S’pore politicians react to Sri Lankan blasts that killed over 200 people during Easter Sunday
Sri Lanka was rocked by multiple bomb attacks on April 21, 2019.
Eight explosions hit multiple churches, hospitals, and even residential houses in Sri Lanka on on Easter Sunday.
At least 207 people died in the explosions, with over 450 injuries reported so far.
The first six explosions went off at three churches and three hotels.
The churches were targeted during their Easter services.
Three hotels — the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels — were also attacked in Colombo.
Some Singaporean politicians have expressed their sadness at the explosions that rocked Sri Lanka.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam reiterated his belief that good will always triumph over evil.
“Another attack against humanity, this time on Easter Sunday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
The details are different each time – a different country, different victims, and extremists of different politics or faiths. But they will never succeed in overturning what so many of our religious festivals, like Easter, remind us of: that good will triumph over evil, and love and compassion over hate.
Each time such attacks take place, they remind us of what we ourselves need to do in Singapore and everywhere else. To consciously extend friendship and respect for each other. From the way we bring up our kids, to the way we interact as schoolmates, colleagues and neighbours. To build and preserve what holds us together as citizens, preserve the freedom to practice our different faiths, and preserve our common humanity.”
Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh drew parallels to the recent Christchurch shooting, and emphasised the importance of always building bridges.
“Christchurch and Colombo
Two terrorist attacks, barely a month after the other – both targeting places of worship, with one attack targeting Muslims and other, Christians in addition to peoples of various nationalities.
What do those who plan and execute such terrorist attacks want? To make hate and religious strife a permanent state of affairs, pitting one community against another. The perpetrators of such attacks should never be allowed the legitimacy and relevance they sorely seek.
Building more bridges with one another.
Treating each other like we are our brother and sister’s keeper.
Putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes and living a life marked by tolerance, understanding and empathy.
Regardless of race, language or religion.
Deepest condolences and a prayer for strength to all those struck by the devastation inflicted by such senseless acts of cowardice.”
Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam also sent his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the senseless tragedy.
“[ Sri Lanka ]
Today, on Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka has had a horrific bomb attack, on churches, hotels. More than 200 people are said to have died, 450 or more injured.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful place, I have visited it several times – both for work and on private trips.
Given the nature of the attack, it is not possible to rule out terrorism – organised, on Easter Sunday, targeting several churches and hotels.
It is heart-breaking to think of the people who went to Church, to pray, who got killed. And those who went to Sri Lanka, for the long weekend, and died in the hotels.
Our thoughts and prayers go to their families.
Every few weeks we see these terrible actions.
Those who planned the attack, those who carried it out, must face the most severe punishments. It is difficult to think of a worser form of human beings – killing people who go to pray, spread hatred and terror. The ideology that spread the hate must be dealt with.”
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin further condemned the barbaric act.
“Over 130 killed! A barbaric attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to those who are killed and hurt, and their families. Hope that the situation has stabilized and the perpetrators be brought to justice. 🙏🏻😞
The more these people seek to tear communities apart, the more we should continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, regardless of our backgrounds. It’s an age old challenge that takes many forms, but there is no reason why we can’t forge a different future together.”
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean urged everyone to stand together against those who promote hate and violence.
“A terrible tragedy. We hope that healing, harmony and peace can return to Sri Lanka.
We must all stand together against those who promote hate and violence.
Deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and the injured and their families.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was horrified by the attacks:
Horrified by the heinous attacks on churches and hotels across Sri Lanka today on Easter Sunday.
I offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Singapore condemns such senseless acts of violence. We stand firmly behind Sri Lanka in its efforts to preserve the hard-wrought peace and stability. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Sri Lanka. May they find strength and unity to overcome this adversity together.
To any Singaporeans in Sri Lanka that require consular assistance, you can contact the MFA Duty Office (24hrs):
Tel: +65 6379 8800/8855
Email: [email protected]
Here’s a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The Singapore Government strongly condemns the heinous acts of violence in Sri Lanka, which led to significant loss of civilian lives.
We convey our condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and our wishes for speedy recovery of those injured. MFA has reached out to Singaporeans who are e-registered in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Thus far, there are no reports of Singaporean casualties in the incidents. The Singapore Honorary Consulate-General in Colombo is in close contact with the Sri Lankan authorities and is monitoring the situation closely.
Singaporeans in Colombo should remain vigilant, follow the advice of the local authorities, stay in touch with their family and friends so that they know you are safe. Singaporeans who require consular assistance can contact the Honorary Consulate-General in Colombo at +94 77 00 44 868 or the 24-hour MFA Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/8855.”
Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images