Justice for victims and families of Sri Lanka’s Easter terrorist attacks

St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Sri Lanka before the terror attack - ANTANO/WIKIPEDIA

Hakimi Abdul Jabar reminds us of the pain felt by the relatives of victims of the massacre who are still awaiting justice.

At the beginning of each Christmas season, the tup!-tup!-tup! sounds of firecrackers would usually pierce the air over Sri Lanka’s Negombo town. But this year will be just like last year – the town will celebrate in silence.

The wheels of justice are creaking slowly in the aftermath of the 2019 terror attacks in Sri Lanka. The savage acts of terrorism resulted in bomb explosions in several places including Negombo’s St Sebastian Church on Easter Sunday morning last year, killing 279 people mostly Catholics.

This Christmas, it will be over 19 months since the attacks. A new government has already been elected and certain politicians have come to power due to the publicity and political opportunism derived from this massacre. But the victims of the heinous attacks and their families are still waiting for justice.

From the various accounts that government officials and lawmakers have been relating to a presidential commission of inquiry, it is no wonder a number of Sri Lankans believe they have abdicated their responsibility.

Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena were among those who have given testimony before the commission of inquiry.

Many survivors and their families believe those involved in the planned terrorism attacks have not been brought to justice. All those who lost their parents, spouses and children still spend their days in tears.

When will the Sri Lankan authorities arrest those behind the suicide bombers, such as the financiers?

It seems that politicians and the powers that be, from time to time use the victims to establish their power and legitimacy, but they don’t seem to be doing anything for the victims.

We in Malaysia too seek justice in solidarity with the victims and the families of Sri Lanka’s 2019 Easter terrorist attacks.

Hakimi Abdul Jabar, an Aliran member, is a global money manager with a passion for human rights

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