On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital, Colombo, were targeted in a series of coordinated Islamist terrorist suicide bombings. Later that day, there were smaller explosions at a housing complex in Dematagoda and a guest house in Dehiwala. A total of 269 people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals, three police officers, and eight bombers, and at least 500 were injured.[a] The church bombings were carried out during Easter services in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo; the hotels that were bombed were the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury and Tropical Inn.[b] According to the State Intelligence Service, a second wave of attacks was planned, but was stopped as a result of government raids.
|2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings|
|Part of terrorism in Sri Lanka, terrorism linked to ISIL, and the persecution of Christians in the modern era|
|Date||21 April 2019|
|Target||Mainly Christians and tourists|
|Weapons||Acetone peroxide, Explosive Shrapnel|
|Deaths||269 (+8 bombers)|
|Perpetrators||Eight suicide bombers|
|Motive||Islamic extremism, suspected retaliation for the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand|
|Inquiry||President Sirisena invoked emergency laws, providing police extensive powers; the president later stated that emergency laws would be confined to dealing with the current terrorism threat and would not be used to impinge freedom of expression|
|Charges||Nine individuals charged with supplying paraphernalia used in connection with an act of terrorism appeared in Colombo Magistrates Court on 6 May 2019|
According to Sri Lankan government officials, all eight of the suicide bombers in the attacks were Sri Lankan citizens associated with National Thowheeth Jama'ath, a local militant Islamist group with suspected foreign ties, previously known for attacks against Buddhists and Sufis. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said in parliament on 23 April that the government believed the attack was in retaliation for the Christchurch mosque shootings on 15 March 2019.[c] The direct linkage between the two attacks was questioned by New Zealand's government and by some experts. The NTJ had been stockpiling explosives at least since January 2019.
On 23 April 2019, Amaq News Agency, a propaganda outlet for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), stated that ″the perpetrators of the attack targeting the citizens of coalition countries and Christians in Sri Lanka were Islamic State fighters″. Sri Lanka was not part of the anti-ISIL coalition, and the overwhelming majority of those killed were Sri Lankan citizens. A man believed to be long-silent ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi praised the attackers during an 18-minute video on a range of topics. The Criminal Investigation Department, however, has stated that there is no evidence of ISIL's direct involvement.
Historically, terrorism in Sri Lanka mostly involved coordinated attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) against the government and army during the Sri Lankan Civil War, which began in 1983. The LTTE was defeated in 2009 in its effort to violently seize control of the northern and eastern coasts of the island from the Sinhalese ethnic majority to create an independent Tamil state. The Marxist-Leninist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) also held uprisings in 1971 and 1987–89.
The main religions in Sri Lanka are Buddhism (70.3%), Hinduism (12.6%), Islam (9.7%) and Christianity (6.1%), with 82% of the Christians being Roman Catholics. The remaining Christians are evenly split between the Anglican Church of Ceylon and other Protestant denominations.
During the 2010s, a low but persisting number of attacks and threats were made against Christian congregations and individuals, as well as other religious minorities, by local monks, although they may or may not be actual members of the Buddhist clergy. Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Dhiloraj Canagasabey called for constitutional rights on religion to be protected. In 2018, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reported a large increase in the number of attacks against Christians in the country that year. This coincided with a Supreme Court ruling against a Catholic organisation in August, which deemed that proselytism was not protected by the constitution (though individual freedom of religion remained protected).
Easter Sunday is Christianity's holiest day and church attendance in Sri Lanka is very high on this day. This was the first time since 2009, the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, that the country had experienced a major terrorist attack.
The Sri Lankan government was aware of some foreigners arriving in Sri Lanka to spread what justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe called Islamic extremism. In November 2016 he told parliament that 32 Sri Lankan Muslims from "well-educated and elite" families joined the ISIL. On 25 April 2019, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed that the government had known of the Sri Lankan nationals who had joined Islamic State and returned to the country – but they couldn't be arrested, because joining a foreign terrorist organisation is not against the law.
In the aftermath of the bombings, investigations revealed that school textbooks for Islam published by the government also encouraged the radicalisation of Muslims. The school books since the 1980s called for the death sentence for those who leave Islam.
Prior to the attacksEdit
Vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka Hilmy Ahamed had said about three years ago he warned military intelligence officials about the National Thowheeth Jama'ath, saying "targeting the non-Muslim community is something they encourage – they say you have to kill them in the name of religion".
Indian intelligence agencies provided specific information to Sri Lankan authorities about the method and target locations for the potential terrorist attacks to Sri Lankan authorities as early as 4 April, and again on the night before, and as close as two hours, before the first attack. This included information about the threat to churches, gathered from interrogation of a suspected ISIL recruit in Indian custody.
The New York Times and AFP reported on a police chief warning security officials in an advisory ten days before the attacks of a threat to prominent churches from a radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama'ath. No information in this regard had been passed to the senior politicians of the country; Minister Harin Fernando then tweeted images of an internal memo and report by the police intelligence of a terror attack planned by the founder of National Thowheeth Jama’ath, Mohammed Zahran.
Investigators have said that Rilwan Hashim, brother of Zahran, had built the explosives alongside Mohammad Hasthoon. Zahran had claimed to have been appointed member of the Sri Lankan branch of Islamic State by one of its officials and to be receiving orders directly from Syria, a claim investigators believe to have been fabricated. Zahran held a meeting in early April 2019 with over a dozen people in Panadura, where they decided upon the attack. Some participants however wanted to target the Buddhist festivals
The cohorts of Hashim had stayed in contact through WhatsApp and Telegram. The planning for a future attack may have begun in mid-2018, though the group hadn't selected any target. Investigators believe that the Easter attack plan came into being much later, with roles of perpetrators being decided upon only shortly before Easter. They had communicated through Threema a few weeks before the attack.
In January 2019 a stockpile of suspicious explosives was discovered near the Wilpattu National Park which contained 100 kilos of high explosives and 100 detonators. The police confirmed that this was from a "newly formed radical Muslim group". On 16 April a parked motorcycle in Kattankudy carrying explosives detonated without casualties during a lightning storm.
Christians were attending Easter Sunday services when the bombings took place, targeting churches and hotels around Sri Lanka. The sequence and coordination of the bombings were planned to cause maximum destruction, targeting Christians during worship services across the island nation, and targeting guests during breakfast in beachfront hotels in the capital. All six of the first set of explosions targeting the churches and hotels were carried out by suicide bombers.
The first blast took place in the Shrine of St. Anthony, a historic Catholic church in the capital, where more than 50 people were killed. The second blast took place in St. Sebastian's Church in the Christian-majority suburb of Negombo, to the north of Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. Over 100 people were killed at St. Sebastian's Church. St. Sebastian's is also close to Sri Lanka's main airport, Bandaranaike International Airport, where security was heightened.
Colombo: Shrine of St. Anthony Church
|8:45 am||Negombo: St. Sebastian's Church|
|9:05 am||Batticaloa: Zion Church|
|9:15 – 9:20 am|
|2:00 pm||Dehiwala: Tropical Inn|
|2:15 pm||Dematagoda: Housing complex|
The Catholic Shrine of St. Anthony in Kotahena, Colombo, was the first to be hit, followed by the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian in Negombo. Sri Lankan news media initially reported at least 93 people killed at St. Sebastian's. In October 2019, the BBC reported that a total of 115 people had died in the St. Sebastian's bombing, including 27 children.
The Zion Church in Batticaloa, a Protestant congregation, was also bombed. Local news reported at least 30 killed in Batticaloa, with 9 of these reported by a police official to be tourists. A hospital official in the region said that more than 300 people had been admitted following the explosion. The BBC reported that the suicide bomber had attempted to enter the church under the guise of filming it, but was denied access because of the ongoing service. Instead, he detonated his bomb in the churchyard, killing many children from the attached Sunday school who were taking a break.
The Shangri-La bombers struck at 08:57 hours (UTC+05:30) during breakfast in the Table One Restaurant on the hotel's third floor, which was reportedly full of foreign tourists who made up the bulk of the hotel's clientele.
The suicide bomber who struck at the Taprobane restaurant in the Cinnamon Grand hotel had checked into the hotel with a false name the night before, claiming to be on a business trip. The bomber entered the queue of the packed restaurant's breakfast buffet the next morning and detonated explosives strapped to his back as he was about to be served. One of the hotel's managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly.
The reception hall of a guest house, the Tropical Inn in Dehiwala, was also attacked later in the day, with two deaths reported. Later on during investigations, It was found that the bomber's original target had been the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo. CCTV footage given to the media by the hotel shows the bomber attempting to detonate his vest three times in the dining area and upon failing, leaving the premises at 8.49 a.m.
The Kingsbury hotel management resumed their operations on 24 April 2019 followed by Cinnamon Grand few days later; Shangri-La partially reopened on 12 June 2019.[d]
A further bombing occurred later in the day when police executed a breach and clear at a suspect's house in the suburbs of Colombo; in Dematagoda killing three police officers and four others at the premises including the suicide bomber. The pregnant suicide bomber, whose three children were killed in the blast, was the wife of Ilham Ibrahim, the Shangri-La suicide bomber, and the sister-in-law of Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim, the Cinnamon Grand suicide bomber.
The government closed facilities for security; the Defence Ministry issued a police curfew starting at 18:00 local time on the day of the attacks, and imposed a temporary social media ban, whilst the Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, had all schools closed for the following two days. The Colombo Stock Exchange announced that its operations will be temporarily suspended following the terror attacks, not opening as planned on 22 April 2019.
On 22 April, the Special Task Force (STF), the elite counter-terrorism unit of the Sri Lanka Police, located a van belonging to the attackers near St. Anthony's Shrine, the site of one of the prior day's blasts. Upon inspection, the vehicle was found to have been rigged with 3 bombs. After the STF's bomb-defusing unit evacuated the surrounding area, the bombs were detonated simultaneously during a defusing attempt. The same day, police reportedly found 87 items of bomb paraphernalia at the Bastian Mawatha Private Bus Station in Pettah.
On 25 April, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) released names and photos of six suspects wanted in connection over the Easter Sunday bombings, seeking public assistance. On 28 April, police confirmed two of the suspects, Mohomed Iwuhaim Saadiq Abdul Haq and Mohomed Iwuhaim Shahid Abdul Haq, who were arrested in Nawalapitiya and would be handed over to the CID.
Since the attacks, any garment covering the face including the burqa and niqab, has been banned in Sri Lanka.
The bombings killed 269 people and injured at least 500. Initially, 359 fatalities were reported; the Ministry of Health later reduced the number by 106 after cross-referencing DNA samples to body parts. The majority of the dead are Sri Lankans, with at least 45 foreigners among those killed.
The victims included:
- Shantha Mayadunne, a Sri Lankan TV chef. Her daughter was also among the victims.
- Three of the four children of the billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, CEO of Danish clothing retailer Bestseller.
- A maternal grandson of Bangladeshi politician Sheikh Selim.
- A relative of British politician Tulip Siddiq.
On 26 April, the Sri Lanka Army and the STF carried out a search operation in Sainthamaruthu where three explosions and a shootout occurred when they attempted to raid a suspected hideout following a tip-off. Three suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing nine of their family members, including three women and six children, while three other terrorists were shot dead by the soldiers. One civilian was caught in the crossfire and died, according to police, while a wounded woman and child were taken to hospital.[f]
Another search operation in Sammanthurai based on information received by the State Intelligence Service led to a house where a stock of more than 150 gelignite sticks, IS uniforms and flags, 100,000 metal balls, a drone, a van and a laptop were discovered. An indefinite curfew was imposed in the police areas of Kalmunai, Chawalakade and Sammanthurai.
On the same day, a suspect was arrested and more than 40 swords, kris knives and several uniforms similar to those worn by the army were recovered from a mosque at Palliyaweediya on Slave Island.
On 27 April, while conducting house to house raids in the Kalmunai area, evidence recovered linked three suspects to the murders of two police officers, Dinesh Alagaratnam and Niroshan Indika, on 29 November 2018 in Vavunathivu. All three suspects were arrested and The Daily Mirror reported that sources confirmed they were part of a "radical Islamist" group.
On the same day, the driver of the main suspect involved in the attacks, Mohamed Sahran, was arrested in Kattankudy. The Negombo Deputy Mayor, Mohomad Anzar, was taken into custody with a sword, a knife and 38 mobile phone batteries.
State of emergencyEdit
Following President Sirisena's return to the island from Singapore on 22 April 2019, where he was on a personal visit, the Sri Lankan government declared a state of emergency from midnight of 22 April by an extraordinary gazette notification issued by the President under the Public Security Ordinance. This would give the government, police and the armed forces sweeping powers to undertake counter-terrorism activities. The government also announced that it would hold a national day of mourning the following day. On 24 April, the Sri Lankan Parliament passed emergency regulations without a vote after a day-long debate. Emergency regulations give the police and armed forces powers to search, arrest and detain persons for up to 24 hours without a warrant.
On 25 August 2019, the government lifted the state of emergency, following the normalising of the security situation.
After incidents occurred yesterday in the North-Western Province, starting from Chilaw and spreading to Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola and other areas, we had to impose curfew last evening. There were incidents of youth involved in damaging and destroying property. So, I as Army Commander request and at the same time warn anyone who has planned to destroy or dishonour the orders given by the government or the Armed Forces, that we will take stern action. I say again we will take stern action to apprehend, arrest and even open fire and use minimum or maximum powers given under emergency laws.
We will ensure that the country will not return to violence, including the violence of radicalization and terrorists. Please ensure that you do not get involved in such illegal incidents or any such activities. The Armed Forces will not hesitate to use our powers to curb, curtail and contain the situation. The Armed Forces are strong enough to ensure there won't be an escalation of violence in any part of the island. We have deployed the Army, Navy and Air Force to assist the Police to maintain law and order. I humbly request the youth not to get involved in violence and get entangled with the Armed Forces where we are ready to use our powers.
Since 21 April evening, the government has imposed nightly police curfews effective island-wide, with the hours reduced to 2200 to 0400 hours until 27 April. Indefinite curfews were imposed in several police divisions where incidents such as the Sainthamaruthu shootout took place.
On 12 May, a group of people congregated in the town of Chilaw allegedly following a Facebook post that claimed there was a plan to attack the town. An immediate police curfew was imposed and the situation was brought under control without further damage. Two people were later arrested over the incident.
On 13 May, sporadic isolated incidents where groups of people vandalised property in the North Western Province caused police to impose curfew across the entire country. Acting Police Chief C.D. Wickramaratne promised an overwhelming police response against any individuals breaking the law by instigating sporadic countrywide riots targeting Muslim-owned property and businesses. In a hard-hitting statement, Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake stated that the security forces had been given broad-ranging powers under emergency laws, and would respond proportionately to the threat, but that they would not hesitate to utilise the full extent of their powers to ensure that the rule of law is maintained.
On 14 May, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that all necessary powers to restore peace and stability to the country had been given to security forces and police. He further stated that creating unnecessary disturbances would hinder the ongoing investigations to apprehend terrorists.
We will not let any elements or any cowardly acts of a few extremists drag the country to anarchy over the unfortunate events on Easter Sunday. We are receiving information on those responsible for such activities, and will take full action against them.
The government temporarily blocked major social media networks and messaging services Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat and YouTube within hours of the attack. The blocking included VPN service providers that could be used to circumvent the blocks.
Some commentators condoned the move and viewed it as evidence that social media sites had failed to stop misinformation. Others criticised the block for cutting off Sri Lankans from means of communicating with relatives during a disaster and saw it as counterproductive in reducing fake news.
On 30 April, President Sirisena ordered the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to lift the social media ban. On 13 May, the government blocked social media for the third time following the anti-Muslim riots.
Ban on burqaEdit
On 24 April 2019, a Sri Lankan MP Ashu Marasinghe called for both burqa and niqab to be banned from the country and proposed that a bill be passed in the Parliament during a local parliamentary session in wake of the attacks.
On 28 April 2019, President Sirisena banned any type of face covering that prevents or hinders facial identification, including the burqa or niqāb under an emergency law that will go into force on 29 April 2019. This law does not prevent a Muslim woman from wearing a hijab or chador. Breaching any emergency law is punishable by a maximum penalty of death, a recently reinstated penalty that has not been used for more than four decades. In a press release, the President stated the decision was taken to "further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators". The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema also told all Muslim women not to wear face veils in public for security reasons.
On 10 May 2019, it was mandated that copies of all sermons given inside mosques be submitted to the Ministry of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, as part of a broader strategic plan to monitor activities inside mosques. The Ministry said mosques must not be used for radicalising congregations.
Centralised and Integrated Population Information SystemEdit
On 8 May 2019, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe announced plans for a centralised platform for the collection, monitoring and storage of intelligence. The system known as the Centralised and Integrated Population Information System will collect biometric data from iris scanning and facial identification at all ports of entry and exit. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Provincial Councils and local governments were instructed to prepare an action plan for this system in two weeks, to obtain Cabinet approval.
Indian Intelligence Report: Security lapse InquiryEdit
Sri Lanka's Minister of Telecommunication Harin Fernando had tweeted that Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara sent an alert by his Deputy Inspector General Priyalal Dissanayake dated 11 April 2019 relaying an Indian intelligence report from 4 April that suicide bombers affiliated with NTJ planned to attack prominent churches and the Indian embassy in Colombo. The Indian intelligence service reissued the warnings two days and then again two hours before the attacks. Following the attacks, it disclosed that some of the information about the attacks was gleaned from an ISIL suspect arrested in Delhi, who revealed the name of a man, Zahran Hashim, the founder of the NTJ.
After initial government denials of the alert's authenticity, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that "information was there," about the attacks, and that his government must "look into why adequate precautions were not taken." The Sri Lankan government has acknowledged and apologized for failing to act on warnings received from Indian intelligence before the bombings. The State Defence Minister had earlier requested that the media not publish the names of the attackers, and said the government believes the attacks were carried out by a single group of religious extremists.
- TID pre-bombing investigation
It was later claimed that the Police Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) has been investigating the activities of the chief suspect Zahran, with an arrest warrant issued by the Colombo Magistrate's Court in August 2018 based on a 'B' report dated 2 July 2018 which the TID had submitted. However, the investigation had stopped after the arrest of the head of the TID, DIG Nalaka de Silva in September 2018, on allegations of attempting to assassinate President Sirisena, which ignited the 2018 constitutional crisis.
- Presidential Commission of Inquiry
This security lapse forms part of a current Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday bombings. The commission submitted an interim report two weeks after the attack and extension of its term until 31 May to complete the final report.
Based on the interim report of the presidential commission, the Attorney General Dappula de Livera instructed the Criminal Investigation Department to carry out a criminal investigation against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundera to determine if they failed to act on intelligence warnings about the attack. The final report was presented to President Sirisena by the commission on 10 June 2019.
- Parliamentary Select Committee
In May, a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was appointed to probe the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks and incidents in its aftermath by the Speaker of the Parliament. The Select committee is headed by the Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri and includes seven MPs. The SLFP and the UPFA decided not to participate in the Select committee.
On 7 June 2019, President Sirisena called an emergency Cabinet meeting and protest the PSC probe. He ordered that the PSC be terminated. He was critical of the PSC for summering intelligence and police officers. He had ordered no public officer to appear for summons issued by the PSC. Following Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis's statement at the PSC to the effect that President Sirisena knew about the warnings of an impending attack, Sirisena sacked Mendis within hours.
The Sri Lankan Police launched an investigation into the incident; it has now transpired into a major transnational investigation led by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lankan Police to hunt down all the perpetrators involved in this incident. Six foreign police agencies, including Scotland Yard, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Interpol are assisting the Sri Lankan Police.
The bomber at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel was a guest who registered under the name of "Mohamed Azzam Mohamed" and gave a false address. The Shangri-La Hotel bomber was identified by police as Insan Seelavan, a factory owner, nine of whose employees have been arrested.
On 23 April 2019, three Sri Lankan government and military sources told Reuters that a Syrian national had been held in custody for questioning over the attacks.
Later on 23 April, the Sri Lankan State Defence Minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, said that initial investigations have revealed that Islamic extremists "carried out the attacks in retaliation for a March attack on two mosques in New Zealand". This has been questioned by New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and by analysts, as the attacks were likely planned before the Christchurch attacks. New Zealand security expert Paul Buchanan said that "Christchurch seems to be a convenient justification for something that was being planned before 15 March". Shortly afterward, Amaq News Agency claimed ISIL inspired the attacks. It released a photo and a video showing eight suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Zahran Hashim of the NTJ was identified as their leader. Amaq's statements emphasised the attacks were against Christians who are war with the organisation. None of them referenced Christchurch.
Investigators believe the bombs were made of acetone peroxide, and are looking into training camps that had been hidden on a remote compound near Wanathavilluwa, on the west coast of the country, and possible links to overseas jihadist networks.
According to the investigators, the perpetrators were offered military training by a person named Army Mohideen, while weapons training was provided overseas as well as in Nuwara Eliya and Wanathawilluwa in the Eastern Province. The vehicles used in the attack are believed to have been procured from a car sales centre in Kadawata.
The National Investigation Agency of India confirmed that on 28 April, four homes were raided in Kasaragod, and Palakkad, Kerala as part of the transnational investigation unfolding into the Easter Sunday bombings.
Police arrested eight people living in the Colombo suburb of Dematagoda on the day of the attacks.[g] Five more suspected attackers and accomplices were arrested at a house during the night. Police confirmed on the day after the bombings that 24 people were arrested. By 23 April, the number of people arrested was 40. Three police officers and two civilians were killed by bombs that exploded during the capturing. By 24 April 60 people had been arrested with possible links to the attacks, with 32 in custody. On 26 April, the Sri Lankan Police had more than 70 suspects held on charges of suspicion of terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and conspiracy to commit terrorism. Four high-level suspects are being held by the Terrorism Investigation Department, and 33 are being held by the Criminal Investigation Department. Most of them are friends and family of the suspected suicide bombers. Nine suicide bombers were involved in the attacks, and police have identified all of them.
A suspected mastermind named Hayathu Mohamed Ahmed Milhan and four others were deported to Sri Lanka from the Middle East. Milhan was expected to become the new leader of NTJ.
On 29 March 2020, the main suspect who was also the mastermind behind the Easter bombing in the Zion Church was arrested by police in Mount Lavinia during the curfew imposed to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The suspect was identified as a 40 year old resident of Dehiwala/Mount Lavinia and was accused of transporting the suicide bomber to the Zion Church in Batticaloa. The suspect was also accused of handling the suicide bomber who attacked the Kochikade St. Anthony Church.
Nine people were arrested on 22 April 2019 and formally charged with supplying equipment used in connection with an act of terrorism; they appeared in the Colombo Magistrates Court on 6 May 2019. They were released on bail of two sureties of LKR500,000 each (approx. $3,000), as the court found the case against them was weak. The police launched an investigation to determine whether Wellampitiya police had erred. On 9 May 2019, investigators found that Wellampitiya police officers had made several errors, neglecting to put several facts before the court. A police spokesman said that action would be taken against the officers responsible.
On 15 May, Wellampitiya Police officers hit back against the allegations of negligence and filed a complaint to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) alleging Colombo Magistrate Court Judge Priyantha Liyanage was being biased against the police by releasing nine of the ten suspects produced in court. A legal representative appearing on behalf of the suspects stated that the magistrate nor his client needs to wait for the police to complete its investigations for the magistrate to make a decision on the matter, the allegations made by the Wellampitiya Police officers do not have a proper basis in law. A police spokesman said an investigation had been launched into the incident, and that it appears that police may have erred by not filing the case under the Prevention of Terrorism Act because the investigations were yet to be completed. He further stated that action would be taken against any personnel held responsible as soon as the report from the investigation was released. Human Rights Watch urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure that the detained people had access to lawyers.
National Thowheeth Jama'athEdit
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne confirmed that all of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens associated with National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), a local militant radical Islamist group, but foreign links are suspected. There had been no claim of responsibility before 23 April. NTJ's leadership had been condemned by several Sri Lankan Muslim organisations in 2016 for advocating extreme fundamentalist indoctrination of children and for clashes with Buddhist monks, and was linked in 2018 to vandalism of Buddhist statues following anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka. NTJ's leader and "bombing mastermind" Zahran Hashim from Sri Lanka, preached on a pro-ISIL Sri Lankan Facebook account, known as "Al-Ghuraba" media, and on YouTube.
Jammiyathul Millathu IbrahimEdit
During a press conference on 23 April 2019, State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene confirmed that a second splinter group was being investigated, but declined to provide details. On 27 April 2019, President Sirisena designated Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (the splinter group) and National Thowheeth Jama'ath as terrorist organisations. This enables the freezing and seizure of assets belonging to these groups.
Willayath As SeylaniEdit
Identities of the bombersEdit
Wijewardene announced that most of the suicide bombers were "well-educated and come from middle or upper-middle-class", and that they were "financially quite independent". He stated one of the bombers studied in the United Kingdom before going to Australia to complete a postgraduate degree.
Sri Lankan police have identified the nine suicide bombers:
|No.||Name||Native Place||Location attacked||Note|
|1||Alawdeen Ahmed Muad||Mattakkuliya||St. Anthony's Shrine||His brother has been arrested.|
|2||Atchchi Muhammadu Muhammadu Hasthun||Valaichchenai||St. Sebastian's Church||His wife who was identified as Pulasthini Rajendran (Sarah) and wanted by CID over the attacks, was killed during a police raid at a house in Saithamaruthu on 26 April 2019.|
|3||Mohamed Nassar Mohamed Asad||Kattankudy||Zion Church||Married and aged 27. He originally targeted St. Mary's Cathedral but was dropped off at the Zion Church since mass service had ended when he arrived.|
|4||Mohamed Azam Mohamed Mubarak||Colombo 12||Kingsbury Hotel||Member of NTJ, exploded a bomb at Kingsbury by 9:15 to 9:20 am. His wife has been arrested.|
|5||Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zahran||Kattankudy||Shangri-La Hotel||The founder of NTJ and the suspected ringleader of the attacks, is believed to have been one of the suicide bombers who struck the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. His wife and daughter were injured and his father and 2 brothers were killed whilst the police were conducting a breach and clear at a home on 26 April 2019 in Saithamaruthu.|
|6||Mohamed Ibrahim Inshaf Ahamed||Dematagoda||Cinnamon Grand||Aged 33, was the owner of Colossus Copper, a manufacturing facility in Wellampitiya. Investigators believe Inshaf used his factory to fabricate the suicide vests used in the attack, supplying bolts and screws that filled the devices. His father, brother and wife are currently in the custody of the CID. He is brother of Ilham.|
|7||Mohamed Ibrahim Ilham Ahamed||Dematagoda||Shangri-La Hotel||Aged 31, younger brother of Inshaf. Husband of Fathima who killed herself.|
|8||Abdul Lathif Jameel Mohammed||Gampola||Tropical Inn||Aged 36, detonated his bomb at the Tropical Inn. Mohamed had previously studied in the United Kingdom and Australia and may have been radicalized while in Australia. He had originally attempted to bomb the Taj Samudra in Colombo, but his device failed to detonate.|
|9||Fathima Ilham||-||Mahawila Gardens||Pregnant wife of Mohamed Ibrahim Ilham Ahamed. She detonated her bomb killing herself and her three sons, and three police officers, in the police raid of her home in Dematagoda.|
Ties to Islamic StateEdit
Hashim was featured in a video released by Amaq purporting to show eight of the suicide bombers. One of the bombers, Abdul Latheef, had tried to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. It was reported that he was one of the subjects of a terrorism investigation by the Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team in 2014 after intelligence emerged linking him to an IS operative Neil Prakash. The Times reported that security agencies believe that Hashim might have travelled to Syria where he was trained and developed links with British ISIL members like Jihadi John and Junaid Hussain.
After the Sainthamaruthu shootout, Amaq claimed those killed in the raid were men of ISIL and published a photo of Rilwan who had carried out a suicide bombing. The other man in the image has been identified as Zahran. The Islamic State also released a video purportedly showing their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi praising the attackers and claiming the attacks were revenge for the loss of Baghouz in Syria.
In their initial probe, the investigators said that the attack was planned locally without any direct involvement of the Islamic State. Zahran once made his cohorts listen to a recording of a purported ISIS official making him the head of the Sri Lankan branch. The investigators believed he lied greatly to others about the extent of his contacts with the group. General Mahesh Senanayake said the attackers utilised the ideology of the Islamic State so it could get the blame.
Ravi Seneviratne, the DIG who leads the Criminal Investigation Department, testified in July that they had no evidence of the group having direct involvement. Seneviratne added that the NTJ was inspired by its ideology, but its members had convinced the group through Indonesian intermediaries to take responsibility two days after the attacks.
The trial of the 25 men accused of masterminding the bombings began in November 2021. The men face over 23,000 charges, including conspiracy to murder, aiding and abetting the attacks, and collecting arms and ammunition.
The Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara, came under heavy criticism following the bombings, with the United People's Freedom Alliance urging that he resign for failing to prevent the bombings. Later, former presidential candidate Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka claimed it was unfair to blame the IGP and that it was a conflict between the functioning of military intelligence and criminal investigators, and called for better intelligence mechanisms and security clearances to be streamlined.
In a speech delivered in parliament, former president and then-opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa slammed the government for weakening the intelligence services over the years. He stated that in January 2015, he handed over a secure and peaceful country with a strong national security apparatus. He claimed the present government is squarely responsible for the 2019 Easter bombings, stating that on an important occasion such as Easter, representatives of the government usually attend Mass; on this occasion, no representatives were present in or near churches. He blamed the government for diluting the powers of the national security apparatus and claimed this terrorist attack would never have occurred under his administration. Additionally, the government was preparing to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act; he questioned what kind of position the government would have been in to respond to the incident had they been successful in having the Act repealed.
On 24 April 2019, President Sirisena promised major changes to the leadership of the security forces within the next 24 hours and pledged a "complete restructure" of the police and national security forces in the coming weeks. These changes come amidst allegations that a rift between the President and Prime Minister contributed to the failure to effectively respond to threats that undermine national security. The incident also caused a major setback for the government and for other political parties just before the 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election.
Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne initially attempted to implicate Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the bombings, claiming that Abdul Razilk was a suicide bomber and the secretary of the NTJ that received funding from intelligence agencies during the Rajapaksa government. Razik however is the general secretary of the Ceylon Thowheed Jama’ath (CTJ), one of the splinter groups from Sri Lanka Thawheed Jama’ath (SLTJ) of which he was the former general secretary and is neither a member of the NTJ nor a suicide bomber. Razik challenged Rajitha to provide evidence for the allegations.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe later apologised for failing to stop the attacks, issuing a statement on Twitter saying "We take collective responsibility and apologise to our fellow citizens for our failure to protect victims of these tragic events. We pledge to rebuild our churches, revive our economy, and take all measures to prevent terrorism, with the support of the international community."
President Maithripala Sirisena attempted to connect International drug syndicates to the bombings to justify his campaign to implement the death penalty to drug dealers, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disputed the president's claims.
2019 Sri Lankan presidential electionEdit
- Defence Secretary
On 23 April, President Sirisena announced plans to change the heads of the defence forces. On 25 April, Hemasiri Fernando, Secretary of the Ministry of Defence tendered his resignation to the President after it was announced that President Sirisena had requested the Defence Secretary and the Inspector General of Police resign. Retired General Shantha Kottegoda was appointed to succeed Fernando as Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, while retired IGP N. K. Illangakoon was appointed adviser to the Ministry of Defence.
- Inspector General of Police
Although President Sirisena announced on 25 April that the Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara would be resigning, Jayasundara made no public comment. On 29 April, the IGP was sent on compulsory leave after no response was received to President Sirisena's request for his resignation. The President lacks jurisdiction to dismiss the IGP, as he was appointed by a decision by the Constitutional Council and can only be removed by a motion passed in Parliament pursuant to the Public Officers (Procedure) Act, which requires the precise circumstances of the charges and/or allegations against him to be detailed and presented. The Police Commission still maintains jurisdiction to overturn the decision to send the IGP on compulsory leave. The same day, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police C. D. Wickramaratne was appointed as the Acting Inspector General of Police and General Shantha Kottegoda was appointed Defence Secretary. On 13 May, the Constitutional Council endorsed the appointment of C. D. Wickramaratne as Acting IGP. This is considered final and conclusive for all purposes, as neither the National Police Commission or the Supreme Court have jurisdictional oversight to reverse this decision.
Pujith Jayasundara has since challenged his compulsory leave with a petition to the Supreme Court. On 2 July, the former police chief along with the former defence official were arrested according to the order by the President and the current Attorney General Dappula de Livera over the alleged security lapses which lead to the attacks. They were arrested while being hospitalised and are charged for the crimes against humanity.
- Ministers and provincial governors
Following calls for the resignation of Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen and Provençal Governors Azath Salley and M. L. A. M. Hizbullah; including a fast carried-out by Member of Parliament, Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Governor of Western Province Azath Salley and Governor of Eastern Province M. L. A. M. Hizbullah tendered their resignations to President Sirisena, who had appointed both in January 2019, on June 3.
This was followed the same day by an announcement by Rauff Hakeem, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress stating that all Muslim Ministers would resign from their portfolios "to facilitate investigations to be conducted in a free and fair manner". Hakeem also called on the government to end the "hate culture" that had developed in the wake of the attacks, saying: "Innocent people should not be punished. Innocent Muslims are now victims". He added: "We have suffered immensely. We have suffered severe harassment. There are several who are languishing in remands for minor trivial issues." The resignations included cabinet ministers Kabir Hashim, Rauff Hakeem, M.H.A. Haleem and Rishad Bathiudeen; state ministers Faizal Cassim, H. M. M. Harees, Ameer Ali Shihabdeen and Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana and Deputy Minister Abdullah Mahrooff.
- Chief of National Intelligence
Sisira Mendis, Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) resigned citing health reasons, on 8 June 2019, days after giving testimony that the Parliamentary Select Committee to inquire into the Easter bombings which had outraged President Sirisena. He was succeeded by Major General Jeewaka Ruwan Kulatunga as CNI.
Tourism in Sri Lanka is the country's third largest foreign exchange earner and employs around 135,000 to 150,000 in the hotel industry. The industry had expected 3 million tourist arrivals and revenue of $5 billion in 2019. Due to the attack on tourists, The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka estimated a loss of $1.5 billion in tourism earnings for the year.
The government's plan to grant visa-on-arrival to visitors from 39 countries has been suspended due to the current security situation.
In early June, in a leaked confidential assessment of the economic damage by the Easter Sunday attacks, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka claimed that the loss of government revenue from indirect tax such as VAT was approximately Rupees 26 billion for the year. It cited a major impact on the country's trade deficit of the balance of payments, which would be affected badly due to the negative impact on tourism. It stated further that many foreign direct investments have been postponed.
Despite the downfall in number of foreign tourist arrivals following the Easter Sunday attacks, Lonely Planet continued to hail the island as a "top destination for 2019". The Sri Lankan hotel sector was engaged in rebuilding process and strived to recover afterwards.
Government Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka called for the Batticaloa Campus and Islamic study centres in Beruwala, Maharagama, Trincomalee and Addalachchenai to be brought under the control and supervision of the University Grants Commission and the Education Ministry.
Islamic channel Peace TV, which is run by preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik, was officially banned in the country by the main satellite cable operators Dialog TV, PEO TV and Lanka Broadband Network following the attacks even before the governmental intervention. Two hundred Muslim clerics were expelled from the country.
Following the attack, calls have been made to introduce legislation to prevent the possible future occurrence of such attacks. The government called for the swift enactment of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act, replacing the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Regulation of madrasasEdit
The Ministry for Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs has proposed the Madrasa Education Regulatory Act to establish a Board under the Ministry for "regulation, registration, supervision, control and development of education within Madrasas in Sri Lanka"
Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena stated that legislation introduced between 2010 and 2015 has "given effect to aspects of Sharia law or Islamic law" with non-governmental organisations registering under these. He stated that these parliamentary acts will be reviewed.
The government has stated that the Ministry of Home Affairs will issue a circular calling for the removal of all signage displayed in the Arabic language. This follows a statement by the Prime Minister which stated that all street name boards in the island should only be in Sinhalese, Tamil and English.
Minimum age of marriageEdit
The Prime Minister has stated that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act will be amended to include a minimum age of marriage of 18 years to the traditional Muslim law, which had been criticised for lacking a minimum age of marriage, resulting in underage marriages.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign 2nd leg clash between Sri Lanka and Macau was unable to take part as the Macanese squad refused to travel to Sri Lanka amidst the concern after the Easter bombings. FIFA subsequently forfeited the match and awarded a 3–0 win to Sri Lanka, thus qualified the team to the second round.
Leaders of the country condemned the attacks: President Maithripala Sirisena said "I have given instructions to take very stern action against the persons who are responsible for this conspiracy"; the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said "I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today"; Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa called the attacks "absolutely barbaric" and said that the nation will stand united as one against "acts of terrorism"; and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera described the attacks as a "well co-ordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy".
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said "It's a very very sad day for all of us. I wish therefore to express my deepest sorrow and sympathy [...] I condemn to the utmost of my capacity this act that has caused so much death and suffering to the people." Following the attack, the Archbishop's House in Colombo cancelled all Catholic Easter services planned for the evening of Easter Sunday.
On 28 April 2019 a public litigation activist, Nagananda Kodituwakku, stated that the negligence leading to the attack is in violation of the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and has filed a Fundamental Rights petition directing the Attorney General to institute criminal action against the country's senior political, civil and security officials, including President Maithripala Sirisena and former president and MP Mahinda Rajapakse, for their alleged negligence over the Easter Sunday bombings.
After the bombings, numerous buildings around the world were illuminated in Sri Lanka's colours, some of which included the Flinders Street railway station in Melbourne, the Opera House in Sydney, the Victoria Bridge in Brisbane, the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, the Northern Spire Bridge and Penshaw Monument in Sunderland, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Emirates Palace, ADNOC Headquarters, Capital Gate and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, the City Hall in Tel Aviv, the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, and the Sky Tower in Auckland. The Eiffel Tower in Paris went dark as a memorial for the victims of the bombings.
The New York Stock Exchange paused for a moment of silence before the opening bell on the day after the attacks. Real Madrid C.F. also had a moment of silence before the La Liga match on the night of the attacks. Candlelight vigils were held and flags were also flown at half-mast around the world including in Pakistan, Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Representatives and leaders of the main world religions responded with prayers and support for the victims.
Pope Francis pledged his closeness and solidarity after the attacks during his Urbi et Orbi address in St. Peter's Square. The following day, he urged the international community to help Sri Lanka, and called on them to condemn terrorist acts.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar, the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC) and Cardinal Oswald Gracias of India, the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) also condemned the attacks.
Condolences for the those affected and condemnations of the attacks were variously offered by the leaders of Anglican, Latter-day Saint, Methodist, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Reformed churches, as well as Muslim and Jewish congregations.
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, a council of Muslim theologians, sent condolences. Several theologians met with Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, following the attacks. The National Shoora Council, composed of eighteen Muslim organisations, also expressed condolences.
World Sunni Movement, Bangladesh condemned and protested against the deadly terrorist attack.
On 28 May 2019, a mosque belonging to the NTJ was intentionally destroyed by the Muslim civilians in the Kekirawa community, which included the chief of a neighbouring mosque. The structure was purportedly built using foreign funds.
- 1971 JVP insurrection, an armed revolt in Sri Lanka following the disbanding of the state intelligence agency.
- List of terrorist incidents in April 2019
- List of massacres in Sri Lanka
- 2019 anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka
- Air Lanka Flight 512
Similar ISIL attacksEdit
- One of whom a dual Swiss-Dutch citizen and another a dual Dutch-Sri Lankan citizen
- World leaders giving condolences included those of Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, the Holy See, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
- "Attacks carried out by suicide bombers, Govt. Analyst confirms". Ada Derana. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka marks Easter Sunday attack anniversary". BBC News. 21 April 2020.
- "Sri lanka bombings executive summary report". Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
- "Death toll from Easter Sunday attacks climbs to 321". Ada Derana. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka Attacks: What We Know and Don't Know". The New York Times. 24 April 2019.
- "The Latest: UN Security Council condemns Sri Lanka attack". San Francisco Chronicle. 22 April 2019. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Daesh says its 'fighters' behind Sri Lanka bombings". DailySabah. 23 April 2019.
- Srinivasan, Meera (25 May 2019). "The inside story of the 9 suicide bombers behind Sri Lanka's savage Easter attacks". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: Isis claims responsibility for deadly church and hotel attacks on Easter Sunday". The Independent. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates". Al jazeera. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Griffiths, James; Gupta, Swati (23 April 2019). "ISIS suspect gave advance warning of Sri Lanka bombings, source says". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "US Official, Injured in Sri Lanka Suicide Attack, Dies in Hospital". NDTV.com.
- Bastians, Dharisha; Gettleman, Jeffrey; Schultz, Kai (21 April 2019). "Blasts Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds in Sri Lanka". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "156 Dead in Blasts at Two Sri Lanka Churches During Easter Mass: Report". NDTV. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka Easter bombings live: Blasts during church services in Colombo". The National. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Sirilal, Ranga; Aneez, Shihar (21 April 2019). "Bombs kill more than 200 in Sri Lankan churches, hotels on Easter Sunday". Reuters. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Pokharel, Sugam; McKirdy, Euan (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka blasts: At least 138 dead and more than 400 injured in multiple church and hotel explosions". CNN. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Moment of explosion at Sri Lanka's Kingsbury Hotel caught on CCTV, retrieved 6 March 2021
- "Sri Lanka attacks: More than 200 killed as churches and hotels targeted". BBC News. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Mass casualties in churches and hotels". Al Jazeera. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Burke, Jason; Parkin, Benjamin (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka blasts: hundreds injured in church and hotel explosions". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Seventh bomb explosion heard at Sri Lanka Tropical Inn as Easter Sunday attacks continue". The Independent. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Failure of NTJ's second spate of orchestrated attacks". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombers' mentor is dead, but his memory still stokes fear". CNN. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Bombings were response to Christchurch shooting – State Minister". Ada derana. DeranaTV. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "State Defense Minister: Bombings were retaliation for Christchurch killings". CNN. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Wade, Matt (23 April 2019). "Sri Lankan attacks 'retaliation for Christchurch': minister". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Sri Lanka blasts were in retaliation for New Zealand mosque shootings, official says". Washington Post. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "New Zealand PM says no intelligence linking Sri Lanka attacks to Christchurch". Reuters. 24 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka: Nearly 300 dead, Kiwi security expert says attacks unlikely to be linked to Christchurch". NZ Herald. 23 April 2019.
- "ISIS fanatics celebrate SL attacks". Daily mirror. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Easter bombings victims identified". News. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Abu Bakr al Baghdadi: Video emerges of 'Islamic State leader alive'". Sky News. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "No evidence that IS was behind Easter attacks – Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne". ADA Derana. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- JVP and LTTE the twin menace that destroyed this Nation, A.A.M. Nizam, Daily News
- Trying to shoo the Eagle away Archived 26 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Island
- The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, Ethnicity, Political Economy, Asoka Bandarage
- "Religious Beliefs in Sri Lanka". WorldAtlas. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka – Christianity". Mongabay.
- Ominous rise in attacks on Sri Lanka's Christians. Sri Lanka Campaign (17 May 2016). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Buddhists destroy a church in Sri Lanka. Christians continue to pray under a tree. Asia News (14 January 2017). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Sri Lanka Christians protest against attacks. UCA News (27 January 2017). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Sri Lanka: Sharp increase in violence against Christians. World Watch Monitor (29 October 2018). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- A Bill titled "Provincial of the Teaching Sisters of the Holy Cross of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Menzingen of Sri Lanka (Incorporation)". Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Shah, Khushbu; Collins, Sean (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka Easter Sunday attacks: what we know". Vox. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Hundreds killed, 450 injured as explosions rock Catholic churches during Easter mass". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Burke, Jason (22 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bombings: doubts over Islamist group's potential role". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Tamkin, Emily. "How a legal blind spot could have kept Sri Lanka from arresting returning ISIS members". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "No laws to arrest people who join foreign terrorist groups – PM Ranil Wickremesinghe – Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News – Newsfirst. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Burke, Jason (23 April 2019). "Scale of Sri Lankan attacks suggests Isis 'sub-contracted' bombings". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lankan Islamic schools textbooks recommended killings of non-Muslim". Sri Lanka Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Sunday Times – Education Ministry to probe content being published in school text books". www.sundaytimes.lk.
- Marlow, Iain (22 April 2019). "Sri Lanka Muslims Had Warned Officials About Group Behind Attack". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka policeman defies president to testify at attack probe". Times of India. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- "ISIS suspect gave advance warning of Sri Lanka bombings, source says". CNN. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Aneez, Shihar; Sirilal, Ranga; Brock, Joe; Miglani, Sanjeev (24 April 2019). "Exclusive: Sri Lanka was warned of threat hours before suicide..." Reuters. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Police Warned That Sri Lanka Churches Were Bombing Targets". The New York Times. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Burke, Jason; Perera, Amantha (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka death toll expected to rise as leaders condemn killings". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Blasts at Sri Lanka hotels and churches kill 156". AFP. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Srivastava, Abhaya. "Zahran Hashim: Radical Islamist linked to Sri Lanka blasts". thejakartapost.com. AFP. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Saeed Shah and Bill Spindle. "Blew up motorcycles, lost fingers: How Lanka bombers trained for the attack". Business Standard. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "Sri Lanka seize explosives from local Islamist radicals". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Terrorist Motivations and Security Lapses Behind the Easter Carnage". www.island.lk. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Lightning, thunder and a blast: On the trail of terror leader". The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Who is behind the Sri Lanka bombings? – Current News Times". www.currentnewstimes.com. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Irugalbandara, Ramesh (21 April 2019). "LIVE: Death toll in Easter Sunday explosions crosses 160". News First. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Easter Sunday massacres: Where do we go from here?".
- Malone, Theresa; Levett, Cath (22 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bombings – a timeline and visual guide". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Thomas, Kris. "Easter Sunday Explosions in Sri Lanka: An Evolving Timeline of Events". Roar Media. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Smith, Nicola; Fernando, Susitha; Irshad, Qadijah; Swerling, Gabriella (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bombings: Intelligence blunder ahead of terror attack that killed more than 200". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Forgiving the Sri Lanka bombers". BBC News.
- Vaidyanathan, Rajini (24 April 2019). "The worshipper who blocked a bomber". BBC News. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Three more explosions Kingsbury, Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand". Daily News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bomber queued at hotel buffet then unleashed devastation". Yahoo News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Another explosion rocks Dehiwala". Ada Derana. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bomb blasts LIVE updates: Eighth blast occurs in Colombo's Orugodawatta, no casualties reported yet". Firstpost. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "'Nervous' bomber at lodge in Dehiwala captured on CCTV". Ada Derana. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Kingsbury Colombo back to business". Daily News. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka's The Kingsbury hotel to reopen Wednesday following Easter bombings". Economy Next. Archived from the original on 25 April 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
- "Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo to reopen after deadly Easter attacks". Travel Daily. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
- LBO. "Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Official statement by Shangri La Group – Lanka Business Online". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "BREAKING: Three police officers killed in house raid". CNN. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Attacks on Sri Lanka churches and hotels". BBC News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Farmer, Bill Gardner and Ben (25 April 2019). "Pregnant wife of Sri Lanka bomber detonated suicide vest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Blasts at Sri Lanka hotels and churches kill nearly 160". Agence France-Presse. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "All schools closed tomorrow & day after". Daily News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Colombo Stock Exchange trading suspended temporarily following the Easter massacre". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "CSE won't open at regular time on Monday". bizenglish.adaderana.lk. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Suicide bombers, RDX: What made the Colombo bombings so lethal – Oneindia News". www.oneindia.com. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Death toll soars to 290 after bombings hit churches and hotels". BBC News. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Van explodes near Sri Lanka church while police try to defuse bomb". Global News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: tributes paid as two more victims named – live news". The Guardian. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Fernandopulle, Sheain (25 April 2019). "Easter Sunday terror attack: Police seek public support to trace suspects". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Two wanted suspects arrested in Nawalapitiya over Easter Sunday attacks". Daily Mirror. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bans face coverings after attacks". 29 April 2019.
- "US official wounded in Sri Lanka Easter bombing dies from her injuries in Singapore". The Straits Times.
- "Sri Lanka blasts: 11 Indians dead, bodies of 7 JDS members to reach Karnataka". Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Eight Britons killed in explosions". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "痛心！斯里兰卡爆炸共致6名中国人遇难". 人民日报. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Three children of Danish billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Nog twee Nederlandse slachtoffers onder doden Sri Lanka". Volkskrant. Volkskrant. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "A billionaire's children, a D.C. fifth-grader, a celebrity chef: the victims in Sri Lanka". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Two Australians confirmed dead in Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terror attacks". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "2 Saudis among Victims of Sri Lanka Bombings". Asharq Al-Awsat. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Saudi Arabian Airlines Statement". Twitter. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Una pareja de españoles, entre las víctimas mortales de los atentados de Sri Lanka". El País. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "2 Turkish engineers among dead in Sri Lanka bombings". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sheikh Selim's minor grandson dies in Sri Lanka bombings". bdnews24.com. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "One Japanese national killed, four others injured as Sri Lanka attacks rock expat community". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Rui Lucas morreu às mãos dos terroristas no Sri Lanka. Português de 31 anos estava em lua de mel". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Corr, Kapila Somaratne Panadura Group. "Shantha Mayadunne, daughter among Shangri-La victims". Daily News. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Who is Anders Povlsen? Everything you need to know about Scotland's biggest landowner". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Goodley, Simon (22 April 2019). "Three children of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Victims of Sri Lanka terror attacks revealed: who were they?". SBS News. 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Who are the victims?". BBC. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Australian man recalls horror of finding wife and daughter dead in Sri Lanka attack". The Guardian. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Mass funeral on day of mourning". 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Shootout in Sainthamarudu when forces raid suicide vest factory". News First. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Police Curfew to be in effect until further notice in Kalmunai – Chavalakade and Samanthurai". Hiru News. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: 15 die in blast during raid on suspected hideout". BBC News. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- Slater, Joanna (27 April 2019). "15 killed in Sri Lanka police raid at suspected terrorist hideout". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Relatives of key suspect Zahran Hashim killed". BBC News. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- "Stock of metal balls, gelatnite sticks, IS uniforms seized". Daily Mirror. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Weerasinghe, Chamikara (27 April 2019). "Bomb gear, suicide kit, seven suspects arrested in Ampara". Daily News. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- Watson, Ivan; Wright, Rebecca; Champika, Ajith (26 April 2019). "Sri Lanka imposes extended curfew after security forces found ISIS flags and explosives". CNN. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Gun battle in Kalmunai: 15 including suicide bomber killed". Daily Mirror. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Weapons recovered from the mosque at Slave Island". Daily Mirror. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Farisz, Hafeel (27 April 2019). "Vavunathiwu cop murders: Radical Islamists arrested, weapons recovered". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Driver of main suspect in Sunday's bomb attacks arrested". Daily Mirror. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Negombo Deputy Mayor arrested". Daily Mirror. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Sunday Times – Parliament passes regulations related to State of Emergency". www.sundaytimes.lk.
- "State of emergency lifted as security established – Minister". Colombo Page. Archived from the original on 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "Sri Lanka: Curfew, shut down access to social media". Deccan Herald. 21 April 2019.
- "Police curfew imposed in Chilaw". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Stern action against lawbreakers, warns Acting IGP". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Security forces & police given all powers to bring back normalcy-PM". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Social Media Has Been Blocked For Over 24 Hours in Sri Lanka After The Deadly Explosions". buzzfeednews. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Allsop, Jon (22 April 2019). "After Sri Lanka bombings, a social media shutdown". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka attacks: Social media ban leaves Wellington families desperate for answers". Stuff. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka's social media ban won't solve its misinformation problem". CNN. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka's Decision to Block Social Media Highlights Rising Concerns from Governments". Social Media Today. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "In the aftermath of Easter Sunday's attacks, researchers criticize Sri Lanka's block on social media". Coda Media. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
- Sanjeewa, Darshana (30 April 2019). "President instructs TRC to lift ban on social media". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Tomlinson, Hugh (30 April 2019). "Sri Lanka lifts social media ban despite risk of further attacks". The Times. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Gold, Hadas (30 April 2019). "Sri Lanka lifts social media ban imposed after Easter bombings". CNN. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Social media blocked for Sri Lankan users". Sunday Times Online. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
- "Fearing more communal violence, Sri Lanka reinstates a block on social media". Coda Media. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
- Range, Irangika (24 April 2019). "Ban 'niqab, burqa' – Prof. Ashu". Daily News. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Withnall, Adam (24 April 2019). "Sri Lankan MP calls for burqa ban in wake of Easter massacre". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Irshad, Qadijah (24 April 2019). "Sri Lanka attacks: Fear of retaliation against Muslims grows as MP calls for burqa ban". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Steinbuch, Yaron (13 February 2019). "Sri Lanka looking for executioners as death penalty reinstated". New York Post. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- Waldrop, Theresa (28 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bans burqas for 'public protection' after bomb attacks". CNN. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka imposes controls on mosques after suicide bombings". The Straits Times. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "Data protection". Daily FT. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- Jain, Bharti (23 April 2019). "sri lanka news: Lashkar has fanned radicalism in Sri Lanka – Times of India". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Kumar, S. Vijay (22 April 2019). "Sri Lanka Easter blasts: NIA had intelligence on blasts". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Malik, Bismah (22 April 2019). "India warned Sri Lanka about suicide bombings, but why didn't the island nation act?". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Despite India's Warning, Sri Lanka 'Failed' to Take Precautions; PM Admits Colombo Had Intel on Blasts". News18. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Harin tweets intelligence memo warning of a planned attack". Daily Mirror. Sri Lanka. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka : Minister releases intelligence letter warning of church attacks, questions why action was not taken". colombopage.com. ColomboPage News Desk. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Lanka Top Cop Had Warned of Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy Too: Report". NDTV.com. Agence France-Presse. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- James Griffiths and Swati Gupta. "ISIS suspect gave advance warning of Sri Lanka bombings, source says". CNN. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Sandi Sidhu and James Griffiths. "Sri Lanka bombing suspects may still be on the run, police warn". CNN. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
- "Sri Lanka's gov't 'alerted to possible attacks before bombings'". Al Jazeera. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Zaharan had an open warrant for his arrest since last year".
- "Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Former Defence Secretary and IGP face criminal charges".
- "Easter Sunday attack: Committee submits final report to prez". www.dailymirror.lk.
- KURULUWANSA, Asela. "PSC to probe Easter Sunday carnage, other mob attacks". Daily News.
- "Eight member PSC headed by Deputy Speaker appointed". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "Easter Sunday attacks: SLFP, UPFA decide not to take part in PSC". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "President disputes PSC probe". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: Intelligence chief sacked".[permanent dead link]
- "NIA team in Sri Lanka to help in Easter bombings case; will seek more details of probe". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
- Sidhu, Sandi; Griffiths, James (26 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bombing suspects may still be on the run, police warn". CNN. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka blast: Suicide bomber waited in the queue for Easter Sunday buffet at Cinnamon Grand Hotel". Gulf news. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Shangri-La suicide bomber identified". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka detains Syrian for questioning over attacks". 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Terrorists in Sri Lanka swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi | FDD's Long War Journal". www.longwarjournal.org. 23 April 2019.
- Times, Asia. "Asia Times | 'Mother of Satan' explosive used in Sri Lanka bombings | Article". Asia Times. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Farmer, Ben; Smith, Nicola (24 April 2019). "Sri Lanka suicide bomber 'studied in the UK', defence minister announces as death toll rises to 359". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Vital info on terror attacks revealed by arrested suspects". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Anand, G. (28 April 2019). "Sri Lanka terror mastermind had links in Kerala". Retrieved 29 April 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
- "Sri Lanka explosions kill more than 200 – live updates". CNN. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Siddique, Haroon (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka explosions: what we know so far". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Pokharel, Sugam; McKirdy, Euan; John, Tara. "Sri Lanka blasts: More than 200 dead in church and hotel bombings across country". CNN. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Easter Sunday bomb attacks kill more than 200 at Sri Lankan churches, hotels". CBC. Thomson Reuters. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 290, 24 arrested in connection with multiple blasts". Free Press Journal. IANS. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lankan police arrest 40 suspects after bombings as death toll rises". Independent.ie. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Giordano, Chiara (21 April 2019). "Eighth explosion kills police officers in Sri Lanka as death toll from Easter Sunday bomb attacks rises to more than 200". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Identities of Easter Sunday Suicide bombers revealed for the first time – Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News – Newsfirst. 1 May 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: Suspected ringleader arrested in Middle East". Deutsche Welle. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- Nathaniel, Camelia. "Zion Church bombing mastermind arrested". Daily News. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Main suspect of suicide bomb attack on Zion Church arrested". adaderana.lk. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "New probe into CID investigation of Easter attacks ordered". EconomyNext. 29 March 2020. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Sri Lanka : Main suspect of the Easter Sunday Bomb Attack on Zion Church Arrested". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "The main suspect who directed and transported the suspect of the Zion Church suicide bombing arrested". Hiru News. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Main suspect arrested over Zion Church bomb attack". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "US charges three Sri Lankans over role in 2019 Isis Easter attacks". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 9 January 2021. Archived from the original on 9 January 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- Sanjeewa Balasuriya, Darshana (9 May 2019). "SIU probes to ascertain Wellampitiya police erred". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- Sanjeewa Balasuriya, Darshana (9 May 2019). "SIU probe finds Police had erred". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- "Wellampitiya Police OIC demands inquiry". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "Sri Lanka: Due Process Concerns in Arrests of Muslims". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- "The Latest: Sri Lanka: local militants carried out attacks". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. 22 April 2019. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Muslim Council deplores Wijedasa's statement on ISIS". Daily Mirror. Sri Lanka. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Little-known Islamist group NTJ accused in Sri Lanka blasts". France 24. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Nearly 190 dead, 500 injured as two more blasts strike Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday". Sindh Post. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka bombings 'retaliation' for Christchurch mosque attacks, minister says". NZ Herald. 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka 'bombing mastermind' named as Moulvi Zahran Hashim". The Daily Telegraph. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
- "Unconfirmed reports blame Zahran Hashim for Sri Lanka attack. Who is he? – World News – Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "President bans National Thawheed Jammath". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Mackinnon, Amy. "Sri Lanka Attack 'Is the Wave of the Future'". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, vol. Part 1: Section (1) – General: Government Notifications – The public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40), 13 May 2019
- "Everything you need to know today – Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News – Newsfirst. 14 May 2019.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey; Bastians, Dharisha; Schultz, Kai (24 April 2019). "Sri Lanka Suicide Bombers Included Two Sons of a Spice Tycoon". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka names Easter suicide bombers". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- "Identity of Zion Church bomber confirmed". www.adaderana.lk.
- "Zion Church bomber's initial target was St. Mary's Cathedral".
- Swami, Praveen. "Sri Lanka blasts: Fatima Ibrahim identified as one of the suicide bombers; wife of SL millionaire blew self up with unborn child". Firstpost. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Brock, Joe (24 April 2019). "Blood brothers: the wealthy family behind Sri Lanka's suicide attacks". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Pallin, Megan (25 April 2019). "Sri Lanka bomber 'radicalised in Australia', says sister". news.com.au. news.com.au. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Alasdair Pal, Shihar Aneez (26 April 2019). "The Western-educated bomber who botched Sri Lanka hotel attack". Reuters. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "One suicide bomber probed by Australia in 2014". Daily Mirror. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "UK security forces hunt for ISIS 'sleeper cells' after SL blasts: Report". Business Standard. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Thomas Joscelyn (27 April 2019). "Sri Lankan security forces clash with Islamic State loyalists". Long War Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- Irshad, Qadijah (28 April 2019). "Sri Lanka extremists warned more attacks would follow in video". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Dana Kharachie. "Man Said to Be Islamic State Leader Calls Sri Lanka Bombings Revenge". Fortune. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (23 November 2021). "Trial begins of 25 men over Sri Lanka Easter bombings in 2019". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- "UPFA urges IGP to resign immediately". newsfirst. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Terror attack: Not fair to blame IGP: SF". Dailymirror. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "MR blasts govt. for diluting intelligence services". Dailymirror. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Sri Lankan president vows security shake-up over attacks". Al Jazeera. 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- ""Gota supported organizations such as NTJ" – Rajitha Senaratne – Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News – Newsfirst. 30 April 2019.
- "Ban on face veil acceptable, but ears must be covered: Ceylon Thowheed Jama'ath". www.ft.lk. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- ""We Apologise To Our Fellow Citizens": Lankan PM on Easter Sunday Blasts". NDTV.com. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- "Sri Lanka President claims drug gangs orchestrated Easter blasts". Times of India (TOI). TOI. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- "Sri Lanka president signs death warrants for four drug convicts to end 43-year moratorium". CNA. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- "Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka President claims drug traffickers are behind the Easter Sunday bomb attacks". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- Athas, Iqbal. "Sri Lanka elects new president in first vote since deadly bombings". CNN. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
- "Prez tells Defence Secretary, IGP to resign". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "I can't remove IGP, he is a CC appointee: Prez". www.dailymirror.lk.
- Nathaniel, Camelia. "IGP sent on Compulsory Leave". Daily News.
- "Kottegoda new Defence Secretary". www.ft.lk.
- "CC approves C.D. Wickramaratne as Acting IGP". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Easter Attack: IGP Pujith Jayasundara's FR Petition Against Sending Him on Compulsory Leave – Full Text". 4 June 2019.
- "Sri Lanka police chief arrested over Easter attacks failures". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka Police Chief and former Defense secretary arrested over failure to prevent Easter Sunday Attacks". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Rathana Thera ends fast". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "All Muslim ministers decide to resign". www.dailymirror.lk.
- Irshad, Qadijah (3 June 2019). "Every Muslim minister in Sri Lanka resigns following crackdown". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
- "Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis resigns". 8 June 2019.
- de Silva, Charumini. "Tourist hotels fear $1.5 b revenue loss from terror attacks". www.ft.lk. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka cancels visa-on-arrival for 39 countries in the wake of Easter blasts". Times of India Travel. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Loss from VAT, NBT to reach Rs. 26bn by year end: CBSL". www.dailymirror.lk.
- "Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka still Lonely Planet\'s top destination for 2019 despite Easter Sunday attacks". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- Hrysomallis, Caterina (29 June 2019). "Why I won't give up on Sri Lanka and you shouldn't either". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Sri Lanka tourist arrivals starting to recover in June". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Sri Lanka hotel stocks rise as tourism recovers faster than expected, rupee gains". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Champika proposes action plan to counter fundamentalist terrorism". Daily Mirror. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Farooq, Umar (27 April 2019). "Pakistan's Under-19 tour of Sri Lanka called off". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Thousands of Sri Lankans grab terrorism insurance the week after bombings". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- "After Sri Lanka bombings, Zakir's Peace TV 'blocked' by cable companies". Malaysiakini. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- "Cable operators in Lanka block Zakir Naik's Peace TV". Deccan Herald. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- Tomlinson, Hugh (6 May 2019). "Sri Lanka expels 200 Muslim clerics after Easter bombings". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "New laws to regulate Madrasas; introduced by Muslim Affairs Ministry".
- "Govt. to revise laws giving effect to Sharia – Vajira - Breaking News | Daily Mirror". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
- "Circular to be issued calling for removal of name boards in Arabic - Vajira". www.adaderana.lk.
- "Forced to marry at 15". BBC News. 20 June 2017.
- "Govt. to amend Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act". www.dailymirror.lk.
- Inc, Reuters. "World Cup qualifier in Sri Lanka canceled after Macau refuse to travel | The Telegram". www.thetelegram.com.
- "Sri Lanka welcomes FIFA ruling Macau out of WCup qualifying". USA TODAY.
- "Sri Lanka President condemns 'dastardly' attack, calls for restraint and patience". ColomboPage. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka blasts: Prime minister condemns 'cowardly' attacks". CNA. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka explosions: Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa and other world leaders condemn attacks". The Straits Times. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Siddique (now), Haroon; Rourke (earlier), Alison (21 April 2019). "Sri Lanka attacks: seven arrested after 207 killed at hotels and churches on Easter Sunday – live". Retrieved 21 April 2019 – via The guardian.
- "Hiru News". Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Sooriyagoda, Lakmal. "FR filed over Easter bomb blasts". Daily News. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
- "A Supreme Court petition against the Government for its failure to prevent terrorist attacks". Hiru News. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
- "Afghanistan condemns serial blasts in Sri Lanka". Xinhua. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Duffin, Perry (21 April 2019). "Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten condemn Sri Lanka bombings". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "PM, President condemn Sri Lanka attack, express condolences". The Daily Star. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Bolsonaro condena atentado no Sri Lanka". O antagonista.
- "Message of condolence to the Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist of Sri Lanka on the recent bomb attacks" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brunei. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Prime Minister Boyko Borisov expressed condolences to Sri Lanka Prime Minister". Focus. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the horrible attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Cambodia. 22 April 2019. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Canadians in Sri Lanka warned more attacks possible after deadly bombings". Global News. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Chinese president, premier send condolence messages to Sri Lanka over deadly attacks". Xinhua News Agency. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Norup, M.L. (21 April 2019). "Udenrigsministeriet: Forlydender om dræbte og sårede danskere i Sri Lanka" [Foreign Ministry: Information about Danish citizens killed and wounded in Sri Lanka] (in Danish). DR News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Juha Sipilä tuomitsee Sri Lankassa pääsiäissunnuntaina tehdyt iskut". Talouselämä. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Watkins, Devin (21 April 2019). "Pope Francis laments Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka". Vatican News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "A külügyminisztérium elítéli a támadásokat" [The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Condemns the Attacks]. Magyar Nemzet. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- ""No Place For Such Barbarism in Our Region": PM Modi on Sri Lanka Blasts". NDTV. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Indonesia kecam keras pengeboman di Sri Lanka". Antara News. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Israel offers aid to Sri Lanka in call after devastating bombings". The Times of Israel. 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka, Mattarella: "Condanna vile gesto violenza". Conte: "Addolorato da nuova deriva d'odio"". RaiNews (in Italian). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Message of condolences from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka following the terrorist attacks in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Condolence Message about the string of bombings in the Catholic Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Laos. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Hezbollah Denounces Sri Lanka Blasts, Hopes Imminent Apparition of Imam Mahdi (P) to Restore World's Security & Peace – Al-Manar TV Lebanon". english.almanar.com.lb.
- admin (22 April 2019). "Hezbollah condemns "savage" attack in Sri Lanka".
- "Explosions in Colombo, Sri Lanka" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "King Mohammed VI Sends Condolences to Sri Lankan President". 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019 – via Morocco World News.
- "Sri Lanka explosions: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labels attacks 'devastating' and sends NZ's condolences to grieving country". 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019 – via NZ Herald.
- "Prime Minister Imran Khan expresses his condolences to attacks in Sri Lanka". Khaleej times. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "President Abbas condemns Sri Lanka terror attacks". Wafa. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Press release on terror attacks in Sri Lanka". hamas.ps. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Parrocha, Azer. "Palace sympathizes with families of Sri Lanka blast victims". Philippine News Agency. Philippine Government. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka. MSZ wydało oświadczenie ws. zamachów". Wirtualna Polska (in Polish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "António Costa expressa "grande pesar" pela morte de português no Sri Lanka". SAPO. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Ion Gaidau (21 April 2019). "Reacția președintelui Iohannis după exploziile din Sri Lanka". Adevărul (in Romanian).
- "Condolences to Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena". Russian Presidential Executive Office. 21 April 2019.
- "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Sends Cable of Condolence to Sri Lanka's President on Victims of Terrorist Attacks". Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Крвави Ускрс у Шри Ланци: Седам ухапшених, 207 погинулих, 450 рањених" [Bloody Easter in Sri Lanka: Seven arrested, 207 dead, 450 wounded] (in Serbian). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Sri Lanka blasts: PM Lee condemns 'heinous attacks', MFA says no Singaporean casualties". CNA. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Prezident Kiska vyjadril sústrasť rodinám obetí výbuchov na Srí Lanke". Teraz (in Slovak). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "MOFA Spokesperson's Statement on Bombing Attacks in Sri Lanka" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Press Release : Messages of Condolence from the Prime Minister of Thailand and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand on the Bombings in Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. 22 April 2019. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "UAE denounces terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka". Khaleej Times. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Theresa May [@theresa_may] (21 April 2019). "The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time. We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "World Leaders React to Sri Lanka Explosions". voanews.com. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- M, Jorge Arreaza (21 April 2019). "El gobierno del presidente Nicolás Maduro expresa su profunda condena a los ataques terroristas ocurridos en la República Democrática Socialista de Sri Lanka. Venezuela repudia el terrorismo en cualquiera de sus formas y expresa sus más sentidas condolencias/gGb0bmoDn7". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Guaidó, Juan (21 April 2019). "Desde Venezuela lamentamos los despreciables hechos terroristas ocurridos en Sri Lanka que dejaron innumerables víctimas inocentes. Expresamos nuestras más sentidas palabras de condolencia y reivindicamos el derecho de todo ser humano a profesar libremente su religión". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Thanh Nam; Huyen Huong (22 April 2019). "Vietnamese leaders send condolences after bomb attacks in Sri Lanka". Sài Gòn Giải Phóng. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Tajani, Antonio. "Even on Easter Sunday, there are those who sow hatred and reap death. The attacks in #SriLanka churches testify to a real genocide perpetrated against Christians. Let us pray for the innocent victims and work towards religious freedom around the world". Twitter. Archived from the original on 29 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Factbox: Reaction to Sri Lanka attacks". REUTERS. 21 April 2019.
- Fowler, Michael; Mills, Tammy (22 April 2019). "'United we stand': Melbourne's Sri Lankan community gathers to pay respects". The Age. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Quested, Victoria (24 April 2019). "Sydney Opera House Lights Up in Support of Sri Lanka". 10 daily. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Victoria bridge is lit up green, orange, chrome on and yellow". ABC Brisbane. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Finlandia Hall lights up for Sri Lanka victims". News Now Finland. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Kirby, Sue (24 April 2019). "Sunderland landmarks to be lit up as a mark of solidarity with Sri Lanka". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Dubai's Burj Khalifa lights up with Sri Lanka flag". Khaleej Times. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Al Serkal, Mariam M. (25 April 2019). "Look: UAE buildings light up in solidarity with Sri Lanka". Gulf News. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- "Tel Aviv City Hall lights up with Sri Lanka flag". The Jerusalem Post. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- Murphy, Jan (22 April 2019). "Pa. Capitol to be lit in orange and green to honor victims of Sri Lanka bombings". PennLive. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Lawton, Nicole (26 April 2019). "Sky Tower to glow in colours of the Sri Lankan flag to remember bombing victims". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Waldrop, Theresa (21 April 2019). "Eiffel Tower goes dark to honor Sri Lanka attack victims". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "People around the world are honoring the victims of the Sri Lanka bombings that killed more than 300 people". INSIDER. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Factbox: Reaction to Sri Lanka attacks". Reuters. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Gomes, Robin (22 April 2019). "Pope Francis, Asian Bishops, others renew solidarity with Sri Lanka after blasts". Vatican News. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- "OIC Secretary General Strongly Condemned the Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka". Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- Adams, David (22 April 2019). "Christian leaders condemn Sri Lankan terror attacks". Sight Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Live: Attacks on Sri Lanks churches and hotels". BBC. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Despicable destruction'
- "Bombings in Sri Lanka". Mormon news room. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "WMC Statement on Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka". World Methodist Council. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Patriarch Kirill's condolences over the terrorist action in Sri Lanka". The Russian Orthodox Church. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Patriarhul Daniel, despre atacurile din Sri Lanka: Expresia cea mai crudă a violenței și a înstrăinării de Dumnezeu". Adevărul (in Romanian). 21 April 2019.
- "WEA Condemns Coward Bombings, Mourns Lives Lost in Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka". World EA. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- Williams, Alex (23 April 2019). "Sri Lankan minister says Easter Sunday attacks are 'retaliation for Christchurch mosque shooting'". Premier. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "MUIS' STATEMENT AGAINST MULTIPLE BOMBINGS IN SRI LANKA". www.muis.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- "Sri Lanka explosions: Local Muslim leaders call for 'maximum punishment' for culprits". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019 – via Agence France-Presse.
- "Bangladeshi Muslim organization World Sunni Movement and World..." Getty Images. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
- "Muslims demolish NTJ mosque in Kekirawa". Ada Derana. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- Ariyadasa, Kanchana Kumara (29 May 2019). "NTJ mosque in Kekirawa demolished by Muslims". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 May 2019.