Easter sunday attack: Rebirth of terror
Posted on April 27th, 2019

By Udaya P Gammanpila Courtesy Ceylon Today

Profile pictures have been changed to National flags and white flags, Pray for Sri Lanka” posts have gone viral,  people are lining up to donate blood,  everybody is weeping for the Easter Sunday terrorist attack victims in unison; shedding petty racial, religious and political differences.  

All of us collectively condemn the attacks and convey condolences to families of the victims.  Could we prevent further attacks of this kind by merely mourning and helping each other?  The crystal-clear answer is a big ‘no’.  In order to prevent repetitions, we should find the reasons for this debacle and eliminate the same.

Sri Lanka witnessed a terrorist attack exactly after a decade.  There was no terrorist attack in Sri Lanka after the defeat of LTTE terrorism on 19 May 2009.

 When powerful nations were worrying about terrorist attacks, we boasted about the security in our country.  Unfortunately, national security was put into reverse gear after change of Government on 8 January 2015.

Intelligence officers, Security Forces demoralised

Intelligence officers, who act as eyes and ears of the nation, are the first to receive information about terrorist activities.  Government politicians now ask where the intelligence officers were.

  They conveniently forget that they put intelligence officers behind bars soon after coming into power. 

 The Government not only demoralised intelligence officers, but the entire security forces by arresting several groups of intelligence officers in an indecent manner. So the Government lost the chance of receiving informing well in advance.  


The Government used the judicial system to harass the military top brass who won the war, including the then Defence Secretary by levelling baseless allegations. The message received by the Forces was that defeating terrorism was a punishable offense. 

The Government did not stop there; it joined hands with the former terrorists to accuse our troops of war crimes at the UNHRC. Sri Lanka set a record by being the first Government to go against its own military.


Terrorists were encouraged


The Government not only discouraged the Military but also encouraged the terrorists in every possible way.  A law was enacted to pay compensation for terrorists and to legalise commemorations of fallen terrorist leaders. 

 While soldiers were arrested, the terrorists were pardoned and released.  Encourage your child to be a terrorist instead of a soldier” was the message given by the Government to the general public.


For the first time in our history, we became victims of Islamic extremist terrorism instead of Tamil separatist terrorism; it has been a new experience for us. It was however, a result of making an atmosphere conducive for terrorism during the last four years. When there is wet fertile soil, nobody needs to plant weeds – they grow without any effort. Similarly, brutal terrorism is the unavoidable end result of actions taken by the Government during the recent past.


A warning, unheeded


Joining the Halal debate, I warned in this column in 2014 that international Muslim extremism had reached Sri Lanka and urged Muslim community leaders to look after their people. 

 Unfortunately Muslim scholars and politicians blamed me, accusing me of seeing crocodiles in the tea cup, instead of being vigilant about the warning.  

Similarly, Parliamentarians Wimal Weerawansa and Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa were heavily under attack by Muslim leaders for pointing out the growing extremism in Muslim society.  

Venerable Gnanasara, who had been warning about Muslim militancy, was imprisoned for 19 years.  All was set for free growth of Islamic militancy without any obstacle.


When several Muslims were arrested for vandalising Buddhist shrines and possessing explosives, the Government had a golden opportunity of tracing terrorists responsible for the Easter Sunday Attack.  

The terrorists have reportedly attacked Christians in Sri Lanka in retaliation to the attack that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Why did they choose Sri Lanka?  Sri Lanka had the best atmosphere for such a terrorist attack having a weakened security setup.


Hope


A Silver ray can be seen in the gloomy sky.  He is Ali Sabri PC, a rising Muslim leader.  He warned Muslim society that Muslims are being isolated and Muslim youths are increasing attracted to extremism. 

 He was bold enough to speak the truth because he loves this country and his community more than himself.  In order to ensure a secured future for Muslims, the community should be led by the people, in the calibre of Ali Sabri.


The UNP has been in a shameless attempt to avoid responsibility claiming We were not aware of anything.  Intelligence was received by Police, and the IGP is directly under the President”.  

They have conveniently forgotten that the present IGP was selected by the UNP, ignoring seniors.  His name was recommended to the President by the Constitutional Council of which the majority is with the UNP.  

Furthermore, the IGP can be removed only by Parliament which is in control of the UNP.  Moreover, Police Department had been under UNP ministers until October 2018.  Hence, the UNP cannot shed the responsibility away.


This brutal terrorist attack is the harvest of seeds sowed by the Government for the last four years.  Unfortunately, innocent people had to sacrifice their loved ones for the Government’s blunders.  We have no more tears to shed.  We have no further strength to weep.  

Hence, the Government should revisit its policies and attitudes towards terrorism.

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