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It is instructive that, when the suspected terrorists were arrested and weapons found, three police were shot dead.
Clearly, whoever was responsible was well trained, and there have been suggestions of international links.
Some Sinhalese claimed that all of Sri Lanka should be exclusively Buddhist.
With the Tamil Tigers defeated, Sri Lanka’s non-Buddhist communities were again persecuted.
This culminated in 2013 with a Buddhist attack on a mosque.
Anti-Muslim riots in 2014 resulted in a ten day state of emergency. Buddhist monks have also disrupted Christian church services.
There remains much bitterness among Tamils towards the ethnic majority Sinhalese, but there is no appetite for renewing a war that ended so disastrously.
In 1972, and again in 1987, the predominantly Sinhalese Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party (JVP) launched insurrections that were bloodily suppressed.
Clashes between Sinhalese and Tamils in 1983 led to an attack on a Sri Lankan army convoy.
One can speculate about the logic of radicalisation and its possible manifestations.
It is possible that, if Islamist-inspired, the bombings were not a direct retaliation for last year’s anti-Muslim riots, but part of a wider jihadi agenda.
In its final weeks, around 40,000 mostly Tamil civilians were killed, bringing the war’s total toll to more than 100,000 from a population of around 20 million.