I saw some coverage about that on the BBC news channel this morning, a few seconds before I switched the channel as I can't stand that female presenter. I think that kind of thing is horrible, and am also surprised by the number of attacks. Whoever ordered them wanted messages sending.
I hope the Sri Lankan authorities catch those responsible, put them on trial, convict them, and then execute them.
'Explosions thought to be the work of suicide bombers have killed at least 52 people at three churches and three hotels frequented by tourists in Sri Lanka, authorities say. Another 283 more were wounded in the Easter Sunday bombings, according to Sri Lanka’s national hospital spokesman, Dr. Samindi Samarakoon. They all occurred roughly at the same time, around 8.45am local time (1.15pm AEST), authorities said.'
A couple of weeks ago, one of those relatively vacuous lunchtime cookery programmes followed some Malaysian bird, a Christian, visiting her ‘roots’.
We’ll pass over her serious faux pas (plural) when visiting, cooking and eating with a Muslim family, and I put her down as a bit of an airhead.
However, right at the end - and she may not have realised the import of what she was saying, but I’ll give her the benefit of doubt - she said:
‘ ... And all the people here (a ‘mixed religion’ village), live happily together: not because they have been told to - they just, well, get on with each other.’
Sri Lanka is a real mix of ethnicity and religion. The Portuguese left a legacy of Catholicism, the majority Sinhalese are mostly Buddhists.
Then after the Dutch took the island from the Portuguese in 1640 they warred with the Sinhalese until 1790. The British took control of the island after bribing the Swiss mercenaries who fought for the Dutch with a large sum of money.
The 1802 Peace of Amiens ceded Ceylon (as it was then called) to Britain.
The British planted tea and coffee and imported Tamil labour from Southern India. The Hindu Tamils soon formed 10% of the population
On the east coast from Batticaloa to Jaffna, in addition to Tamils and the descendants of Dutch settlers called 'Burghers' there are also small pockets of Muslim Sri Lankans,descended from Arab traders . Muslims make up around 9% of the population.
During WW2 it was a major RN and RAF staging point , bombed by the Japanese but then turned into the HQ for Mountbatten's SEAC.
So a real mixed salad of different ethnic origins.
I was there briefly in 1989/90, though at that time I was largely stuck in Colombo due to a nasty insurgency war, with very little quarter on either side. Back then the U.S Embassy on Galle Face road looked like a fortress. The Brits scrubbed along with the old High Commission.
The videos from inside one of the churches are pretty grim, all the tiles have been blown off the roof, the walls are peppered with shrapnel marks, and lying under the tiles on the floor and sprawled over the pews are dozens of bodies. It looks like quite a powerful device.
Given that the government is dependent on tourism to supplement Sri Lanka's slender economy, and is largely Buddhist Sinhalese, it seems unlikely.
They finally put down the Tamil insurgency with extreme prejudice, after the Tamil Tigers bus-bombed their Sinhalese Prime minister, and with a lot of help from a Chinese arms company called Norinco.
There was also an anti Tamil death squad operating at the time called the JVP. So despite the Buddhist Path to Enlightenment they can be as ruthless as any other government in pursuit of their own interests.
But your cheeky tenner would get good odds, given the deliberate targeting of Christian places of worship AND hotels full of Western tourists.
When I was there (back in the Cretaceous era) people would ask me why the British didn't visit more often...the southern beaches were full of Germans ,Scandis and Aussies even when the Tamil war was at its height.
Shortly after that, the LTTE staged a high profile raid on Colombo airport and blew up three aircraft on the tarmac. After which, British Airways stopped flying there.
I travelled with KLM, who kindly gave my luggage a free trip to Sydney ,unaccompanied.