Only a day after three suicide bomb attacks and three other explosions rocked the capital Colombo, the city was seen slowly returning to life on Monday morning. Yet, less vehicle movements were seen in most of the roads.
On Easter Sunday morning, three suicide bombers claimed many lives at the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand Hotels. The same afternoon, two explosions were also reported from Dehiwala and Dematagoda.
“This is a brutal and a cowardly terrorist attack on humanity,” said Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake, commenting on the tragic incidents.
She said she was appalled by the Easter Sunday terror attacks which devastated Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa and added that the Municipality stands ready to offer help to anyone who needs it.
“I don’t know under what guise the terrorists are doing this? If its on the pretext of various things? But I cant understand how a human being could go down to the level of destroying himself and others, to have such a warped and ugly mind to destroy life. The main purpose of living is to live our life abundantly. We need to eliminate this terrorism from the root itself and the government should take firm action by doing a thorough investigation. The government should bring in strict laws and also beef up security in the city,” she said.
She expressed her condolences to the families whose loved ones were lost or injured in the terror attacks.
“Innocent people went to churches to worship God. I offer my condolences to the Roman Catholic Church, the Christians and also to every Sri Lankan and those who arrived from abroad on holiday staying in hotels,” she said.
The Mayor highlighted the importance of staying united and strong at a time like this. She reminisced how the country went through one struggle and started healing only recently.
“Our country has been a country that has been very hospitable and lived in harmony, since we are a multi-national multi- religious country. It was evident on Sunday when the members of the clergy from all religions including the Buddhist Mahanayake Theras and Muslims religious leaders met with the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. We are always together and we live like one family but then there are these extremist mindsets which we need to eradicate from its root. That extremist mindsets that want to destroy humanity and with no absolute empathy towards humanity, should be dealt with,” she said.
Ms. Senanayake, who visited the St. Anthony's Church, Kochchikade, which was gravely damaged by the suicide attack, pledged Rs.25 million from the municipality to bring the church to its former glory.
She said the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) have engineers with great skill and that they are ready to offer any assistance if needed.
When asked if the CMC was collecting details of the affected within the city, she said they were awaiting for the government to finalise and release reports of such data.
“Once we have the final reports including the number of affected and so on, we can decide our next step. In the meantime, our charity commissioner stands ready and we are even ready to offer any psychological assistance to anyone if needed,” she said.
Commenting on the security of the city, the Mayor said they have paid attention to the issue and highlighted the importance of increasing the security within the city and also around CMC buildings.
“The Council has over 100 elected members and many others. Anyone can walk in the way they please. In a letter, I have requested President Maithripala Sirisena to take necessary measures and to beef up security in the city and to provide security to the council building," she said.
She also reminded that the CMC fire brigade officers were always on stand by, should need arises.(Lahiru Pothmulla)