US House Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) have sent a letter urging the US State Department to assert the need for the respect for religious minorities, respect for due process and the rule of law in Sri Lanka following the horrific attacks on Easter Sunday.
“Tensions are escalating in Sri Lanka, where the peace remains fragile. I urge the Ambassadors for Religious Freedom and War Crimes Issues to respond before matters get worse,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said.
“The United States must stand for religious freedom and human rights here and abroad. As we work with our Sri Lankan partners to respond to the terrible attacks of Easter Sunday, we must maintain our emphasis on post-war reconciliation and the importance of justice and accountability.”
“I am deeply concerned by crackdowns on religious freedom in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks,” said Congressman Jim McGovern.
“The Government of Sri Lanka must not let these attacks erode or undermine the hard-won rights of the Sri Lankan people, who have already suffered immensely from decades of civil war. I am encouraged by the State Department’s willingness to work constructively on this issue, and hopeful that the United States will continue to speak out strongly in favor of human rights and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.”
On April 21, 2019, 258 people were killed in a series of suicide bombings targeting Christians on Easter Sunday. In the wake of the attacks, the Sri Lankan government implemented sweeping emergency laws that give the military and police widespread powers including that of arrest and detention with little or no judicial oversight.
Since the attack, there has been rioting against Muslims with at least one reported death of a Muslim man.