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Author Topic: War Provocations and Peace Actions  (Read 14691 times)

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Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« Reply #270 on: April 24, 2019, 09:10:46 pm »
Who’s Behind the Attacks in Sri Lanka?

April 23, 2019

In a series of coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday across central Sri Lanka, in Colombo, Negombo, Batticaloa and Dehiwela, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 500 people injured. Bombs were placed in three churches, three hotels, and one housing complex, and while no organization at this time has taken responsibility, Sri Lankan authorities have announced that the organization is the group National Thowheeth Jama’ath.

Sunanda Deshapriya told The Real News Network's Sharmini Peries that the focus on both churches and hotels—a clear attempt to destabilize Sri Lanka and its tourism industry—and the scale of the attacks suggests an “international dimension,” and that the attacks were coordinated with outside help. Together, they unpacked the ethnic and political complexities of the attacks.

Deshapriya explained it should be in part seen as a response to how Muslim youth are treated in the Sri Lanka.

“Nobody took interest about that growing militancy among the Muslim youth. One has to understand that radicalization of Muslim youth happened within Sri Lanka because of the injustice that the Muslim community faced in Sri Lanka. There's a total impunity in Sri Lanka against all the attack against minorities,” Deshapriya said. “Muslim people have faced...gang violence but nobody has been convicted. Nothing has happened. They have not had any justice on this issue. So that's the context of radicalization of Muslim youth in the country.”

Deshapriya explained that Sri Lanka's history of war and political violence must also be considered.

“We need to understand also Sri Lanka has 30 years of war. And from 1970, we had three major armed struggles. So, making bombs and using arms is part of the culture, the political culture of Sri Lanka actually,” Deshapriya said. “I suppose you can easily find material also to make this kind of very dangerous explosive bombs in the country because of our past situation and the war situations we've had in Sri Lanka.”

Peries pointed out that churches have not been a target of attacks in Sri Lanka in the past. Moreover, the Tamil are also Christians and were also victims of these recent attacks. For the most part, violence in Sri Lanka has been between Muslims and Buddhists (National Thowheeth Jama’ath, allegedly responsible for the attack, gained notoriety for defacing Buddhist temples).

"Targeting churches cannot be only a local reason, because there isn't any conflict between the Muslim community and the Christian community in the context. The Christian community has been very neutral during the war, as well as in the ongoing sporadic attacks against the Muslim mosque in the country,” Deshapriya said. “In that sense, I think this has an international dimension and it is the message it is attacking in the West, because Christianity comes from the West. But on the other hand you'll see that in Batticaloa Tamil, predominantly Tamil area, are also targeted, and there almost everyone who died is the Tamils. So, it is a combination of local and international situation. They want to send a message to Tamil people as well, I think, that's why they targeted some Batticaloa churches.”

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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