Holy Easter celebrations turn diabolic: Eight bomb blasts in Srilanka

bomb blasts in Srilanka

Since the crack of civil war in 2009, the island country was often dodged from terror, until the diabolic onslaught on Easter. Gruesome bombing left the country shaken and disrupted Easter celebrations. The country endured eight explosions at churches and hotels. Initial reports suggested the death toll to about 207, which has now risen to 300 and about 500 are reported to be injured.  Ten days prior to the attack, an alert was raised via an intelligence memo. This led to a debate which raised questions about whether more precautions could have been taken in order to prevent the attack. The explosions blew off church roofs and exploded the hotel windows. Macabre sightings of blasted bodies and blood speckles on the buildings wall, left the holy Easter celebrations into a lamentable affair.

Around 9 a.m. St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo was attacked. The explosion went off during Easter services. Three high-end hotels were also targeted from the capital: Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La Hotel and The Kingsbury.  Around the same time, 22 miles north from the capital, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo was sieged by terror. Another bombing occurred at Batticaloa in the evangelical Zion Church, located 196 miles away from Colombo on east coast. The attacks followed till early afternoon, when a hotel, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia near Colombo was attacked. The final blast took place at a private house in Mahawila Gardens in the Dematagoda area.

Followed by the attack, the country was forced to go on a lockdown, regulating curfew and social media websites were debarred from usage. Civilians and tourists stranded on the island were unable to connect with friends and relatives to communicate their safety. Network access was however possible via a foreign SIM card or via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). On the basis of tweets from some Srilankan ministers, Twitter is functional. A buffer on social media websites had not been lifted until Monday morning.

The culprit behind the fiendish attack is yet unknown. Manisha Gunasekera, high commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK, confirmed that the explosions were indeed an act of terror. Reports alleges arrest of twenty-four people in connection with the attacks.