At least 310 dead and 500 injured: The series of attacks on Easter Sunday has put Sri Lanka in a state of emergency. Heads of state have expressed their condolences worldwide. The attacks are the heaviest in the country since the end of the
Civil War ten years ago. The most important questions and answers:
On Monday, Sri Lanka's government declared a state of emergency involving the
Security forces have additional powers. He applies according to the office
from President Maithripala Sirisena from midnight (local time) to the
To enable police and the military, "the
public security. "For the night of Tuesday, as on Monday, a curfew was applied.
Sirisena also summoned a three-man team to complete the series of
To investigate suicide attacks. The team includes a judge of
Supreme Court as well as a former police chief and a
Ex-government official. You should have a first report in two weeks
Security forces are currently searching throughout the country
after those responsible for the attacks. at
The police discovered the investigation at the central bus station in
according to own data 87 detonators for bombs. In addition, investigators found in
near one of the location of an explosive device in a parked
Automobile. Bombardiers blew up the vehicle
near St. Anthony's Church in the capital Colombo.
The international police organization Interpol sends an expert team to Sri Lanka. The
The team was and should be deployed at the request of the Sri Lankan authorities
support the investigation after the series of attacks, it said in a
Message from Interpol. It consists of specialists
Expertise in crime scene investigation, explosives,
Counter terrorism and victim identification.
A report of the Washington Post According to the US Federal Police FBI
Investigators to Sri Lanka and offered official support, such as at
Laboratory investigation of explosives residues. The newspaper appeals
In total there were eight detonations in three churches, four hotels and a residential area. The first explosions took place in the morning almost simultaneously in the three churches, as there just the
Easter church services were held. The churches are Saint Anthony's Church in the capital Colombo,
St. Sebastian's Church in about 30 kilometers from the capital
distant Negombo and Zionskirche in Batticaloa, about 250
Kilometers east of Colombo.
At about the same time as the churches were detonating, explosions also occurred in the luxury hotels of Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and
Kingsbury in Colombo. There should also have been injured foreigners. Later that day, a seventh explosion took place in a small hotel in one
Suburb of the capital Colombo reported with two dead. An eighth
Explosion occurred in the afternoon (local time) in a residential area in
Dematagoda, another suburb of Colombo. A few hours later, security forces near Colombo airport also cleared a pipe bomb. Whether the explosions were coordinated, is not yet confirmed, but the temporal proximity suggests it. As was known on Easter Monday, the attacks on the three churches and the three luxury hotels were suicide bombings. This was said by a Sri Lankan government worker
Since Monday, the government is convinced that the Islamist group National Thowheed Jama'ath (NTJ) has committed suicide bombings. So far nobody has known about the attacks.
According to the police, 40 suspects were arrested. According to head of government Ranil Wickremesinghe, at least some of the suspects are inhabitants of the island state
Authorities also possible connections abroad after. According to police, the driver of the car is among those arrested, allegedly used by the suicide bombers. Even a homeowner had been arrested, in which the perpetrators are to be accommodated.
Police chief Pujuth Jayasundara had already ten days ago
Indications of foreign intelligence services against attacks on churches
warned. As a potential culprit called the highest-ranking police officer Sri Lanka
there already the NTJ, an organization of Muslim
Tamils, which became known to the public in 2018 by the destruction of Buddha statues. The Minister for Relocation and Reintegration, Mahmud Lebbe Alim Mohammed Hizbullah,
However, warned against premature blame. "The investigation is underway, but
there is no evidence against a special party, community or
Group, "said the Muslim politician on Easter Sunday in an interview with the Malaysian news portal The Leaders
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed in a televised address on Sunday evening that the intelligence service had had evidence of a possible attack. It had to be examined why no such action had been taken, said Mr Wickremesinghe. First priority, however, was "to seize the terrorists".
Among the 310 dead are at least 35 foreigners from eight states.
According to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the nationalities of eleven foreign victims have since been verified. Three people would have the
British citizenship, two British and one American,
two the Turkish, three the Indian and one person the
Portuguese nationality. Nine foreigners are missing
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok wrote on Twitter, one
Dutchwoman had been killed in the attacks. Chinese
According to state media, one person also died in the attacks
Nationality. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed several US citizens among the victims, but did not mention a figure.
A victim of the attacks had, according to information from the Foreign Office
next to the
US also a German passport. As far as previously known
no more Germans among the killed. The German Embassy in
According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) with the local authorities in
tries to clarify about other possible German victims. The
Foreign Office set up a crisis team. Relatives can
by calling 030/500 00.
Three of the
Four children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen died in the suicide bombings in Colombo, where the family spent a vacation. That was a spokesman for his group of companies told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet known. "Unfortunately we can confirm that," he said. "We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and therefore do not make any further comments."
Led for decades
the minority of Tamils in the north of the country and other rebels in Sri Lanka are waging a civil war. The rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had for
fought an independent Tamil state in the north of the country. According to UN information, up to 100,000 people died in the conflict
People. Alone in the last months of the war are UN estimates
40,000 civilians have been killed. More than 300,000 men,
Women and children were expelled, many still live in
state detention centers. The
Army went against the insurgents and defeated them
after all. The civil war ended in 2009 after 26 years. The UN accuses both sides of war crimes.
At the end of 2018, Sri Lanka was in a political crisis. President Sirisena had personally dismissed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in October and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (UPFA) as his successor. Rajapaksa had surprisingly lost the presidential election in 2015 after almost ten years in office against his party colleague Sirisena. Previously, allegations of human rights violations, corruption and nepotism against him had become public. He and his family had ruled the island nation increasingly autocratically.
Wickremesinghe considered the swearing in of his successor illegal and announced legal action. Rajapaksa did not succeed in obtaining a vote of confidence by the parliament. Even President Sirisena's attempt to dissolve parliament and hold new elections failed because he was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court. Rajapaksa then resigned and Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Prime Minister on 16 December 2018. President Sirisena is still in office today.
In the Democracy Index of the British Journal The Economist occupied Sri
Lanka 2018 71th place and is thus considered "incomplete
In its 2017 country report, the human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the continuing human rights problems in the country after the civil war. The authorities were still using the anti-terror law to arrest and detain suspects. People in police custody would be tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and there would continue to be impunity for human rights violations and enforced disappearances.
In May 2016, the UN Special Rapporteur reported on torture and
other cruel and degrading treatments or punishments
in Sri Lanka. He noted that the police are still serious
Uses forms of torture in criminal investigations. In many cases, they went unpunished for the perpetrators. Human Rights Watch also reports regular torture in the country.
The island state of the size of Bavaria has a good 20
Millions of inhabitants. Just
About seven percent of Sri Lanka's population is Christian
Majority is Buddhist. Between the religious communities and
ethnic groups regularly face clashes and struggles in the country. Radical Buddhist
Monks stoke hatred and violence especially against the
Muslim, but also against the Christian minority. Again and again
it comes to anti-Muslim attacks as in May 2018, as radical
Buddhists in Kandy mosques devastated Muslim shops
pillaged and killed at least three people.
Sri Lanka is still today
split: the Buddhist majority living in the south of the country
dominates politics, business and economics
Military. The Tamils live in the north and are 80 percent Hindus, the
another 20 percent
Christians and Muslims.
The Foreign Office has its
Travel advice for Sri Lanka updated after the attacks.
Travelers in the Southeast Asian
Island States are asked to avoid the location of attacks,
to pursue local media, close contact with tour operators
and airlines and instructions from
Security forces to obey.
The Rapid Reaction Center of the
Foreign Ministry also asks travelers to look at relatives
and if possible by phone call or SMS to report and friends
observe the imposed curfews. The government has proclaimed two holidays, schools and the
Stock market remain closed. To prevent the spread of false news, the authorities in Sri Lanka turned off numerous social media. Affected were, among others, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp,
Snapchat and Youtube – Twitter, however, obviously not.
According to the airport authority
are trips to the airport with valid passport and plane ticket
despite the curfew allowed. If you want to fly from Bandaranaike airport, according to the Foreign Office, you should be four hours
arrive before departure at the airport. This is until further notice for
Passengers of all airlines. With far-reaching security measures
like barriers, but also restrictions in air traffic and
reinforced controls before entering the airport building and
the departure is expected. According to the state
News portal news.lk allowed only passengers with valid
Tickets enter the airport building. Bandaranaike is one of
two airports in Sri Lanka, those from international air traffic
be flown. It is located about 35 kilometers north of Colombo,
where most of the attacks happened.
The US warn in their latest travel advice that
the attacks in Sri Lanka could continue. "Terrorist groups
plan further possible attacks, "it said
Hotels and prayer houses can also be other places where tourists visit
stop, as well as shopping malls and transport hubs. Others too
Countries like Australia or Ireland cautioned travelers to be careful.