On this past Easter Sunday, April 21, the world had to sit and watch as yet another despicable terrorist attack devastated a community. This time, the community was the citizens of Colombo, Sri Lanka and the attack was a barrage of suicide bombings that tore apart churches and hotels citywide. On Sunday, many people woke up ready to celebrate Easter and spend valuable time with their families and friends on what should’ve been an otherwise peaceful and happy holiday. Instead, they were met with horrifying explosions and bloodshed that has totaled to 253 deaths and 500 people injured. This is yet another horrifying event to mark what people are capable of doing to each other when they can’t get along.
As the days pass and we enter the aftermath of the attack while the rebuilding continues, I’m sure many people across the globe have thought, “How did nobody see this coming?’’ Unfortunately, for those who lost their lives or were injured that Sunday, as from CNN reports, the Sri Lankan government had received repeated warnings from both U.S and Indian intelligence agencies. Intelligence agencies first told the Sri Lankan government in early April that the ISIS linked group Nations Thawahid Jaman was plotting to launch multiple suicide attacks directed at Christian churches and tourist spots across Colombo. Five days later on April 9 another warning was given to the Sri Lankan government and then again on April 11. These warnings were repeated in high frequency in the days and even hours leading up to the time the first bomb detonated.
Many warnings were given, yet no action was taken. Can you imagine that? Your life or the lives of those closest to you could have been saved, but due to the negligence of your government to heed warnings, devastation ensued. Why was the government so inept at preventing this situation in the first place? The answer is government infighting. Since the 2018 Sri Lankan Constitutional Crisis, the federal government has continued to divide itself into isolated and deceitful groups. In December the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was removed from the National Security Council. This left the leader of the country totally in the dark about the frantic warnings signaling that a terrorist attack was about to happen. CNN has quoted Sri Lankan government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne who stated, “I think this is the only country in the world where the security council does not like to come when summoned by the Prime Minister of the country.”
This entire situation was preventable and should’ve never have happened in the first place. The government had every opportunity to stop the perpetrators before their plans could be carried through. When two very skilled intelligence agencies coming from the U.S and India are frequently telling you that a large scale terrorist attack is going to happen in your country, the only things the government should be doing is figuring out how to stop those attacks from happening. The government didn’t of course, and now hundreds are dead or injured. The government that the Sri Lankan people elected to operate properly with both competence and servitude has failed them. If government officials are inept enough to the point that they can’t properly heed warnings and protect its people then, by default, they should have no right to sit at their current posts.
In the future, a systematic failure like this should be a case study for other governments on how not to handle intelligence briefings. Now that the tragedy has already occured, it is time for the government to pull itself together, put their quarrels aside and find the members of the NTJ that are responsible for this mass murder. In the meantime, the rest of us can only pray for the lives lost and those that the victims have left behind.