Lankan Catholic churches cancel all Sunday mass until further notice

Colombo, PTI | Updated : 02 May 2019, 04:15 PM
Lankan Catholic churches cancel all Sunday mass until further notice (file photo)
Lankan Catholic churches cancel all Sunday mass until further notice (file photo)

Sri Lanka's Catholic church announced on Thursday that it has cancelled all Sunday mass in churches across the island nation until further notice after warning of more possible attacks, days after it was announced that public mass would resume from May 5.

All public church services were cancelled after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that ripped through three churches and high-end hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others.

Three main churches which were conducting Easter Sunday mass were attacked by suicide bombers.

"His eminence the Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has instructed that Sunday masses should not be held this week," Reverend Edmund Thilakaratne the spokesman for the Archbishop's House Reverend Edmund Thilakaratne said.

On April 30, Cardinal Ranjith said that public mass in Sri Lanka would resume since the attack in certain Catholic churches from May 5 and no bags will be allowed inside as part of the tight security measures.

Cardinal Ranjith, the head of the local church, has been complaining of poor security situation in the country in the face of threats of more attacks by the Islamist terror group.

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's intelligence agency warned the country's top leadership not to travel together during the coming few weeks after information was received of possible terror attacks.

Over 1,000 suspects linked to the local radical Muslim group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) have been arrested.

The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group NTJ for the attacks.

The security forces are conducting round the clock security operations since the attack in the crackdown on radical Muslims with links to the bombings.

The Catholic church also said that all Principals of Catholic schools have been advised not to resume schools on May 6 as scheduled. All schools were closed following the attack and was scheduled to re-open on April 29.

This was further put back until May 6 in view of the security situation."We will not start the Catholic private schools on Monday (May 6 )," Father Gemunu Dias said.

The education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said all arrangements to re-open schools on May 6 is now in place in cooperation with the security forces.  

First Published: Thursday, May 02, 2019 04:15 PM

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