Sri Lanka's Easter Bombings Bring Renewed Violence To A Long-Troubled Country


Shantha Mayadunne, a local celebrity chef in Sri Lanka with her own television cooking show, and her daughter, Nisanga Mayadunne, were killed in the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka, according to the Guardian and CNN.

A Sri Lankan government official says a domestic militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath is responsible for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings.

The country's president, Maithripala Sirisena, announced that Tuesday, April 23, would be a national day of mourning.

"Colombo was concerned that the SLTJ could become the platform through which Sri Lankan groups could join the rank of groups like ISIS to fight at home or overseas".

Vigils were also held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and in Toronto.

In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the United Kingdom, two people with USA and United Kingdom dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

"We were terrified all the time", Liyanage said. "There are so many bad memories that come to my head personally and so numerous other members when we heard about this".

Sri Lanka only recently recovered from a brutal 26-year civil war between the predominately Buddhist Sinhalese majority and mostly Hindu Tamil minority. The country's small Christian community has seen only scattered incidents of harassment in recent years.

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As Sri Lanka continues to treat the wounded, questions are being raised - including by prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe - about why Sri Lanka didn't act more promptly on warnings ahead of the Easter attacks. No domestic or foreign group has claimed responsibility thus far.

The suicide attacks on churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa also left 500 people injured.

Kowalski, originally from Wisconsin, posted on Facebook Friday that he was flying to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

He said Sunday's attacks risk destabilizing a country that's still struggling to establish a fragile peace, adding many of his fellow expatriates are anxious about its longer-term consequences for loved ones back home. "This just brings everything to a halt".

Earlier on Monday, authorities lifted an overnight curfew and said that they had defused an improved bomb at the global airport in the capital, Colombo.

- A student from a DC school has been identified as one of the victims killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, according to school officials.

"Anita, Alex and Annabel leave behind a large extended family and many close and cherished friends who are now grieving this tragic loss".

Ahamed said, in the report, "Targeting the non-Muslim community is something they encourage - they say you have to kill them in the name of religion".