Sri Lanka blasts (Photo Source: PTI)
Nearly a week after the devastating Easter Sunday blasts killed over 250 people, and injured 500 others, including dozens of foreigners, the Sri Lankan government on Saturday banned two terrorists organisations namely - National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI). The local Islamist extremist outfits, that were linked to the ISIS, claimed responsibility for the eight simultaneous blasts on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21.
According to a statement issued by the President's Media Division, Prez Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of powers vested in him as the under-Emergency Regulations No 1 of 2019, has taken steps to ban the organisations National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI) in Sri Lanka.
All movable and immovable assets belonging to the groups will also be seized, the statement added.
The development comes after the Lankan Parliament adopted a newly-enforced emergency regulation on Wednesday following the Easter Sunday bombing, the country’s deadliest violence since the devastating civil war ended in 2009.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a televised address, on Friday said the country needs new laws to deal with threats posed by local terror outfits linked to ISIS.
"The definition on aiding terrorism is very narrow. Therefore, the laws are not strong to deal with a situation like this. We have to widen the scope of these laws to counter global terrorism. Not only they (the terrorists) should be arrested, their assets also need to be confiscated," Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying.
The eight coordinated blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury in Colombo. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were rushed to the Colombo General Hospital.