Today we remember the precious lives taken too soon in the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday, two years ago. We stand with those who grieve and those who continue to endure the physical and psychological consequences of that day.
Terrorism aims to alienate, divide, and disrupt peaceful societies. Our efforts to defeat it will only succeed if as a result our societies become stronger, cohesive and inclusive in their respect for diversity.
A common voice against hatred and division can prevent more children, women, and men from being killed or harmed by terrorism and violent extremism. Promoting, protecting, and respecting the rights of every citizen, is the most effective means of countering the scourge of terrorism. There are no shortcuts when countering terrorism, strict respect for the rule of law and legal guarantees for suspects and their communities are the only ways to prevent that, by wrongly fighting the terrorists of today, we may contribute to creating the terrorists of tomorrow.
The perpetrators, organizers, financiers, and sponsors of terrorist activities need to be held accountable and brought to justice through credible, transparent, timely and robust judicial processes.
Investigations and a conclusion to the ongoing judicial processes are also important to ensure victims and their families have access to compensation. Traumatic memories cannot be erased, but we can help victims and survivors by providing them essential services such as psycho-social support, providing families with long-term assistance and promoting victim groups and associations.
We all have a role to play in uprooting the seeds of extremism in our everyday lives, in our schools and in our places of worship. When we respect the rights of everyone and provide them with support and justice, we are honouring our common bonds, and reducing the lasting damage done by terrorists to individuals, families, and communities.
The United Nations in Sri Lanka stands in solidarity with all victims of terrorism — today and every day.