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Five Years After SL’s Easter Sunday Carnage: Pursuit of Justice for Victims Continues

By: Isuru Parakrama

April 21, Colombo (LNW): Five years have passed since the tragic Easter Sunday terror attack in Sri Lanka, a day that scarred the nation and left over 270 innocent lives lost.

Yet, despite the passage of time, justice for the victims and closure for their grieving families remain elusive.

On April 21, 2019, coordinated bombings targeted churches and hotels across the island nation, ripping through congregations gathered for Easter Sunday worship and tourists enjoying their holidays.

The carnage, carried out by a local extremist group with alleged international connections, sent shockwaves not only through Sri Lanka but reverberated globally, drawing condemnation and solidarity from around the world.

In the immediate aftermath, Sri Lanka plunged into mourning as families buried their loved ones and the wounded fought for their lives.

Amid the anguish and grief, there was a collective call for justice to be served swiftly and decisively.

However, five years on, the quest for justice has been fraught with challenges, delays, and unanswered questions.

Investigations into the attacks have been marred by bureaucratic hurdles, political infighting, and allegations of intelligence failures. Whilst some suspects have been arrested and brought to trial, including key figures believed to have orchestrated the attacks, progress has been slow, and convictions remain elusive.

Many families of the victims feel frustrated and disillusioned by the lack of accountability and transparency in the judicial process.

Moreover, concerns have been raised about the adequacy of security measures implemented in the aftermath of the attacks to prevent future atrocities.

Questions linger about whether sufficient lessons have been learned and reforms enacted to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, regardless of their faith or ethnicity.

The pursuit of justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday terror attack extends beyond the courtroom. It encompasses addressing the underlying factors that led to such a horrific act of violence, including religious extremism, communal tensions, and socio-economic disparities.

It requires fostering a culture of tolerance, understanding, and solidarity among Sri Lanka’s diverse communities, rejecting the divisive ideologies that fuel hatred and division.

Concerns raised both locally and internationally especially in the backdrop where the British ‘Channel 4’ citing verbal evidence from an undisclosed Sri Lankan government official and a political refugee unveiled a detailed story that the genocide was orchestrated with the political motive of bringing a certain candidate to the forefront of the 2019 Presidential Election which followed immediately after the attacks, but the government of Sri Lanka maintains its regular policy of denial towards such reports.

As Sri Lanka marks the fifth anniversary of the Easter Sunday terror attack, it is imperative that the authorities re-double their efforts to bring all those responsible to account, to provide closure for the victims’ families, and to uphold the principles of justice and rule of law.

The memory of those who perished in the attacks must serve as a reminder of the fragility of peace and the urgent need for unity and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’s journey towards healing and recovery.

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