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Sri Lanka to resume Mass after Easter Sunday bombings: Archbishop

Sri Lanka to resume Mass after Easter Sunday bombings: Archbishop

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Apr 21, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Catholic Church said public Mass will resume on Sunday (May 5) amid tight security, two weeks after the Easter Sunday bombings killed 253 people at three churches and three luxury hotels.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Church was closely monitoring government investigations into the Apr 21 suicide attacks and wanted to be sure of the security situation before returning to daily services.

"On the 5th of May we are going to begin Masses," he told AFP on Tuesday.

"But we will start with a smaller number of Masses and see if we can slowly increase it depending on how the situation develops."

The cardinal, who is also the Archbishop of Colombo, conducted a private memorial Mass that was broadcast live on television last Sunday after cancelling all public services amid fears of a repeat of the Easter attacks.

Armed guards and an armoured personnel carrier have been placed outside the cardinal's Colombo residence as part of his security arrangements.

READ: Sri Lanka lifts ban on social media, security remains tight

READ: Sri Lanka maintains high alert for attacks ahead of Ramadan

Soldiers stand guard outside the residence of cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Apr 26, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

But he said he returned a bulletproof limousine that was given by the government and instead travelled in an ordinary car.

"I am not afraid. I don't need bulletproof vehicles to go about. The Lord is my protector," he said. "But, I want security for my people, and for the country."

Source: AFP/mi


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