BATTICALOA/COLOMBO: State schools in Sri Lanka resumed classes on Monday amid tight security after the Easter Sunday bombings, but many anxious parents kept their children at home over fears of more attacks by Islamic militants. Two weeks after suicide bombings at hotels and churches killed 257 people, soldiers conducted a security sweep of schools on Sunday after state institutions were asked to re-open on a staggered basis. Mid-to-upper stream classes resumed on Monday, to be followed by lower grades at a later date. Despite the tight security and military patrols, most classrooms were near empty on Monday. Private schools, including Catholic institutions, remained closed. “I have decided not to send my son to school until the country returns to normal,” said Sujeeva Dissanayake, whose son goes to the state-run Asoka College in Colombo. She and other parents were at the school to help provide security. “Until we are certain about the security situation outside we will not send the child to school,” Dissanayake said. Authorities have blamed the Easter Sunday attacks, which also killed 42 foreign nationals, on two little-known local Islamist groups, the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI). Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings. At Royal College, an elite state school in Colombo, the parking area usually filled with school vans on a normal day was practically empty.
Empty classrooms: Sri Lanka schools re-open amid fears of more militant attacks
The Himalayan Times
Published: 02:37 pm May 06, 2019
Only about 5 per cent of its 6000 students were back in classes, a school official said.