As Easter Sunday has passed, you may have read about the devastating bombings that occurred in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. Many people commented on how Sri Lanka was finally peaceful after the civil war, which lasted for twenty-six years and ended in 2009. Several of the victims of the bombings were children as families gathered at churches to celebrate Easter, leaving many families heartbroken and grieving. Here is a brief overview of what occurred on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.
What Happened? On Sunday, April 21, 2019, nine suicide bombers attacked three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, killing 253 people and injuring an estimated 500 people. After the initial six bombings, two more were reported to have targeted houses in the same city. The next day, another explosion occurred when police officers discovered explosives, which they attempted to disarm, in a vehicle used by the suicide bombers. A few days later, on April 26, 2019, three suicide bombers took their life, as well as their families’ lives.
Who is Responsible? An Islamist group called National Thowheed Jamath is suspected to have been responsible for the attacks while some suspect that ISIL - Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - are the ones to be held responsible for the terrorist bombings. Later, ISIL released a video stating that they were behind the suicide bombings and that they targeted Sri Lankan Christians.
How to Help? While this news is extremely saddening, it is important to keep in mind what can be done to help the victims of such a tragedy. Here are a few resources where you can donate and help the victims:
King Hearted Lankans - a charity based in Australia dedicated to helping Sri Lanka. The website has a specific page where you can read about the Easter Sunday bombing tragedy. It also has a page where you can donate. https://www.kindheartedlankans.com/
UNICEF - an organization dedicated to helping those in need across several countries. The website has a separate page that talks about the Easter Sunday bombing tragedy and a separate tab where you can donate. https://www.unicef.org/srilanka/sri-lanka-easter-sunday-attacks
Go Overseas - a company that offers several programs that allow people to travel abroad and work and volunteer in different countries. While volunteering in Sri Lanka may be difficult for some, the option is always available and can be considered for those who can and wish to travel and help. https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad/sri-lanka