We stand in solidarity with Sri Lankans in grief and shock after gruesome terror attacks killed over 300 people and wounded more than 500. The eight bombs in three cities￼ tore walls out of hotels and erupted in churches celebrating Easter mass. The attacks targeted the Christian community but the loss spread across Sri Lankan and international networks. Those killed included mothers, fathers, workers, vacationers, and children, whole families worshiping, and teams of hotel employees on shifts. We extend our deepest sympathy for the loss of innocent lives and the many families and communities affected. We hope justice is upheld for those affected and communities can come together in solidarity to heal and repair.
The attacks come as Sri Lankans are rebuilding communities and trust after several decades of civil war that ended in 2009. The civil war fomented hostility between religious and ethnic communities. There are fears that this new violence could threaten Sri Lanka’s fragile journey to peace. We support the human rights of all and urge that state security measures don’t infringe on rights, particularly those of vulnerable communities. We stand behind all citizens and communities resisting backlash and violence.
Women’s peacebuilding and activism – dialogue and efforts for just peace – have been critical to resisting and preventing episodes of conflict. Global Fund for Women stands in support and solidarity with the Sri Lankan feminist movement laying the groundwork for lasting peace. Their unyielding efforts have helped communities mobilize around a shared hope for change and helped ensure that justice for survivors remains firmly on the agenda. We stand in support of our partners in Sri Lanka working to advance women’s participation in reconciliation processes, advocate for equal gender rights in policy, reduce gender-based violence, and aid survivors of sexual violence during the conflict.
Today, when the attacks have created fresh waves of loss and uncertainty in the country, we recognize the pain of those who have been affected by the attacks, and hope that they – and the country – are given space and peace to heal. Global Fund for Women stands firmly in support with citizens and activists ensuring that the Sri Lankan people’s wish for a peaceful future prevails.