Sri Lanka authorities, in their bid to ensure safety for their citizens, have taken stern actions following Sri Lanka Blasts on the Easter Sunday.
New Delhi, Tuesday, May 14, 2019 —
Over 70 suspects have been picked up by the police in connection to terror attacks carried on Sri Lanka. Hundreds of weapons have been seized in searches since the 21 April attacks. The serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka claimed over 250 lives, where the targets were Churches and Luxury Hotels.
Sri Lankan police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara on Saturday directed the public that those who are in possession of any sharp-edged weapons like swords or Kris knives, and uniforms similar to that of the Army and the police or any camouflaged uniforms, should deposit them at the nearest police station by Saturday or Sunday.
Enormous Amount Of Weapons Recovered From Mosques
The move was taken after police recovered a large haul of weapons, including swords, during searches of mosques following the Easter Sunday’s suicide attacks.
The police said that several people, including politicians, were arrested for their possession of sharp-edged weapons since the crackdown began.
Announcing the amnesty scheme, police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said “This will be in effect from today until tomorrow… If you are having police or camouflaged military uniforms, please hand them over to the nearest police station”.
Many More Arrests In The SriLanka Blasts Are Underway
The call came as investigations into the deadly bombings continue. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told Reuters on Saturday that some 25 to 30 people linked to the bombings were still at large.
“We have already identified all active members of the group and it’s a case of now arresting them,” he said.
The president added that there was “no information yet to say these suspects are suicide bombers.”
Mr Sirisena told the news agency that he believed the Islamic State group when they said they were behind the attacks.
Islamic State Claimed Responsibility For The Blasts
“It’s crystal clear because after the attacks the IS organisation made an announcement claiming responsibility for the bombings,” he said.
Mr Gunasekera also requested the relatives of the blast victims to assist the police in performing DNA tests on them as around 56 bodies, laying in the Colombo judicial medical officer’s mortuary, are yet to identify. “Relatives of anyone missing since April 21 who might have been in areas of explosions, please inform the nearest police stations,” Mr Gunasekera said.
Authorities in Sri Lanka have blamed the blasts on two previously little-known local Islamist groups – National Thowheed Jamath and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem – whom they suspect had international links.
Intelligence From 8 Countries Working With SriLankan Authorities
Mr Sirisena said intelligence services from eight countries were helping Sri Lanka with its investigations.
Mr Sirisena also added that he believed the country’s security forces would “eradicate terrorism” and restore stability before presidential elections, which are due to take place by the end of the year.
“Elections cannot be postponed, therefore before the elections, I will bring about stability and I will eradicate terrorism,” he said.
Sri Lanka expected 2-fold growth this year due to Ramayana circuit development
The country expects total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million mark in 2019, Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism Development John A E Amaratunga said.
In 2018, around 450,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has developed the Ramayana circuit to woo Indian tourists by identifying several places connected with the ancient Indian epic.
“We have rediscovered the Ramayana circuit. We have identified several spots and we are coming out with the authentic documentaries,” said Amaratunga. “Now we are targeting almost up to one million (10 lakh) arrivals with all the publicity which we are doing all that which we have to offer,” he added.
Sri Lanka is also well-connected as there are around 27 daily flights from India to the island nation, he said. He assured Indian tourists that his country is safe for them and bad times are over now.
(Inputs Sourced From BBC,Image Source NY Times)