Muslims had warned officials about group behind Sri Lanka attacks

Wednesday, 24 Apr, 2019

Two of the suicide bombers blew themselves up at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel on Colombo's seafront, said Ariyananda Welianga, a senior official at the government's forensic division. Police said they have arrested 13 people in connection with the bombings. "Some named in the reports had died during attacks".

A later statement said President Maithripala Sirisena would ask for foreign help to track down the worldwide links to the attackers.

Government officials said Sunday that they were recently warned by a foreign government that the National Thowheed Jamath posed an imminent threat but failed to take the appropriate precautions.

Bloomberg reported Muslims in the country were not surprised that an attack would be launched by National Thowhe Jamaath.

"There had been several warnings from foreign intelligence agencies about the impending attacks".

Funerals began on Monday, as more of the victims were identified.

"Some people claim it is Thowheed Jamaat".

Rauff Hakeem, a Minister and leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, said that being a Muslim minister in the Cabinet he believed the Muslim community and its leaders should introspect.

The Sri Lankan military, who were clearing the route from Colombo airport late on Sunday in preparation for Sirisena's return, found a crude bomb near the departure gate, an air force spokesman said. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency and curfew could be imposed at any time.

The Colombo Stock Exchange put its Monday opening on hold and schools will remain closed until Wednesday.

In addition, four hotels frequented by foreigners were hit.

The Secretary to the President, Udaya R. Senevirathna, said that a National Operations Center had been established to guide the investigations.

Sri Lanka saw frequent suicide bombings before 2009 but ethnic minority Tamil separatist insurgents mostly went for government targets. Most Sinhalese are Buddhist, the country's biggest religion - about 70 percent of the population. "Too many minorities have endured violence, and leaders must stand up unambiguously for pluralist societies and the rights of minority communities", said Kumi Naidoo.

Rajapaksa has been a key player in Sri Lanka's political fighting over the past six months. Weeks later, he was forced to re-instate Mr Wickremesinghe because of pressure from the Supreme Court but their relationship is still fraught as a presidential election nears.

"It is absolutely barbaric to see such violent attacks on such a holy day".

A British dad has confirmed the deaths of his "perfect wife" and "amazing" children in a heartbreaking statement following the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka.

NTJ, a radical Islamist organisation, has been active in Sri Lanka for some years. Economic growth in the quarter to December was the slowest in 19 quarters.

Spokeswoman Amy Mills urged Canadians in Colombo, the nation's capital, to limit their movements, avoid impacted areas, and take direction from local authorities. "Tourism is a very important sector for the economy and one of the major source of external reserves".

What is Sri Lanka's recent history?

Last year, there were suicide attacks on churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya and in the town of Jolo in the Philippines this year.

The highly coordinated attacks left the island nation reeling, a crushing blow after nearly a decade of peace since the end of its civil war.