Day of infamy and ‘ Pearl Harbour’ moment in Sri Lanka’s history
Posted on April 20th, 2021

Senaka Weeraratna

April 21, 2019 is destined to be marked as a date which will live in infamy.

Paraphrasing President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he delivered the famous infamy speech on December 08, 1941 soon after the attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan,, 

posterity may well designate  April 21, 2019 as the Blackest day and the ‘ Pearl Harbour’ moment in the contemporary history of Sri Lanka.

A total of 267 people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals,three police officers, and eight bombers, and at least 500 were injured.  Three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo were targeted in a series of coordinated Islamist terrorist bombings.

This is the Second Death Anniversary of the biggest mass murder on a single day in Sri Lankan History. It should be a day of reflection for everyone living in this country and everyone of Sri Lankan origin living overseas.

Where did we go wrong? How did this happen? are searching questions many will ask. 

It was a watershed moment. Those who had lived on a diet of Multi- culteralism and Reconciliation, especially the security forces were deluded to drop their guard and encouraged to do so by the country’s top political leaders eternally greedy for the votes of the country’s ethnic and religious minorities. 

For Reconciliation to succeed there must be sincerity between the contending groups. It will never succeed if one party is driven by the scriptures and their belief system to look down on disbelievers and use violence on them, if need be.

Zaharan and his co – suicide bombers were acting perfectly in tune with their convictions of what their belief system and the holy scriptures had wanted them to do as a matter of duty against the disbelievers.  

In their twisted belief system there was no space for the non – Muslim. Either you convert or you die.  

It must be said that the vast majority of Muslims in Sri Lanka are peace loving and have lived in harmony side by side with non – Muslims. 

Nothing should happen to them and they should be fully protected by the State.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry conducted a thorough probe, interviewed a large number of witnesses, including Cabinet Ministers. 

During the evidence gathering a Senior Police Officer has said that about 15,000 people mostly from the Eastern Province had fore knowledge of the impending attack. Almost all the Muslim Ministers probably knew of it and several of them are believed to be ardent supporters of Zaharan.

The conflict between believers and disbelievers which is spelled out in the Islamic scriptures and highly pronounced in the traditional Muslim countries, has now entered Sri Lanka in a dramatic fashion.  

The violence directed against disbelievers, their places of worship e.g. attack on the Buddha Statue in Mawanella on December 25, 2018 are all interconnected and can no longer be ignored except at the risk to one’s life and the lives of dear ones of the disbelievers.   

The aim of some radical groups in Abrahamic faiths is to achieve in the current Theravada Buddhist countries the same result achieved in the past thousand years in several former Buddhist countries of displacing Buddhism and replacing it with either Islam (or Christianity) 

Maldives, East Pakistan now Bangladesh, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaya, Bactria, Taxila, were once Buddhist States. 

But no longer.

Buddhism has lost much ground to Abrahamic religions in Buddhist Asia. 

The existentialist fears therefore among Buddhists in Asia are quite legitimate and valid. 

The security forces of the country must now become pro – active instead of being reactive as in the past. 

The country cannot afford another Easter Sunday Massacre. 

Innocent disbelievers must be protected from violence at the hands of radical believers of Islam who carry out even extreme commands set out in their scriptures without a critical reflection.

Senaka Weeraratna

One Response to “Day of infamy and ‘ Pearl Harbour’ moment in Sri Lanka’s history”

  1. Nimal Says:

    We rather have British over us than the Japanese. Thank god that they never won the war.But yet I will prefer their cars and other products.

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