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Easter Sunday, nightmares of past and fears for the future

16 Mar 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

On the 31th of this month Catholics and Christians of all denomination will celebrate Easter Sunday. The festival without a doubt brings to mind the Easter Sunday bombing of 2019. 
On Easter of 2019, terrorists exploded their deadly caches of explosives in three churches where Christians were celebrating what to the community was the most sacred of Christian festivals. Separately on the same day, in three five star hotels members of the same terrorist group carried out similar attacks on guests having their Easter breakfast. 
To-date no one knows why these misguided souls chose that date to perform their ‘mischief’. The intelligence services of the US, UK, India, China, Israel Pakistan et al arrived in the country within hours of the bombing.

However, it was thanks to the immediate action taken by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, -the head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka- any further bloodshed was averted.
Yet, even today -nearly five years later- we are no closer to learning why those ‘misguided’ people performed that dastardly deed on the day held holiest of Christian festivals. Nor are we any closer to knowing who the master-minds behind the bombings are. 
This issue was also raised by the Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador of the Vatican) at a reception to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the election of the current Pope. 
In his speech the Nuncio mentioned that there remain challenges to good relationships between the Vatican and Sri Lanka mentioning specifically the controversy surrounding the Easter Sunday bomb blast.  
The Cardinal and most Catholics are angered by the inability of the police and the different governments to have provided a definitive answer to the unanswered question of who was behind the operation and why our country was targeted.
To many Catholics it appears the state is interested or hindering efforts at getting to the root of the question. The anger is not directed at those who carried out the bombing which killed around 250 people, the numbers of wounded and hundreds or more who lost husbands, wives, brothers and sisters. 
To most of the victims and the Christian community, it appears governments of the day are not interested in revealing who the culprits behind the killings were. It is this pain and hurt which keeps pushing Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith to condemn our different governments for their don’t give a damn attitude to the collective pain of Christians.  
It has come to such a pass that the Cardinal is today even calling on the United Nations (UN) to set an independent inquiry into the massacre by the ‘international community’.
While the Cardinal’s frustration and anguish are understandable, the dangers of placing our own problems in the hands of the ‘international community’ is downright dangerous.
We cannot but forget that this self-same international community via the UN which partitioned undivided Palestine into Israel and Palestine, giving 55% of the land to Israel and 45% to Palestinians with Jerusalem to remain international territory.
Today Israel illegally occupies all of Palestine. The international community makes no move to force Israel from its illegally occupied territory. But it refers to Palestinian efforts to free themselves of Israeli occupation as terrorist activity!
In an earlier era -during the apartheid era in South Africa- the ‘international community’ accused Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) which was struggling to liberate its land from the white minority who ruled that country of being terrorists.
During America’s war in Vietnam -the same ‘international community’ (US and the West) referred to the North Vietnamese of being terrorists. In 1995 Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during America’s intervention in Vietnam -around 2,000,000 civilians!

In Afghanistan the international community invaded that country to ‘protect Afghans’. By the time the US and its allies withdrew leaving Afghanistan in shambles, 70,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians died as a direct result of that war.   
Today these powers -’international community’- look at Lanka principally for its position on the trade routes. We need to be extremely wary of extending invitations to these powers to enter into problems in our country whatever the reason.