World: Catholic church bombed in Sri Lanka attacks reopens - PressFrom - US

WorldCatholic church bombed in Sri Lanka attacks reopens

20:20  12 june  2019
20:20  12 june  2019 Source:

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The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka traces to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 1500s and the subsequent influence of Portuguese, Dutch and Irish missionaries. Sri Lankan Catholics are largely concentrated in the Colombo-Negombo area. Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director at

Bombs tear through Sri Lankan churches and hotels, killing 250 people. The first wave of attacks struck during busy Easter services at churches in the heart of the country's minority Christian It is estimated that 82% of Sri Lankan Christians are Roman Catholic . Sunday's attacks risk upsetting the

Catholic church bombed in Sri Lanka attacks reopens© ISHARA S. KODIKARA At least 54 people were killed at St Anthony's church in Colombo during the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's bombed Catholic church was reconsecrated Wednesday with a prayer for a strong national leader to punish those responsible for the Easter attacks that killed 258 people.

Speaking at the newly restored St Anthony's in Colombo, the head of Roman Catholics in Sri Lanka said there were doubts whether the island could pull itself out of crisis after the coordinated suicide bombings on April 21.

Sri Lanka president vows to block Easter attacks probe

Sri Lanka president vows to block Easter attacks probe Sri Lanka's president has told his cabinet that he will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses leading to the Easter suicide bombings, official sources said Saturday. Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency meeting of his cabinet on Friday night to oppose the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people and wounded nearly 500. 

Thirteen suspects have been arrested as the death toll from the horrific church and hotel attacks in Sri Lanka climbed to 290 people, with no group Explosions rocked three luxury hotels in the nation’s largest city, Colombo, and three packed Catholic churches across the country on Sunday morning.

Full report: Sri Lanka authorities were warned two weeks before attacks , says minister. The injured will also receive payments, and the bombed churches will be repaired with government funds. The UK foreign office says “terrorists are likely to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka ” in their latest advice.

At least 54 people were killed at the church, where thousands of people -- including leading politicians -- attended a special trilingual service on Wednesday.

"What we need is a leadership that will work for the country rather than themselves. A leader with a backbone who will not protect the guilty. A leader who is not afraid to punish wrongdoers," said the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

"There is some doubt, both here and abroad, whether we have a strong leadership that will deliver us from this crisis," he added.

His remarks came as President Maithripala Sirisena faced serious criticism that he, as minister of defence and Law and Order, failed to act on advance warnings of the Easter attacks.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has publicly apologised for the security lapses that allowed suicide bombers to stage the assaults unchallenged.

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In breaking news from Sri Lanka , more than 185 people have been killed and 400 hundred injured this Easter Sunday in bomb attacks at churches and five star

Police officials and catholic priests stand inside the church after a bomb blast in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. Attacks on christians. The Christian community had already felt under pressure in Sri Lanka in recent years. Last year, there were 86 verified incidents of discrimination

Cardinal Ranjith said the Islamist extremists who staged the suicide attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels were misguided youth who will have no place in heaven.

"The innocent victims who died while in church are now angels in heaven. Those who carried out the attacks are in the hell of hells," Ranjith said.

St Anthony's -- which dates back to 1740 -- is venerated by non-Catholics too and as its restoration was nearing completion, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit on Sunday and paid tribute to all the victims.

"I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again," Modi said on Twitter where he posted photos of himself at the church.

"Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka."

Wickremesinghe said he had discussed with Modi ways to combat militant attacks and counter religious extremism.

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the assaults, giving the police and security forces sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.

The authorities have said they have killed or arrested all those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks that were blamed on a local jihadi group, the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) and claimed by the Islamic State.

Sri Lanka extends emergency in surprise move.
A state of emergency was extended by Sri Lanka's President Saturday, going back on pledges to relax the tough laws introduced after the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people. Maithripala Sirisena said in a decree he believed there was a "public emergency" in the country, and was invoking provisions of the public security act extending the state of emergency. 

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