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Commemorative Event for the Victims of the Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul at the Commemorative Event for the Victims of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, 3 May 2019.

| General Assembly

President, colleagues, dear Ambassador Perera and friends from Sri Lanka.

The horrific attacks on Easter Sunday shook us all.

Sri Lankans across the world are still mourning. And we are mourning with you.

On behalf of Norway, I extend my sincere condolences.

Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with families, friends and loved ones of all those killed and injured. The pictures and stories of the victims have been heartbreaking.

The attacks targeted innocent worshippers and visitors, many of them children. It is incomprehensible and meaningless.

Norway strongly condemns these senseless and brutal acts.

Last Friday the King of Norway and the Prime Minister attended a memorial service in Oslo together with religious leaders and the Sri Lankan diaspora.

The Easter Sunday attacks were a powerful reminder of the importance of working against all forms of violent extremism, regardless of its creed.

The poisonous intolerance, populism and nationalism we see around the world are the breeding ground for violent extremism.

Only in the last few months, our friends in Sri Lanka, Mali and New Zealand, and most recently USA, are some of those who have experienced horrible acts of terrorism. Acts that leave deep wounds in an entire nation. Wounds that also Norway still live with, after the devastating terrorist attacks on July 22nd, 2011.

Together with Jordan, Norway co-chairs the Group of Friends of Preventing violent extremism. Prevention must be our top priority. We must address the underlying conditions contributing to the spread of violent extremism and terrorism.

Today we pause to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Sri Lanka attacks. To express our support to those who survived and those who lost their loved ones. And to extend to the people of Sri Lanka our wholehearted and our deepest sympathies.

We have important work ahead of us. We can all make a difference. We must promote the values that are important to us: democracy and openness. And it will help us to better understand how hatred, violence and terrorism can be overcome.

Thank you.