Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka blasts: At least 137 dead and more than 150 injured in multiple church and hotel explosions:

More than 137 people have been killed and more than 150 injured after coordinated bomb blasts hit a number of high-end hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The blasts, reported to have occurred in the cities of Negombo, Batticalo and the capital Colombo, targeted at least three hotels and three churches as worshippers attended Easter services.

Bodies of the dead have been received at Colombo National Hospital, according to hospital sources. Most of those injured were also taken there, hospital officials said.

Please post updates in the comments.

Update: New York Times seems to be reporting Islamists.

51 thoughts on “Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka”

  1. I am glad that, at least, Sereno is well and uninjured. I bet, half-brainers’ handwriting!

  2. Another (7th) explosion near Colombo. For now, it seems that at least two explosions were executed by suicide bombers.

  3. Very suspicious attack. The victims are both Sinhala and Tamil christians, and western tourists.

    Either ISIS related group or conspiracy from certain political parties. SL Muslims have joined ISIS and died fighting in Syria so there are some crazy people there.

    1. One attacker was a suicide bomber, probably ISIS then. They have the motivation to take such a drastic step.

  4. The 8th explosion at zoo in the city Dehivali, 2 people killed. So far 185 people killed, more than 500 injured.

  5. Sri Lankan government banned SMSes and access to social networks. It seems, we will not get updates from Sereno. Or maybe, BP will be exempted? It is uncertain if all global accesses to BP are closed or moderators are pretty slow today and for hours do not publish any comment???

    1. your posts always go into moderation. pretty sure that’s because your IP is in eastern europe and our spam filter is slavophobic (this is a common issue with russian IPs).

      1. You may consider an IP addressing crash course. It is nothing to do with eastern EU (btw you were probably thinking – southern EU), neither with EU at all, nor with Russian providers. Only remains old plain slavophobic (you were probably thinking – serboaryanophobic) filtering. Anyway, I’ve got the message.

  6. Hi Milan Todorovic

    The 8th explosion at zoo in the city Dehivali, 2 people killed. So far 185 people killed, more than 500 injured.

    Did not hear about the Dehiwala Zoo explosion. FB etc was shut down.
    You guys are probably getting more updates than I.

    Just a few months ago large quantities of explosives were found a few miles south of where I live. Just google “wanathavilluwa explosives”.

    This current govt did not investigate and follow up because it involves a constituency that votes green.

    Some of the international “fake news sites” are still readable

  7. Then you have to deal with people who have absolutely no concept of of the danger to locals.

    I had some visitors doing a safari into the nearby National Park. The Jeep driver was asked to leave the Park at about 3pm. The safari was from a far entrance, about 70km from my jungle. Normally we enter the national park from the entrance 3 km from my basic accommodation. As they say when it rains it pours.

    Entrance from the locality was because of the heavy rains. So the safari Jeep was sent the long way around. At around 3:30 pm the park rangers asked Safari jeeps to leave the park as there was curfew by 5pm.

    The jeep driver is a Muslim. He was doing 90km to get back to the village. The visitors were crying, the driver had no consideration for our comfort and we could have been killed because of the speed.

    I had to explain there was a high possibility, if the jeep got stopped, at the very least the jeep could have been destroyed or the jeep driver killed.

    Anyway all good, back safely and had to worry about frogs and cockroaches, of which both man and woman were scared. I doubt that the cockroaches, were from my place, we have 6 cats and they love cockroaches, for meals. They play with frogs but not part of their meals.

    1. click through the NY Times piece. “A top police official alerted security officials in an advisory 10 days ago about a threat to churches from a radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath.”

      1. That organization has an international presence, and was even supporting DMK in the 2014 elections in India.

    2. Likely Jihadist. Sri Lanka has seen a ton of inter-ethnic violence over the years, but its usually some combination of Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.

      That Christians and foreigners were targeted indicates a disinterest in local affairs, and an attempt to reach a wider-Western audience for maximum shock/exposure. The perpetrators are likely an ISIS-affiliated outfit, as they’ve made a point of moving their operation focus out of the Middle-East and into Africa/Asia following their route by coalition forces in Syria/Iraq.

  8. As per the AFP report, the suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Grand hotel, before setting off explosives strapped to his back.
    Carrying a plate, the man was just about to be served when he set off his devastating strike in the packed restaurant, a manager at the Sri Lankan hotel said.
    “There was utter chaos,” said the manager, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, as he is not allowed to speak for the company.
    The Taprobane restaurant at the hotel was having one of its busiest days of the year for the Easter holiday weekend.
    “It was 8:30 am and it was busy. It was families,” the manager told AFP.
    “He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast,” he added. “One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly.”


    The suspects were booked to room 616 they told the Daily Mirror. They had recovered two iPhone chargers and other pamphlets and paraphernalia associated with extremist ideology, they said.
    They zeroed down on the leads to a building in Dematagoda where they arrested three persons. Three officers were killed as a result of twin explosions around the safe house.


  9. Does it have to do something with the buddhist-muslim clashes sometime last year?

    I read some Sri Lankan ex cricketers appealing for peace last year when this happened

    1. Does it have to do something with the buddhist-muslim clashes sometime last year?

      I dont think so. Then would have attacked Buddhist place
      This larger and for an international audience.

  10. This is devastating news. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.

    Glad that sbarrkum is safe.

  11. For India and Bangladesh this is a warning shot from ISIS Sistan by which they mean south Asia. Tamilnadu has some jihadist crazy groups like Al Umma which can take the terror franchise from ISIS.

    1. This is true. Both Tamil Nadu and Kerala have a lot of ISIS supporters. This is something that can not be overlooked. This attack could have easily happened there. In fact, these Islamic fundamentalist groups in SL gain sustenance from their co religionists in TN who speak the same language (not just from Saudi which is the ultimate root of Wahabi Islamic fundamentalism)

      1. Are you saying my beloved rationalist Dravida-land has ISIS supporters?
        Oh my Periyar !

      2. Karan you exaggerate a tiny bit on Tamil Nadu and Kerala Daesh support. The vast majority of Tamilian and Malayali muslims oppose Daesh and feel threatened by Daesh.

        Daesh always attacks “lesser” and “fake” muslims first. There are a ton of “lesser” Tamilian muslims (horror of horrors, many Tamilian muslims are Hindu tilted).

        1. The majority of Muslims in TN, Kerala and SL are not ISIS followers.

          However, there is a significant amount turning to Wahabism. Sufis have been routinely attacked in SL since the early 2000s.

          You have well to do Kerala Muslims joining ISIS:



          To ignore this is dangerous.

          1. We are agreed Karan. Would you agree that Daesh is a bigger problem in Kerala than Tamil Nadu? If so, why do you think this is? And if you don’t agree, why not?

            Indian muslims are deeply scared about the rise of Islamism among a minority of Indian muslims. I think this accounts for why many Indian muslims vote for or toy with the BJP. We will see, but perhaps a majority of UP muslims will vote for the BJP and her allies this year.

            At the same time Indian muslims are a lot more liberal than English muslims. India has much to be grateful for.

  12. “Tamilnadu has some jihadist crazy groups like Al Umma”

    But i had a feeling that a Jihadist group of Sri Lanka would have named Dar-ul-Dravidian or something

  13. Sometimes I wonder if Islamist bloodletting can even be called terrorism. Terrorism is defined as the means of furthering the political agenda through the agency of terror. In this case there wasn’t even any political demand or any well defined objective. It appears pure blood lust. Almost like a ritual slaughter. Killing people for the sake of killing.

    Religion of peace befell Sri Lanka. Rest in peace.

    1. religious conflict benefits ISIS. this was the pattern in iraq. they gratuitously killed shia muslims to the point where al qaeda was getting disturbed by the optics. but it ‘worked out’, as the shia reasonably reacted harshly and clamped down on sunnis, who ended up supporting ISIS.

      i don’t think the model will work in south asia since muslims are a minority. but these are people with a hammer. everything is a nail

      1. Note that ISIS and AQ were the same thing until Osama Bin Laden, peace be upon him, passed away in 2011. After that there was a dispute over succession:
        —Those who favored Zawahiri as successor remained AQ
        —Those who favored bu Bakr al-Baghdadi as successor were called Daesh or ISIS

        Only AQ existed in Iraq until 2011.

        Technically Zawahiri claims that the leader of Taliban (Hibatullah Akhundzada) is the rightful world emperor (Kalifa) and claims to be following him.

        Bakr al-Baghdadi personally claims to the world’s rightful emperor (Kalifa).

        The model has partly worked on SAARC from AQ’s and Daesh’s perspective. Most of SAARC’s twelvers, sixers and Sufis have allied with India (and nonmuslims in general for that matter including Europe and America). Most Indian twelvers, sixers and Sufis likely vote BJP.

        This is what AQ and Daesh wants. They use this in their propaganda as part of the great Islamic civil war.

        AQ and Daesh want to win the 14 century Islamic civil war and discredit their muslim enemies.

        1. “Osama Bin Laden, peace be upon him”– Bin Laden is not a prophet. I don’t know why you are giving a terrorist leader the respect due to a prophet of God.

    2. Scorpian this is part of the 14 century Islamic civil war. The long term goal of Daesh and AQ is to rule the world and make everything perfect (implement God’s will on earth). They, and Islamists in general, are utopian idealists. They believe that they are the good guys.

      For Daesh and AQ the primary short term focus has always been defeating their muslim enemies.

  14. Common assumption – the ISIS agenda is to drive a wedge between the various Muslim groups in Islamic states and support existing ISIS (leaning) groups such that they are able to implement a true Islamic Caliphate. Then why would they seek to wreak devastation in Sri Lanka? How does this support the ISIS agenda?

    1. JT, Daesh and AQ say that there is a global conspiracy between “lesser muslims”, “fake muslims” and the world’s 6 billion nonmuslims. Attacking nonmuslims aids this narrative.

      Not everything Daesh and AQ say is inaccurate. In practice hundreds of millions of muslims want to ally with each other and with the world’s 6 billion nonmuslims to take on Daesh and AQ.

  15. pinned the attacks on a home-grown jihadist group called the National Thowheeth Jama’th, which was likely aided by an international jihadist network. But according to early unconfirmed reports, the alleged mastermind of the attack was NTJ Imam and prolific lecturer Moulvi Zahran Hashim. Reports alternatively identified him as the mastermind of the bombings, and as one of the suicide bombers who carried them out.

    why so many of his lectures which encouraged young Muslims to participate in jihad and kill ‘kafir’ – infidels – remained up on YouTube (in the wake of the attacks, it appears some of his videos have finally been removed).

    I guess most of the videos would be in Tamil.


    1. sbarrkum I support freedom of art and thought.

      Islamist speech should not be banned. We (good muslims and good nonmuslims) need to have dialogue with Islamists. Allowing the sweetness of love to melt hearts.

      Muslims need freedom of art and thought so that they can safely have dialogue with Islamists. For 14 centuries muslims who have try to have dialogue with Islamists have gotten violently attacked or threatened.

      1. Dialogue and the “sweetness of love” are not viable solutions to deal with people who espouse violence. Freedom of speech should not apply to hate speech. Videos advocating the killing of “infidels” should have been taken down from the internet long ago.

        Extremists should be dealt with according to the fullest extent of the law. People are entitled to their private opinions, but when they start calling for violence, that line has been crossed.

        1. Kabir,
          Videos advocating the killing of “infidels” should have been taken down from the internet long ago.

          I agree.

          Another possibility would be to investigate viewers of this type of video. Would that be entrapment..

  16. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/22/asia/sri-lanka-bombings-warnings-unheeded-intl/index.html

    According to Saroj Kumar Rath, a terrorism and security expert at the University of Delhi, NTJ has its origins in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu in the early 2000s.
    Manoj Joshi, a fellow at Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation, said that NTJ had carried out protests at places like liquor stores in the past, but he wasn’t aware that it had initiated any previous terror attacks.
    There are numerous small groups like the NTJ around India and South Asia, Joshi said. “The problem was that this group did not have a history of any kind (of violence) in the past. They (the authorities) may have been blindsided by the lack of focus on this group,” Joshi said, noting that that while Sri Lanka was no stranger to terrorist attacks, violence there has historically existed under a very different context.”

  17. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/world/asia/ntj-warning-sri-lanka-government.htm

    India, a close ally of Sri Lanka’s, has been watching the entire South Asia region for any sign of activity by Al Qaeda or the Islamic State. And Indian security agencies had been scrutinizing the movements of National Thowheeth Jama’ath’s leader, Mohammed Zaharan, a known extremist who has spent time in both India and Sri Lanka, and who in recent years has preached hateful messages online.”

  18. I am surprised that guys who were arrested in Jan (few miles south of my jungle place) were released. Apparently, there are Muslims attacking muslims who “inform”

    Basically, this govt and President were elected on a minority vote with peace on a platter. They are not willing to take the strong steps to root out the menace.

    Meanwhile, Highways and Road Development Minister Kabir Hashim claimed that some of the members linked to the NTJ and suspected to be responsible for the terror attacks on Sunday had earlier been arrested over the Wanathawilluwa explosives raid on 18 January but were later released.

    “I have been informed that one or two persons that were arrested during Wanathawilluwa explosive haul were released by the Police because of political influence. There is speculation that one person that got released was involved in a suicide attack on Sunday,” he added. However, Hashim said that he could only confirm this information within the next couple of days.

    Police also identified the suicide bomber of the Shangri-La Hotel as Imzaan Seelavan. Presenting evidence before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, Police said that Seelavan’s wife, his brother and two children had died in the explosion in Dematagoda on Sunday.

    Seelavan, who was an owner of a factory in the Wellmapitiya area, had about 100 people in his employment, Police told courts. Nine of his employees had been arrested during a joint operation by the Colombo Crimes Division and Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). The nine suspects were remanded till 6 May. Court ordered Police to conduct an in-depth investigation and present the findings to Court. The magistrate also gave permission for Police to obtain phone records of the nine suspects.

    The three Policemen who died in the Dematagoda blasts were posthumously awarded promotions.

    From March

    Mohamed Razak Taslim (37) was asleep when two persons arrived at his home at Dhanagama Mawatha before dawn yesterday. One of them pulled out a pistol and fired at him at point blank range. Mr. Taslim is now lying at the Intensive Care Unit of the Kandy National Hospital.

    Mr. Taslim is described as a Coordinating Secretary to Highways and Investment Promotion Minister Kabir Hashim. The minister was scheduled to provide development assistance to several Buddhist temples in a string of ceremonies yesterday.

    Police said Mr. Taslim was known to have assisted Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives who had probed activities of an extremist group in Mawanella. This group had campaigned for attacks on religious statues, including Buddha statues and crosses.


  19. he cousin of current Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Zayan Chowdhury has been killed in one of the bomb blasts

    Selim is the nephew of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, former President of Bangladesh and a cousin of current Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

    Zayan’s father Mashiul Haque Chowdhury was also injured in the blast and later admitted to a local hospital. British MP Tulip Siddiq on Monday said she has lost a relative in the series of blasts which rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday. She did not reveal the identity of the relative. Tulip Siddiq is the niece of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.


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