Those responsible for the Easter Sunday bomb blasts should be punished "mercilessly" as the attacks have caused much suffering to the people, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has demanded. The island nation was rocked by a series of eight bomb blasts in three churches and three high-end hotels, killing 321 people and injuring over 500 others.
Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested in connection with the blasts.
"It's a very, very sad day for all of us," the Cardinal said after his visit to St. Sebastian Church, one of the targets in the deadly attacks
"I wish to, therefore, express my deepest sympathy to all those innocent families that have lost someone, and also to those who have been injured and rendered destitute," he told reporters.
The Cardinal condemned the violence "that has caused so much death and suffering to the people" and asked the government to hold an impartial enquiry into the attacks.
"The government should punish them (attackers) mercilessly because only animals can behave like this," he added.
He asked the Sri Lankan people not to take law in their hands and maintain peace and harmony.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday called on the Cardinal to express his pain and dismay over the attacks and discussed the future steps that should be taken to contain the situation, according to a statement issued by his office.
During the meeting, the president apprised the religious leader about the steps taken by the government to prevent such occurrences in future.