Sri Lanka: 'Horrific attacks' another grim reminder of the need to stand united against hate

The shocking Sunday morning bombing attacks targeting churches and hotels in three cities in Sri Lanka resulting in more than 290 deaths and leaving more than 500 people injured, is yet another grim wake-up to the intolerance and hatred surging through societies across the world, Amnesty International said today.

Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“Amnesty International stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in its time of grief and we extend our deepest sympathy to the victims, to their family, friends and communities.

“Our hearts go out to all the people of Sri Lanka and we call on the authorities to ensure truth and justice prevail to defeat this senseless violence. These horrific attacks are yet another reminder that all of us needs to take a unified stand against hatred.

“Today it is worshipping Christians who are the victims, a few weeks ago it was Muslims in mosques. Plenty of other attacks have escaped the media glare. Too many minorities have endured violence, and leaders must stand up unambiguously for pluralist societies and the rights of minority communities.

“Leaders must take full responsibility for their role in fuelling the demonisation of particular groups and stop fanning flames with hate-filled rhetoric and policies based on aspects of people’s identities such as their faith and beliefs, or on their circumstances as seen with alienation of migrants and asylum seekers.

“We urge the government to take decisive steps respectful with fair trial standards not only to hold accountable those responsible for Sunday’s attacks, but to develop a clear plan to promote unity in diversity.”

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