A majority of the Zaharan group linked to the Easter Sunday terror attacks have been arrested by the Security Forces and Police and the rest will be apprehended soon, Sri Lanka Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.
On April 24, 2019, three Catholic churches and three high-end hotels in Colombo were blown up leading to the death of 258 people and over 500 wounded.
According to the Sri Lanka government, since the first attack, all security measures have been taken to restore normalcy in the country. Nevertheless, the disturbances which occurred in Minuwangoda on Monday proved that certain “sinister forces were attempting to achieve their petty aims, taking cover behind the Easter Sunday incidents,” Wijewardene said.
Wijewardene was speaking at a meeting at the Minuwangoda Divisional Secretariat auditorium after an inspection tour of Minuwangoda following Monday’s incidents.
Earlier Wijewardene inspected the mosque and business institutions damaged during Monday’s incidents. He said the government was making an earnest endeavor to wipe out fundamentalist terrorism and restore normalcy in the country.
As such, the public too should extend their fullest cooperation to the Armed Forces and Police in this effort, Wijewardene said.
For its part, the government will never allow anyone to disrupt communal amity or foment instability, Wijewardene added.
During the meeting, Minuwangoda Divisional Secretary Lakmini Gunatilleke tabled a report about the property damage caused by Monday’s incidents in Minuwangoda. She said 12 houses, 61 places of business, one place of religious worship and nine vehicles had been damaged.
Minister Wijewardene instructed the Divisional Secretary and other officials to obtain assessment reports on the damage and expedite compensation payments to the affected persons.
Sri Lanka’s Police Media Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara has said 85 suspects have been arrested in connection to the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks on churches and hotels. 17 safe houses used by the terrorists for lodging and 7 training camps were also discovered by the police.