In the first 3 days, security forces took 87 suspects into custody and they were handed over to police for further investigations, he added. The military detained nearly 100 suspects during four days of search operations against remnants of an Islamist group blamed for the Easter attacks that killed 258, officials said Sunday, May 26.Some 3,000 military personnel were deployed in and around the capital as well as other key towns for cordon-and-search activities that began on Thursday, May 23, a military official said. While authorities say the immediate jihadist threat has been blunted, President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday, May 22, extended for one month the 30-day state of emergency imposed after the suicide bombings. Several parts of the capital were also targeted in search operations by troops on Sunday.Similar raids were carried out in North Western Province, north of Colombo, where anti-Muslim riots this month left one man dead and left hundreds of Muslim-owned shops, homes and mosques destroyed.Security forces have arrested scores of suspects in connection with the April 21 bombings of 3 hotels and 3 churches, as well as over what appeared to be organised violence against the island’s Muslim minority. “The number of people detained could be around 100 by now,” a security official said adding that almost all were taken in for possessing drugs and in some cases illegal weapons. A few were also detained along with video and other propaganda material of the local jihadi group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) which has been blamed for the April 21 bombings.The Islamic State group has also claimed a role in the attacks. Sirisena said the move was to maintain “public security”, with the country still on edge after the Easter attacks.Christians make up 7.6% and Muslims 10% of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka.
“For children living through emergencies, education is a life line,” said Josephine Bourne, UNICEF’s head of global education programmes in a statement to the press, which noted that the 30 million children who’s schooling has been derailed by conflict make up about half the worldwide number of out of school children. “Being able to continue learning provides a sense of normalcy that can help children overcome trauma, and is an investment – not only in individual children, but in the future strengthening of their societies. Without the knowledge, skills, and support education provides, how can these children and young people rebuild their lives – and their communities?” A third of schools recently surveyed in the Central African Republic have been struck by bullets, set on fire, looted or occupied by armed forces. Over 100 schools were used as shelters for more than 300,000 people displaced during the most recent conflict in Gaza and now require rehabilitation. Students and teachers have been killed and abducted in northeast Nigeria, including more than 200 abducted school girls who have yet to be released. In Syria, nearly three million children, half the school population, are now not attending classes on a regular basis. And approximately 290 schools have been destroyed or damaged in recent fighting in Ukraine. Ms. Bourne outlined how UNICEF supports emergency education through efforts ranging from temporary classrooms and alternative learning spaces for internally displaced and refugee children, to the provision of millions of notebooks, backpacks and other school supplies. The agency is also supporting self-directed studies for children who can’t leave their homes and will help provide educational radio programmes for children in Ebola-affected countries. However, despite these emergency education programmes, many initiatives may remain severely underfunded. A record number of emergencies means that more children than ever are at risk and more resources are needed. “Last year, global emergency education programmes supported by UNICEF only received 2 per cent of all funds raised for humanitarian action, resulting in a $247 million funding shortfall. Education is an essential part of humanitarian response, requiring support and investment from the very onset of a crisis,” Ms. Bourne said.