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The fanatics did not distinguish mothers, husbands, child track stars or budding entrepreneurs among the more than 250 people they killed at Easter Sunday mass or at hotels during breakfast time. For the barbarians, everyone was an enemy. To seek reason in their logic or morals is futile, but their methods have the effect of breaking society. Sri Lanka has experienced violence for decades. Colombo is also not the only global city to have been hit by murderous attacks. Just over the last few years, Christchurch, Mumbai and London are among the cities that were struck by this new face of terror – small groups often radicalised through social media and using technology to coordinate activity. Investors, tourists and other economic actors understand that the face of terror has changed. Colombo’s Easter Sunday attacks shouldn’t be debilitating for the economy over the long term as economic actors believe that somehow Sri Lanka is adept at managing these risks, like others in the region. Early evidence suggests that intelligence memos were ignored and the national security establishment was dysfunctional. The Easter Sunday attacks were wholly preventable. However, now that it’s eroded society, Sri Lanka will have to build confidence that it is able to deal with the new face of terror. It will not be alone among global cities, many of which are doing far better.

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