BOMBINGS ON CHURCHES, HOTELS
We unequivocally despise terror attacts in Sri Lanka
OUR HEARTS go out to the bereaved families of the absolutely innocent victims of the terrible tragedy tragedy in Sri Lanka in which at least 359 people died and more than 500 were injured in the horrific coordinated series of blasts targeting churches and hotels. Church leaders believe the final toll from the attack on St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo could be close to 200, almost certainly making Negombo the deadliest of the six near-simultaneous attacks. Deplorably enough the series of grotesque terrorist attacks happened on the auspicious occasion of Easter, the annual festival observed throughout Christendom in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death.
Agence France Presse has reported that the Sri Lankan government and police had received a warning, 10 days before, that suicide bombers planned to attack prominent churches. The intelligence alert to top police officers declared: “A foreign intelligence agency has informed that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jamma’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian High Commission in Colombo.” Neither the police nor the government took any action to warn the public of an impending attack. Nor is there any evidence that the police took any measures to prevent the bombings. Yet the alert was quite specific and Easter is an obvious time for churches to be full.
Sri Lanka’s Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said early investigations indicated the bombings could have been retaliation for the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 50 people last month. However, the office of Ms Ardern said the New Zealand government had “not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based”.“We have seen reports of the statement from the Sri Lankan minister of state for defence, alleging a link between the Easter Sunday terrorist attack and the March 15 attack in Christchurch,” a statement from Ms Ardern’s office said.
“We understand the Sri Lankan investigation into the attack is in its early stages. New Zealand has not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based. [Vide news.com.au/world/asia/jacinda-ardern-says-theres-no-evidence-to-support-claim-sri-lanka-bombings-were-a-response-to-christchurch/news-story/ecbc71c2646eada6ab3bb155d4429cb9 ]
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that her government was not aware of any intelligence suggesting that a devastating attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for deadly shootings at mosques in Christchurch.“Yeah, I have seen reports of those statements. We haven’t received anything officially nor have we received any intelligence reports that corroborate what has been said in Sri Lanka. Look, you know New Zealand’s position remains utterly consistent. We stand opposed to all forms of extreme violence, all forms of terrorism and we’ve made that very clear.”[ Vide newsfirst.lk/2019/04/24 /arden-says-easter-sunday-attacks-not-related-to-christchurch/]
The Colombo political establishment has close connections to Sinhala Buddhist supremacist groups, which have a history of attacks on Christians and Christian churches, as well as the island’s Tamil and Muslim minorities. In many cases, the police have simply turned a blind eye to such attacks. Terming it “hypocrisy” Ratnayake says how the US and its allies are responsible for criminal wars in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa that fueled the Islamic extremists, if they were, indeed, responsible for the bombings. Washington backed successive Colombo governments that waged the island’s brutal war, which created communal tensions and hatreds that Sri Lanka’s elites continue to stir up and manipulate. [. [Vide K. Ratnayake, Terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, 22 April 2019, wsws]]
Dearly loved inspirational poet laureate of America, Helen Steiner Rice had profound faith in God, and her writings have been a source of comfort and inspiration to millions of people throughout the world. In “An Easter Prayer” Rice says —
“God, give us eyes to see the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty in every living thing.
And give us ears to hear, dear God the Spring-time song of birds
With messages more meaningful than man’s often empty words.”
Jesus Christ set a perfect example of kindness and love. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus showed love for others by blessing and serving the poor, the sick, and the distressed. He told his disciples, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12; see also John 13:34–35; Moroni 7:46–48). Here it seems pertinent that misinformation, half truths and propaganda are rife against Islam and Muslims since 9/11 that saw the US and its allies invade Afghanistan and Iraq —-the two Muslim countries—- in the wake of which 111,000 Afghans were killed [Crawford, Neta (August 2016). watson.brown.edu. ] and 601,027 were killed in Iraq [Lancet survey]. Incidentally these happened a few years after the publication of Samuel Huntington’s controversial book, and subsequent birth of Islamophobia. Acording to the Quran, Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [Allah forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers (Qur?n 60: 9). whyislam.org/ faqs/does-islam -teach- hatred-and-violence. 877-WHY-ISLAM, P.O. Box 1054, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1054.]
As the whole world today is in a state of flux owing to discontent, conflict and unrest as a consequence of dire injustice and crass violation of human rights, it is time for the global leaders to look in the mirror for soul searching in general, and the members of the UN Security Council in particular to find ways and means to ensure durable peace, to say the least.