Today marks one month since that fateful Easter Sunday, when scores of innocent worshippers, families enjoying Sunday brunch and tourists on holiday lost their lives to heinous acts of terror. Even though time has trudged forward, it remains cruelly frozen for the bereaved families of the 258 men, women and children who were killed, and the more than 500 who were injured. Their grief has only been compounded by the inexplicable injustice of the losses they have suffered. Many others continue to be affected by the economic aftershocks of that day.
Even as communities labour to put back the pieces of their disrupted lives and shattered faith, the Easter Sunday bombings have exposed another gash in the fabric of Sri Lankan society. The organised mob violence in the Western and North Western provinces on May 13 laid bare the fact that communal harmony has been among the most significant casualties of the events of the past month. As fear and paranoia turn to hatred, the premise of peaceful coexistence lies threadbare.
The nature of the news cycle—a metaphor for life itself—is that it can never remain stationary. Now that the momentary attention of the world community has shifted to other places and other problems, all we really have is one another. As Sri Lanka teeters on a precipice, it is only our collective will that can steer us away from the depths of disharmony and distrust.
As journalists and storytellers, we are aware that the task ahead of us is a weighty one. Even as we attempt to make sense of the complicated factors that have brought the spectre of global terror right to our doorsteps, we recognise that it is our responsibility to pass on the microphone to those whose voices need to be heard. We remain committed to documenting the trauma of all those who were affected by this tragedy. Equally, we are driven by the conviction that the fault lines of society deepen with silence. Bigotry breeds when we turn our faces away.
So here’s our pledge to you, our readers. We will shine the spotlight on as many stories as our resources will permit — from the children whose worlds were thrown off axis by the blasts to the small-time candle vendors outside Kochchikade Church who struggle to rebuild their businesses. We will continue to pass on the mic to those whose narratives need amplification, because we would have failed otherwise.