On Monday, April 22nd, ASP Adjunct Fellow Dr. Randall Law was interviewed by Univision News about the dreadful terrorist attacks that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
When questioned about the meaning behind the attacks, Dr. Law emphasized how “the targeting of cultures isn’t in line with the violence of the Sri Lankan civil war,” since the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil Tigers minority, namely the two factions that fought in the Sri Lankan civil war, were respectively Buddhist and Hindu/Christian.
Because “terrorism is symbolic violence that is used to change behavior,” Dr. Law explained how, “even though we don’t know exactly who’s behind this, we can look at the targets […] and imagine the audience, to a certain degree.”
In other words, considering the highly symbolic value of Christian churches (especially on Easter Sunday) and international hotels, “it’s hard not to believe that the audience is as much international and global as it is local and domestic. It would seem that the audience is the world, and not just the Sri Lankan authorities or the population.”
Dr. Law concluded by saying he expects the Sri Lankan authorities will “step up security dramatically,” especially given their familiarity with fighting terrorism.
Even though there is no clear evidence of its involvement, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
You can watch the full interview here.