Monthly Archives: May 2019

One of the World’s Hottest Destinations. Now It’s Eerily Empty

One of the World’s Hottest Destinations. Now It’s Eerily Empty

Having landed a few minutes earlier here at Colombo’s international airport, our jam-packed flight from the Maldives is disembarking its crammed cabin, passengers marching down the arrival ramp under the watchful eyes of camouflaged police, standing easy in flak jackets, but hands firmly fixed on …

Bombers from rich families. Research explains what motivates them

Bombers from rich families. Research explains what motivates them

Two of the nine suicide bombers in Sri Lanka who killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday were the sons of a rich and famous spice trader in the country. One of them had studied aerospace engineering at Kingston University, England, but did not …

Tread carefully

Tread carefully

Even as DNA tests conclusively proved that Zahran Hashim, chief suspect of the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka, died in the attacks, India worries that the growing tensions between the nation’s Buddhist majority and Muslim minority might plunge the island back into another crisis …

Hopes Dim After Terrorist Attack

Hopes Dim After Terrorist Attack

Even before the coordinated bombings that killed 250 people last month, Sri Lanka’s president and prime minister were in trouble — largely of their own making. Now calls for President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to step aside when their terms are over, …

When national security trumps religious freedom

When national security trumps religious freedom

The fallout from the recent spate of suicide bombings in Sri Lanka highlights the tension between religious freedom as a fundamental human right and national-security concerns. The country’s ban on face coverings — which admittedly impinges on religious liberty — can be justified in light …

Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart

Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart

The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka last month were a massive human tragedy for a country that has already experienced too much violence. Prior to the attacks on Christian churches and luxury hotels, Sri Lanka was already a deeply divided nation. The bombings and their …

Can Sri Lanka ever achieve lasting peace

Can Sri Lanka ever achieve lasting peace

Religious tensions in Sri Lanka have risen as the country marks 10 years since the end of the civil war. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed over 26 years as the government fought ethnic minority Tamils, who wanted to create their own state. Just as …

It’s not too late to bridge the divides in Sri Lanka — but it won’t be easy

It’s not too late to bridge the divides in Sri Lanka — but it won’t be easy

In the days since Islamist terrorists carried out attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a series of violent reprisal attacks have targeted the country’s Muslim community. The assaults intensified during the week of May 13, when marauding mobs torched Muslim …

Presidential run?

Presidential run?

Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accused by rights groups of war crimes during the final months of Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war a decade ago, has confirmed he plans to run for the presidency in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks that have shattered …

Sri Lanka: The crisis and constitutional violations

Sri Lanka: The crisis and constitutional violations

Sri Lanka was in a deep and complex crisis even before the outbreak of the Easter Sunday attacks. Now, in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, the country has plunged into a deeper and bigger crisis, which is more complex than it was before. …