CHENNAI: Leaders of various political parties have condemned the eight serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka that claimed at least 207 lives and left over 450 people injured, on Sunday. The blasts have brought indescribable grief and made one shudder at the merciless act carried out when innocent people had gathered to offer prayers, the ruling AIADMK said reacting to the dastardly act. “We strongly condemn the blasts that took place in areas where a large population of Tamil Christians live,” the party said in a statement here.
Conveying their condolences, party coordinator O. Panneerselvam and joint coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, said they prayed to the Almighty to give strength to the bereaved families to bear with the grief. “We pray for the brothers and sisters who were killed and for the early recovery of all those injured,” they said.
Condemning the mass killings by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka, both Mr. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam said the attack in a place where innocent people had congregated to pray to God was shocking.
Later, talking to reporters Mr. Panneerselvam said “wherever violence and terror incidents, as such, take place in the world, they should be condemned. The incident which occurred on Easter Sunday is regrettable.”
DMK president M. K. Stalin, said in a statement, that the trend of targeting places of worship in several countries like in New Zealand where an attack took place recently was a big challenge to humanism that should be thwarted by humanitarian forces. Noting that Tamils too have been largely affected by the blasts in Sri Lanka, he said “justice should expeditiously be rendered to Tamils, other communities and foreigners affected by the blasts there.”
He also demanded firm and fair steps from the Lankan government over the blasts that amount to allegedly intimidating the Tamils more and aimed at creating a ‘permanent fear’ in the minds of religious minorities.
He sought identification of forces behind the explosions and punishment for them.
Tamil actress Radikaa Sarathkumar, who had checked out of a hotel just ahead of a blast there, tweeted, “OMG bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, God be with all. I just left Colombo Cinnamon grand hotel and it has been bombed, can’t believe this, shocking!”
MDMK chief Vaiko demanded stringent punishment to the perpetrators of the crime and noted that places of worship, including the Saint Antony’s Church, were located in places where a large number of Tamils lived.
AMMK leader T. T. V. Dhinakaran said the blasts were an outcome of cowardice, and were barbaric and unacceptable. “I condole the deaths, and pray for the early recovery of the injured,” he said.
PMK chief Dr. S. Ramadoss said the explosions were shocking and a “painful irony” that it was on Easter Sunday, which commemorated the resurrection of Jesus who preached only love. He urged the Centre to take steps to bring Indians including the Tamil people, home as they were now stranded in the areas of Sri Lanka rocked by explosions.
CPI State secretary R. Mutharasan demanded immediate action and wondered if President Maithripala Sirisena government “has lost control.”
Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth said that he has no words to console the victims’ families. “I have no words to console people who were affected by the bomb blast that happened on the Easter Sunday,” Rajini said in a tweet.
Kamal Haasan, President, MNM, has condemned the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. In a statement, he said, “Violence can never be the final solution to human disagreements. Ironic that the island that spawned the word serendipity is not able to find it. My deepest sympathies to those affected by the bombs in Sri Lanka. The government should be impartial and swift in rendering Justice.”