Sir Lanka’s Deaf Community in the Wake of the Bombings on Easter

By: Mary Patricia

On Easter morning, millions of Christians go to church to celebrate that “Jesus has risen.” In Sri Lanka, roughly two hundred Christians were brutally murdered in bombings along with over 450 injured. The police in Sri Lanka say they had warned that Sri Lanka Churches were bombing targets.

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Sri Lanka Central Federation of the Deaf has not posted any videos or comments to discuss what has happened. However, there may be a reason for that. After an Easter terror attack, Sri Lanka cut access to social media. This was to maintain control over the situation. According to The New York Times, restricted sites include Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, and YouTube.

"This was a unilateral decision," presidential adviser Harindra Dassanayake told the Times, explaining officials worried that the spread of misinformation and hate speech could incite violence.

Even with social media being cut off from Sri Lanka, some people have found ways to share their message. The Sri Lanka Deaf community as a whole has responded to this and everybody is very shaken up. Signing in British Sign Language, a Sri Lanka resident shared on her private wall the sorrows she felt about the bombing in her country. It was also mentioned in her vlog that there were six separate locations bombed at the same time.

“The bombings began around 8:45 a.m., and targeted Roman Catholic houses of worship — St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the capital; St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo; and Zion Church in Batticaloa — along with three luxury hotels: the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury, all in Colombo.” (New York Times)