On Easter Sunday, the Asian country of Sri Lanka was terrorized by a series of bombings on various churches and hotels. These gruesome attacks resulted in at least 350 casualties, in addition to 500+ injuries. Sri Lankan authorities came to discover that a local Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), was responsible for the explosions.
These sickening acts of terrorism shocked the world, but however, Sri Lankan officials were warned several times about a potential attack long before the bombings. According to The Guardian, foreign security agencies warned Sri Lankan officials of an extremist network active in the country more than 4 months prior to the attacks. In addition, an Indian government source says that India had sent warnings to Sri Lankan intelligence agents on April 4 and the night before the day of the tragic attacks.
This tweet by cabinet member Harin Fernando suggests that warning letters were sent to the country but were ignored and that this miscommunication ultimately led to the bombings. During a televised speech on Tuesday, Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena admitted to this and stated he would replace the head of the defense forces within 24 hours. Also, on Wednesday, the president’s office said that the president “has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief.” So, in a nutshell, major changes are being made by the government to make amends for terrible mistakes that were made, but the fact that the deaths of 359 innocent citizens could have been prevented should never be forgotten.
Cover Image Source: Aljazeera