Malaysiakini Letter

Easter carnage in Sri Lanka: How prepared are we?

G Selva  |  Published:

LETTER | The bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday not only shocked the world but the reverberations were felt here as well. 

Many local worshippers empathised that it could have been us facing such a situation. It brings to fore the question as to how prepared are we for such a devastating incident.

Apparently, intelligence services in Sri Lanka had forewarned of the possibility of such an attack. In spite of that advantage, there was an obvious lack of overt preparedness and insufficient preventive measures taken to avert or at least minimise the extent of the carnage. 

It reflected poorly upon the relevant agencies there. Those concerned definitely have a lot of explaining to do. However, putting the blame solely on the enforcement agencies is simply too easy a way out for those responsible for ensuring the security of the nation. The blame should be shouldered across the political divide.

The heart of the problem lies within the political spectrum of Sri Lanka and for that matter, for all societies that are multiracial, multi-religious and pluralistic. This includes us. 

Similar ideological paradigms can be the root cause as it is based upon communal politics. We have to be alert and proactive to it.

Politicians alike both here and there, are still abusing race and religion for their own agenda especially in the quest for power and position. New Malaysia is still condoning it although we claim to be in transition to reformation. 

As in the past, we seem to be in limbo with the same emphasis on communal and religious platforms. We are not making progress fast enough as the first anniversary of New Malaysia approaches.

We must take heed that these kinds of extreme perpetrators walk amongst us and come from within our own religious and racial prejudices. They develop and feed on our likes, dislikes, anger, desire, envy, etc. 

They come from all walks of life regardless of race, creed or colour. They glide smoothly amongst us as they engage in activities that are respectable within the realms of social decorum. 

They choose their surrounding community with great precision so as to ensure that they are trusted, respected and to a large extent, protected. Most of whom who are in close proximity with them are sympathetic to their cause. 

They are made to feel that their extremities reflect the consensual battle for their race and religion. They cloak their sinister objectives by mild demeanour and conduct, religious piety, kindness, soft mannerisms and so on. 

They move easily in society as they gain trust and most do not see them for who and what they are until it's too late. It is a toxic relationship that provides the impetus to such horrifying outcomes.

New Malaysia has to take this incident seriously and be vigilant at all times so as to ensure that such a monstrous incident does not take place here. 

We have to enact the relevant laws to prevent any form of religious or racial provocation at every early indication.

Our intelligence agencies will have to be constantly alert to ensure that they are consistently on top of all similar possibilities. 

A firm hand in the rule of law and the appropriate rules of engagement is imperative when dealing with such extremism. 


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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