Sri Lanka Easter Bombings


Anies Baswedan [Public domain]

The GBK bridge in Indonesia's capital of Jakarta was illuminated with the colors of the Sri Lankan flag to demonstrate their solidarity with Sri Lanka.

Troy Gamurot, Journalist

On the Easter Sunday of April 21st, the nation of Sri Lanka was targeted with a series of terrorist bombings that hit three Christian churches, three luxury hotels, a guest house, and a housing complex in Dematagoda. Disrupting what was almost a decade of peace after a long civil war, the attacks have not only been felt at Sri Lanka, but the whole world as well.

The attacks were devastating, with The New York Time’s reporting that the first blast at the St.Anthony’s Shrine in Kotahena, Colombo, left a scene that “…was a river of blood,” describes local shopkeeper N. A. Sumanapala. Recently acquired CCTV footage by CNN showed how terrorist  Mohammed Nasar Mohammed Azar had been withheld entry from the Zion Church in Batticaloa before detonating the bomb outside where Sunday School Children had been gathering, killing 29 people.

As The Washington Post had reported, officials had initially settled on a death toll of 359, but after taking into account the various mutilated body parts found at the scenes of the crime, health officials estimated a more accurate 250 people dead. Unfortunately, Times Live reports that as of May 2nd, the death toll has risen to 257.

In the initial news conference, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Defense, Ruwan Wijewardene, had only stated that most of the bombers had been well educated and rich. After a time of investigation, the Sri Lankan police released the identities of the attackers on May 1st, reports News 1st – Sri Lanka.

The 9 suicide bombers responsible for the 8 attacks have been identified as Alahudeen Ahamed Muaad, Atchchi Muhammadu Muhammadu Hasthun, Mohamed Nassar Mohamed Asad, Mohamed Azam Mohamed Mubarak, Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zaharan, Mohamed Ibrahim Inshaf Ahamed, Mohamed Ibrahim Ilham Ahamed, Abdul Lathif Jameel Mohammed, and Fathima Ilham.

According to The Long War Journal and The New York Times, an investigation on the suicide bombs’ construction and contents had linked the attacks with the terrorist group ISIS, who had been found to have had at least digital ties to the attacks after they released a video claiming supposed responsibility.

Upon hearing of the horrors in Sri Lanka, Senior Mary Valencia commented that, “Being religious and a Christian myself, I would say its terrible and having something like that happen on a holy day is unspeakable.” Mary had expressed her desire for America to help out by sending medical and financial aid to Sri Lanka in order to help the struggling families. “People go to church to preach and do good things, and then something like that happens…” she exclaimed. “People brought their kids and families. People were coming together to celebrate! It isn’t fair that they died.”

Despite the incredulous disaster that has struck the nation, Sri Lankans have begun attempting to heal. According to the Pri, the Sri Lankan Navy is helping out with the cleanup at St. Anthony’s, lugging bags of rubble and washing blood from the walls. In a statement released by the senior pastor of Zion Church, Rev. Roshan Mahesen, to “The Life,” a Christian charity in the United Kingdom, they are beginning to heal. “We are hurt. We are angry, also, but still, as the senior pastor of Zion Church Batticaloa, the whole congregation and every family affected, we say to the suicide bomber, and also to the group that sent the suicide bomber, that we love you and we forgive you.”