Tensions between ethnic and religious groups are always there in Sri Lanka. But large-scale violence seemed to this Sunday is a thing of the past.
About the perpetrators of the eight attacks in Sri Lanka, where at least 200 people were killed, it was Sunday afternoon officially still nothing known. But the government made clear that it believes to know who is behind …
About the perpetrators of the eight attacks in Sri Lanka, where at least 200 people were killed, it was Sunday afternoon officially still nothing known. But the government made clear that it believes to know who is behind it. Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said that all those responsible are identified and thirteen of them would already have been arrested. Most of the attacks would be carried out by suicide bombers.
According to the French news agency AFP, the police of Sri Lanka ten days ago, warned of the radical islamic organization National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). This group is held responsible for the destruction of a number of buddha statues, last year. NTJ would, according to the police report, terrorist attacks to prepare for “the major churches and the high commission of India”. The information could have come from a foreign intelligence service. It is unknown if the arrested suspects belong to this group.
Tensions between ethnic and religious groups, there are plenty in Sri Lanka. More than 25 years the war between the Tamil Tigers, that autonomy is wanted for the (majority hindu) Tamil populations, and the army, that the Sinhalese, especially the buddhist majority represented. In 2009, captured the army with much violence the last strongholds of the Tamil Tigers in the north of the country.
Of atonement has not been the case, an independent investigation into war crimes that the military committed would have years and years of blocked. At the beginning of this year promoted to president Sirisena, a general who according to the United Nations largely responsible for the excessive violence in the latter stages of the war, until the second man of the army.
Riots in Kandy
In the years after the victory there came radical Sinhalees-buddhist groups against muslims returned. Last year, for example, there were clashes between radical buddhists and muslims in the city of Kandy, where the state of emergency and the army were needed.
With about 10 percent of the population muslims, a religious minority just as the catholics (6 percent). The christians are not known as the main target of buddhist intolerance; more than a threat, they are correct as a unifying group given, because there are both Sinhalese as a Tamil-catholics. That also applies to muslims: they, too, can Sinhalees or Tamil. But in the eyes of buddhist hardliners, the muslims are dangerous and growing, their number is too hard.
On the other hand, groups of muslims, in the east of Sri Lanka, in recent years more have become. That happened partly under the influence of the NTJ, according to an analysis of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. There are more mosques and koranic schools came, some muslim women wear now, the burqa and groups of muslims segregate themselves off from the society. There are up to now not been reports that Islamic State in Sri Lanka is active. However, dozens of Sri Lankans at the time uitgereisd to the caliphate.
Suicide attacks were during the war, a tried and tested tactic of the Tamil Tigers. While there are occasional messages that they try to regroup, it is not obvious that they are behind the attack on Sunday, because they are not fast christians as a target. In the past, they attacked especially government officials.