Slaughtered at prayer, again

EDITORIAL

The slaughter of so many people at prayer in Sri Lanka has special meaning and impact for New Zealanders, coming so soon after the Christchurch shootings.

The co-ordinated attack in different parts of the country saw six bombs go off almost simultaneously in three churches and three luxury hotels. It has left a death toll of close to 300.

Sri Lanka has been slowly recovering from a disastrous 26-year civil war which left more than 100,000 dead and only ended in 2009. In recent times there has been rising tension between hard-line Buddhist monks and Muslims.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to extend the country’s condolences to Sri Lanka for the “devastating” attacks.

“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on March 15,” she said.

The Christchurch mosque shootings will continue to have an effect here for a long time.

In the short term it has seen Anzac Day services reduced in number to allow for greater security.

Typical of the way it will continue to leave scars is the decision to cancel the popular University of Canterbury graduation parade.

It is disturbing to read reports from an American intelligence firm that online activity by white supremacists has surged after the Christchurch shootings, which are being described as the 9/11 of far-right terrorism.

In the aftermath, NZ Police Association president Chris Cahill has said the public have been accepting of police carrying intimidating weapons in public.

That may well be temporary, however, as the threat of copycat attacks fades. New Zealand’s terror threat level has been downgraded to medium.

And it is a big leap to suggest that the Christchurch tragedy will see the public accept the police permanently carrying weapons.

The Sri Lanka tragedy brought to an end what has generally been a happy and enjoyable Easter for New Zealanders. It shows again the dark clouds that hang over people throughout the world who just want to get on with their lives in peace and security.

The slaughter of so many people at prayer in Sri Lanka has special meaning and impact for New Zealanders, coming so soon after the Christchurch shootings.

The co-ordinated attack in different parts of the country saw six bombs go off almost simultaneously in three churches and three luxury hotels. It has left a death toll of close to 300.

Sri Lanka has been slowly recovering from a disastrous 26-year civil war which left more than 100,000 dead and only ended in 2009. In recent times there has been rising tension between hard-line Buddhist monks and Muslims.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to extend the country’s condolences to Sri Lanka for the “devastating” attacks.

“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on March 15,” she said.

The Christchurch mosque shootings will continue to have an effect here for a long time.

In the short term it has seen Anzac Day services reduced in number to allow for greater security.

Typical of the way it will continue to leave scars is the decision to cancel the popular University of Canterbury graduation parade.

It is disturbing to read reports from an American intelligence firm that online activity by white supremacists has surged after the Christchurch shootings, which are being described as the 9/11 of far-right terrorism.

In the aftermath, NZ Police Association president Chris Cahill has said the public have been accepting of police carrying intimidating weapons in public.

That may well be temporary, however, as the threat of copycat attacks fades. New Zealand’s terror threat level has been downgraded to medium.

And it is a big leap to suggest that the Christchurch tragedy will see the public accept the police permanently carrying weapons.

The Sri Lanka tragedy brought to an end what has generally been a happy and enjoyable Easter for New Zealanders. It shows again the dark clouds that hang over people throughout the world who just want to get on with their lives in peace and security.

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Dana - 6 months ago
These attacks in Sri Lanka at Easter were so upsetting and hit close to home for many of us New Zealanders, especially so soon after the Christchurch mosque attacks. I have a friend holidaying in Sri Lanka right now and I can't get hold of her via Facebook due to the social media ban... She did however have time to leave a message before the ban took place so we - her friends - at least know she is alive and well. Looking forward to hearing from her again though.

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