Not Yet Seen Sri Lanka Attack Links With Christchurch: New Zealand
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday, 24 April, said she has not received any official advice from Sri Lanka or seen any intelligence reports to corroborate claims from Colombo that the Easter attacks were in retaliation for the mosque massacres in Christchurch last month.
Ardern told reporters in Auckland that Sri Lanka is in the early stages of its investigation, and that New Zealand plans to stand back and allow it to proceed.
She said she hadn't been in direct contact with Sri Lanka, although officials from the two countries were in contact.
Addressing the Parliamenton Tuesday, 23 April, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said "it was possible" the bombings were a "retaliation" for the New Zealand mosque attacks.
The 15 March shooting rampage on two Christchurch mosques killed 50 Muslims. A self-proclaimed white nationalist has been charged with the attack.
‘Extremist Content’ on Social Media
According to an intelligence memo sent to some government officials before the attack, a member of the Islamic extremist group (Thowheed Jamath) blamed for the Sri Lanka attacks had posted "extremist content" on social media after the Christchurch shootings were carried out by a right-wing extremist, Wijewardene said.
ISIS Claims Responsibility
Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested so far in connection with the attacks that shocked Sri Lankans who observed a day of national mourning on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe described the Easter Sunday's attacks as "global terrorism reaching Sri Lanka".
Wickremesinghe said in his address in Parliament that the attacks were of a different nature than the political objectives of the terrorist campaign which Sri Lanka faced until 2009 when the three-decade long conflict ended with the defeat of the LTTE.
Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa blamed the government for failing to ensure national security.
"When I handed over the government it was free of terrorism. No such attack would have happened under my government," he said.
Rajapaksa said the government must step down if public security cannot be guaranteed.