Photograph courtesy of Virakesari
A memorial monument has been constructed in memory of the 31 people who perished in an attack on Zion Church in Batticaloa on Easter Sunday two years ago.
The memorial structure was unveiled on Wednesday, near Kallady Bridge in Batticaloa, to mark the second anniversary of the Easter Sunday attacks. The families of those who died and members of the clergy paid homage to the victims by lighting candles and offering flower garlands to the memorial monument.
The erection of the structure was administered by the Zion Church and the unveiling took place under the supervision of Father Mahesan Rosan.
Out of the 31 who died in the bombing of the Zion Church, 14 were children and over 300 people were wounded. Two other churches, the Catholic Shrine of St. Anthony in Kotahena, Colombo and the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian in Negombo were also struck by bomb blasts. Luxury hotels including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels, in Colombo were also targeted.
The series of explosions killed 279 people and injured more than 500 others, with atleast 45 foreign nationals amongst the dead.
Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, with the lesser-known jihadist group National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) involved, it soon emerged that Sri Lankan intelligence services were aware that an attack was due to take place on Easter Sunday.