Iain Duncan Smith condemns terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and calls on UK Government to support efforts to trace those responsible

23rd April 2019

Iain Duncan Smith condemns the horrific Easter day terrorist attack in Sri Lanka which was timed on the single biggest day in the Christian calendar when children are encouraged to be in the church and calls on the government to support the Sri Lanka Government in pursuing those who conducted this attack but, at the same time, recognising that the Christian faith is about forgiveness.

 

I commend my right hon. Friend on his statement and on raising the reality, which is clear to us all, that these attacks were planned to have the maximum effect on the single biggest day in a Christian calendar, when children are encouraged to be in the church, celebrating what has been the resurrection for Christians of Christ. Therefore, they would have known that the maximum effect would be devastating. Following what the Opposition spokesman, the right hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry) said, does my right hon. Friend agree that the reality is that the one thing that Easter teaches us is that it is about sacrifice for others and the forgiveness that follows? I wonder whether he will therefore ensure that no matter what else happens, we give our greatest support to the Sri Lankan Government in pursuing those who conducted this terrible attack but, at the same time, recognising that the Christian faith is about forgiveness.

I thank my right hon. Friend for saying those brave words. It is very difficult for many people to think about forgiveness after what happened, but that is indeed an appropriate thing for Christians to think about, particularly at Easter. But forgiveness does not mean the absence of justice, and that is why it is absolutely essential that we support the Sri Lankan authorities in their determination to track down everyone responsible. We know that they have identified other people who have not yet been arrested, who they are looking for at the moment. Obviously, for the safety and security of everyone in Sri Lanka, it is vital that they are found, but I thank him for the generosity of his comments.

Hansard