Sri Lanka’s president to replace defense heads after bombings

World Today

Sri Lankan security forces approach the site after a vehicle parked near St. Anthony’s shrine exploded in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 2019. Easter Sunday bombings that ripped through churches and luxury hotels killed more than 200 people.(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka’s government planned a major reshuffling days after the Easter Sunday suicide bombings. The president, Maithripala Sirisena, said he’s replacing the heads of the country’s defense agencies, for failing to act on warnings they received two weeks before the attacks.

More than 300 people were killed in eight coordinated bombings at churches and hotels. At least 45 were children. ISIL claimed responsibility. And the government warned there might be more militants at-large armed with explosives.

CGTN’s Ravinder Bawa had more on the investigation in a grieving nation.

On the national day of mourning, relatives of those who were killed in explosions in the city of Negombo gathered to offer their last homage. Many attended the funeral service of the first mass burial amidst prayers and grief.

It was in St Sebastian’s church that 110 people died, with 15 still struggling for their lives in hospitals. There was an eerie silence in the village.

One of the local channels showed the alleged suicide bomber entering the church minutes before the explosion. The government strongly suspected the hand of Islamic State. Later, the terrorist group claimed responsibility on Twitter but provided no evidence.

While the Sri Lankan authorities recovered from their security lapse, the FBI had agreed to assist in its investigation. A state of emergency was still in effect and Sri Lanka is on edge as a country plunged into mourning.

Sajjan Gohel discusses Easter attack in Sri Lanka

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Sajjan Gohel, international security director at the Asia-Pacific Foundation, about security and the political aftermath of Sunday’s terror attack in Sri Lanka.