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A blood-stained statue of Christ after the bombing at St Sebastian Church in Negombo in April 2019 (CNS photo/Reuters)

Five years on from the Easter Sunday bomb attack in Sri Lanka, victims are still awaiting justice and urging Australian Catholics to pray for them. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, synchronised bombings targeted three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka. More than 273 people died – among them 45 children and 40 foreign nationals, including Australians. About 500 others were injured, many seriously, including some disabled for life.

Many Australians have joined annual memorial services to express their solidarity with victims.

But despite many promises, pledges, assurances and investigations by Colombo, the families of the bereaved feel they are no nearer the truth, justice for the victims or answers.

Anusha Kumari, whose family was caught up in the attack on St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo near the capital, told the BBC in 2020: “My husband and my two children were killed only once. I die every second.”

Sri Lanka’s Catholics, led by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, have urged politicians, judges and law enforcement authorities to expedite investigations and bring those responsible before the courts to ensure justice.

Pope Francis has also pledged to seek justice for the victims.

A group of Sri Lankan expatriates in Australia launched the Australia-Sri Lanka Forum for Justice for the Easter Sunday Victims in 2021 to enhance awareness of the ongoing quest for justice.

With the support of local churches, the forum has conducted memorial services across Australia on the anniversary of the attack to pray for the departed souls and bring solace to the injured and their families.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has backed a call by Cardinal Ranjith for a prayer to be included in Church services on April 21 – the fifth anniversary of the bomb attack:

“We pray for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday bomb attack in Sri Lanka. May the merciful Lord grant justice to the victims, healing to the injured, hope and strength to the disabled and paralysed, consolation to the bereaved families and eternal rest to the deceased. In your mercy.”


Justice sought over Sri Lanka bomb attack (ACBC Media Blog)