Sri Lankan Muslims under siege after Easter Sunday attacks

Sri Lankan Muslims under siege after Easter Sunday attacks

Agency News

Since Sri Lankan churches and hotels were bombed, some of its Muslim communities say they feel under siege as their businesses and homes come under sporadic attack. The entire community is living under the shadow of fear expecting a backlash from other communities.

Sri Lanka has already found answer for the t the coordinated Easter Sunday terrorist attacks that killed at least 250 people. The country has identified 8 suicide attackers behind the attack. But in the name of a bunch of suicide bombers, an entire community has been put under the shadow of doubt and live under the fear of Sporadic attacks on houses and shops. Soon after the bomb attacks, hundreds of Muslim refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan took shelter in mosques and a police station and afraid to go home, since angry mobs came to threaten them. Several such incidents have been reported from Lanka.

But at the same time, an independent organisation, the Human Rights Commission, is working to solve the communal tensions while religious heads have met to appeal for calm.

On Monday, under an emergency law, the president placed a ban on “all forms of clothing that cover a person’s face and prevents them from being identified,” a move intended to help security forces identify people in a country still on high alert, but also seen as directed against Muslim women.

Sri Lanka has a long history of ethnic tension — nearly three decades of civil war ended in 2009. That conflict was between Tamils, who are mostly Hindu, and the Sinhalese majority, who are mostly Buddhist. More recently, Buddhist Sinhalese nationalists have attacked Muslims and Christians, both minorities in the country.

But there’s no history of violence between those two minorities, and now there’s a growing concern that Sunday’s bombings could create a new rift between them. Though the funerals of victims of Sunday’s attacks, where Christian leaders urged survivors not to lash out against their neighbors. But many feel that there is a growing unrest among Christian community to take revenge. Terrorists could achieve their target of dividing society, and sowing chaos.