Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. On Easter Sunday a wave of attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels killed more than 300 people and injured 500.

Riaz in his essay titled “New wave of radicalisation or taking advantage of the trust deficit?” in the Daily Star described the attacks as ‘a colossal failure’ of the Sri Lankan intelligence agencies considering that they received early warnings and failed to act on it.

The scope and the casualties in these attacks are unprecedented in South Asia. Riaz mentions that Sri Lanka, which experienced a quarter-century of civil war until 2009, hasn’t seen such horrifying attacks with such large civilian causalities in its history. Riaz asks whether the territory attack is a marker of a new wave of radicalization of communities including the Muslim community.

Referring to the fragile ethnic and religious balance and precarious political situation, he asks whether these have provided the opportunity to unscrupulous forces to destabilize the situation, further the trust deficit and widen the schisms between religious communities for their own agenda. The forces, he contends, have local presence but also external connections.