Prayers for peace a week after Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks

World Today

Relatives of Sri Lankan couple Rohan Marselas Wimanna and Mary Noman Shanthi, who were killed in Easter Sunday bomb blasts pray at their residence on the seventh day of mourning in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 28, 2019. Sri Lanka’s Catholics celebrated Sunday Mass in their homes by a televised broadcast as churches across the island nation shut over fears of militant attacks, a week after the Islamic State-claimed Easter suicide bombings killed over 250 people. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

It’s been a week since the explosions in Sri Lanka. No services were held in the mosques on Friday nor in churches on Sunday for security reasons as the threat of more explosions still looms large.

While the search operations continue, religious leaders preached for peace in the nation. CGTN’s Ravinder Bawa has more.

It was a special sermon televised across the island nation.

As Catholic churches locked their doors to the public for security reasons, the Archbishop of Colombo held a televised mass.

At exactly 8:45 AM in the morning, a special vigil was held outside St Anthony’s church to remember the dead. Many joined in to sing hymns while the hands on the tower clock remained stuck in time.

“We are saddened because we didn’t know why this country was selected for this and why the Catholic church because we are having very excellent relations with the Muslim community. So, it was a surprise we were picked and our people were attacked,” Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said.

Messages were displayed in many places in Colombo.

On the one hand, the government took the help of the religious leaders of various communities to maintain peace and harmony. On the other hand, they scaled up search operations by deploying more than 10,000 security personnel to hunt down the perpetrators.

In a major breakthrough, the driver of the mastermind of the explosions was arrested. Two other suspects were also taken into custody. Police made a major recovery of arms and other material in several raids.

“CID officers recovered around $30 million worth of 3 blue sapphire stones and more than $10 million worth of foreign and local currencies and around 1.5 million worth of jewelry,” Colombo police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Police also closed the main mosque, because of its reported ties to the alleged mastermind of the Easter Sunday bombings.

Muhammad Fraser-Rahim on the security implications of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks

CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke with Muhammad Fraser-Rahim about security implications of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks and how the government has reacted following the devastation.