Sri Lankan government defeats no-confidence motion brought over Easter bombings

Sri Lankan government defeats no-confidence motion brought over Easter bombings

Security personnel stand guard in front of St Anthony's Shrine
Security personnel stand guard in front of St Anthony's Shrine, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Apr 29, 2019. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo)

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government on Thursday (Jul 11) defeated a no-confidence motion brought by an opposition party over what it called "criminal negligence" in failing to prevent Easter Day bomb attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people.

The motion, brought by the small Marxist opposition party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or Peoples Liberation Front, was defeated by 119-92 votes. It said the government should have acted on the information it had, referring to warnings by Indian intelligence that attacks were being planned.

Defeat of the motion will strengthen Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has been at loggerheads with President Maithripala Sirisena since last year. Their political differences widened following the attacks.

The suicide bomb attacks on Apr 21, targeting three churches and three luxury hotels, sent shockwaves through the Indian Ocean island state, which had enjoyed relative peace since a civil war ended a decade ago. 

The economy has slowed, forcing the government to seek foreign loans, and the tourism industry has been hit.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, though Sri Lankan authorities have blamed two little known domestic Islamist groups: the National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim.

Source: Reuters

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