Colombo, Sri Lanka, Apr 29, 2019 / 16:48 pm
One week after the Sri Lanka Easter bombings, authorities continue to seek those responsible for the violence, while enacting new security measures throughout the country.
With police urging caution over potential future attacks, Catholic leaders have temporarily closed all of the nation’s churches, and the government has enacted an emergency law to restrict face-covering veils.
On Sunday, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, highlighted the difficulty of this current time during a televised Mass at a private chapel in his residence.
“This is a time our hearts are tested by the great destruction that took place last Sunday,” said Ranjith, according to the Associated Press. “This is a time questions such as, does God truly love us, does he have compassion toward us, can arise in human hearts.”
The cardinal later met with several of the country’s leaders, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Maithripala Sirisena, and opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rivalry among these politicians is believed to be a factor in the mismanagement of relevant information that could have helped prevent the eight bombings, occurring at two Catholic churches, a protestant church, three hotels, a residence, and a zoo on Easter Sunday. More than 250 people were killed in the attacks.
Accusations of failure to act on warnings of the attacks also led to the resignation of the chief of police and defense minister.
Later on Sunday, the president used an emergency law to ban all face coverings that hinder identification. This restriction had been proposed last week, but it was supposed to be delayed until further consultation with Muslim clerics. It went into effect on Monday, receiving push back from Islamic leaders.