Society must place greater trust in defence forces that have so far done a commendable job with dismantling the nascent terrorist groups by tracking down members, busting open safe houses and arresting suspects along with explosives, weapons, a multitude of other suspicious items. At the same time, strong measures need to be adopted to distinguish ordinary Muslims from the extremist militants and address the alarming polarizing which, if unaddressed, will yield far-reaching ramifications.

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Latest comments

  • 10

    “At the same time, strong measures need to be adopted to distinguish ordinary Muslims from the extremist militants and address the alarming polarizing which, if unaddressed, will yield far-reaching ramifications.”

    including those Muslims in the corridors of political power….urgent action should be taken to purge them out

    • 9

      Rasika, it is good that the country has taken time to Pause and mourn the dead after this attack and take a step back from the disastrous and environmentally unsustainable Debt-trap development model the country has been following on the Advice of Washington and its Eurasian friends.
      The senseless over-consumption, super-luxury life styles, glitz and fashion magazine parties of the the Colombo elite that love fast cars and luxury hi-rises has come to a grinding halt and that is a very good thing, in this debt trapped country that is increasingly a colony of the the US, EU and Japan which are dumping useless luxury cars and ambublances, TABS, drugs, and ramping up the economic inequality and indeed an economic war against Sri Lanka in order to beggar and loot the county and set up US logisitcs Hubs or military base in Trincomalee, while the senseless politicians and their business friends dance the nights away.

  • 9

    Rishad Bathiuddin and his gang is still outside because of their humongous political donations. Who saved Vanatawilluwa terrorists haul from Police. Why Hisbulla is still outside even though Hisbullah’s land was used for bomb making activities. Azat Sally doe snot know anything but people in his gang were caught. Mujibar Rahman suddenly has disappeared from News.

  • 5

    Have the Muslim minister’s house been searched? MS said every house in the country would be searched.

  • 0

    Dear Writer If you want to see the beauty of the sea you can sit on its beaches & see it But If you want to have a sea bath you have to travel bit in to it. Likewise If you want to analyse the situation and inform public just writing essays like this can not help. Just read the Koran Basic literature of Islamism . It is a base for terrorism. As such I must say Every Muslim who carry Koran on their heads & worship it is a brutal terrorist. First if Government want to get whole country out of this situation, Ban Islamism & associated literature here in Lanka and deport all clergies to Saudi Arabia.Originated country of Islamism.Otherwise there is noway out of this brutal Islamism and associated terrorism I suppose.Followers of Islamism are not citizen of this country. They were descendants of south Indian base born lot came here as refugees for shelter & food for survival when Delhi sultanate rule collapsed in south part of India. There are some descendants of Dutch slaves. Javanese & Malays. They too should be deported to their respective countries.Till then we have to boycott their businesses otherwise more & more terrorists attacks like this possible with the help of Muslim business community. with our help they may get financially sound more & more & finance terrorism. It is an obvious fact that if you go through the suicide Bombers financial status just published by police media man.

    • 1

      Ranjith(SPRRW) how can you boycott businesses because without Islamic businesses you all will logs. Just remember without Islamic money you buggers will be digging the refuse bins. The west and China give money for you by keeping their foot on your heads. If followers of Islam is not of this country then you followers of Indian Buddha too not from this country so you go to India and join rest of your people whom are considered Dalit by Indians.

  • 4

    The arrest of the Jaffna university students sets a precedent for more similar arrests of Tamil youths . Whether you like it or not Tamils will be relegated to the third place. Hisbulla and Bhadudeen despite their alleged misdeeds have done something to their community rightly or wrongly unlike Sampanthar and Sumanthiran who failed to do even what is right to their community.

  • 1

    Mr Jayakody writes. . . . So it is important to place stronger faith in our defence forces

    The President, the government, and the Defence Forces remain the same that let us down. They were given a series of timely warnings on which they should have acted. If they had taken preventative action the damage would have been considerably less.

    What is frightening is that same people who could not have protected in our greatest hour of need, are now presenting themselves as our guardians against the next next threat.

    For laughing out loud, this lot of cowboys could not organise a piss up in a brewery!

  • 0

    The Muslims must take the blame for the 2019 Lankan Easter Sunday tragedy.
    INDEED THEY HAVE. GoSL must make use of this bold gesture.
    Equally culpable is the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
    The entire lot of articles ignore this.
    Rasika Jayakody’s nail-in-the-head hit is in paragraph 3 {“There is also a deepening sense of mistrust between the Sinhalese and Muslim communities. Persistent social media campaigns discouraging the Sinhalese communities from engaging with Muslim-owned companies in business continue…..”}
    Does this not show that business interests were the instigators?
    Remember at the SWRD B assassination trial, it turned out that Mapitigama Buddharakkitha Thero was behind the pogrom of 1958. He was planning to take over the government to further his business interests.

  • 1

    Most Sri lankan Muslims are innocent hardworking people and they also want to live their lives. So, no oneshould not take this opportunity to haress innocent people. Definitely, when one mosque keeps 40 or 50 swords, that is not to clean the bushes around the mosque. there is something wrong there.. Muslim politicians and Maulavis should not abuse the predicament that Sri lanka is in. but, other religions should take notice both Middle eastern originated religions are very expansionary. Now, both the Islam and Protestants are trying to over power Buddhiats. that is partly the needs of the Capitalist Neo-liberal program. that is Pivot to Asia program, MCC and USAID needs and World powers fighting Indian Ocean and Sri lanka is in the Indian OCean.
    Ranil wicramsinghe, Mangala Samraweera, Penthouse, RAVI, Rajitha Senarathne are some of those who are running so many projects of the Neo-liberal program.
    LTTE was blowing up for 30 years. LTTE was trained in India, Lebanon, and in Israel, LTTE was funded from overseas, they were protected by the west and they were not considered global Terrorism. Wahabis are also the same and they blew up only one day. but, UNP politicians are screaming it is global Terrorism. LEt us change every thing and carry out EXtra ordinary Rendition in Sri lanka. they also want to buy every available weapon, X-ray machines needed for that.. Earlier, they bought X ray equipment for the Colombo Harbour. Now, they want to buy X-ray equipment to fix for every Tourist hotel. It is simply A Bagdadi supporting Military equipment industry.

  • 0

    I don’t think there is mistrust between muslims and non-muslims. Yet, A bearded muslim carrying a heavy back certainly raises a suspicion. Certainly, a muslim just showing only the two eyes, otherwise, completely covered body can be a man going to blow up. Otherwise, Sri lankan people are not like westerners who treat others like thrash or garbage. that is why every one come on the shoulders of sinhala people.

  • 0

    Mr. Jeyakody,

    All these are good suggestions, but nowhere near enough. There must be a fundamental shift in the thinking of the people, not least the likes of you.

    Look at you. You quite correctly point out that even after the LTTE terrorist attack on central bank, Colombo continued to function. You are, of course, right on two counts: that it was a terrorist attack, and that Colombo was more or less normal even after it. But does it occur to you, in the same breath, to say that Jaffna also continued to function after the dastardly terrorist attack on the Navali church in 1995, the same year of the central bank attack, by those who you call the ‘security forces’? No. This is despite the fact that the similarity is strong: that was the last time innocents inside a church were targeted en masse. Yet it does not come into your mind as a terrorist attack, because on that occasion, the victims were not Sinhalese. Or may be you will find excuses for that terrorist attack, because it was conducted by ‘our’ forces. Or may be you don’t even know about it. Similarly many Tamils will find excuses for the central bank attack, even if they dare not say them openly.

    No hope for the thrice-blessed, glorious island of Serendip as long as this bias exists in people’s mind. The ‘Muslim war’ will be inevitable if you do not courageously face all the truths about the ‘Tamil war’.

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