The Government of Sri Lanka is totally responsible for the 250 dead and 500 wounded in the 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday atrocities. It received a full operational intelligence report from India that gave every conceivable detail of the impending attack including day, time, locations and who would carry it out. The government sat on the information
The Government had been on auto pilot with the President and Prime Minister who began their misrule 4 years before by mutual consent, refusing to cooperate with each other. There was consequently a total and complete breakdown of command action. No one acted. This is probably the first time in the world that such a thing happened.
The government’s only acknowledgement for what happened other than to blame everyone else was to wipe its hands off the matter. It thought it fit to broadcast a callous, cheap and mean offer of Rs one million for every death and up to Rs 250,000 for the wounded. Blood money.
This is in a country where every MP and above is gifted permits for the duty free purchase of cars for anything from Rs 10 million to Rs 30 million. Ministers are not happy until they get official cars worth Rs 70 million. After the bombings 2 bullet proof cars worth Rs 175 million each were to be imported. The government managed bond scam cost SL Rs 19 billion. The life of a citizen is cheap for government. A life lost due to the government’s negligence is not and cannot be.
This government had the affront to offer only Rs one million for a death that was caused entirely by its own criminal negligence. Such absolute and complete negligence did not happen even in the Eelam conflict of 26 -30 years where around 100,000 died or in the murderous knife, sword and club wielding JVP year of terror when on average about 200 died every day (1988-89).
As the people who died and were wounded on 21/4 only because of the government’s criminal negligence, the bereaved and survivors should be given the maximum payments both to rebuild their shattered lives and set a bench mark to deter future government follies. There should be no mercy or escape for this government that holds its citizens in utter contempt.
It is reported by the police that about Rs 17 billion in assets of the terrorists have been recovered. It is conceivably much more.
For a start let the government hand over a cheque for Rs 17 billion to the Catholic Church and no other to rehabilitate the survivors and the wounded through the Church’s own organization. Make those politicians responsible for the tragedy contribute half of their real assets and make a monthly contribution while serving and when on pension to increase this fund. This specifically includes all the Cabinet and state ministers.
Let there also be constructed at the expense of all parliamentarians at the Parliamentary complex a memorial designed by the institute of Architects. Every year on 21 April let there be a commemoration service held at the monument where the attendance of the present 225 parliamentarians will be obligatory until they become old and are disabled. The ceremony should be broadcast on every TV Channel. Their spouses should also be present to share the shame in as much they shared the spoils. They should all walk to the monument from the entrance to parliament which should be lined by the citizens to give them a silent reception.
All parliamentarians responsible should lose their civic rights unless forgiven after 10 years by the people best qualified to address the issue.
Let there never be tragedies like 21/4 again. Let no politician or public servant ever be criminally negligent again.
Lest we forget.