New Delhi: A week after eight serial suicide attacks rocked three cites of Sri Lanka, including its capital Colombo, Christians of the Island nation are observing Mass in their homes today since all churches are shut in the country- fearing another terror strike.

Sri Lanka’s Catholics are observing Mass from the confines of safe places while a televised broadcast plays on their television sets.

According to a report in the Times of India, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, delivered a homily before members of the clergy in a small chapel at his Colombo residence. In a show of solidarity, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Srisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the Mass held at the Cardinal’s home.

Catholic services across Colombo have been suspended until April 29, because of security concerns, according to Fr. Edmond Tillekeratne, media director of the Archdiocese.

Earlier this week, ahead of Friday’s dawn prayers, Muslims were asked not to gather publicly for the congregational prayer service, known as the Jum’ah, according to a statement labelled “very urgent” on Thursday by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem. However, some mosques defied the call, opening for midday prayers on Friday.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday apologized to the nation for the failure to protect victims from Sunday’s explosions which killed 253 people and injured over 500.

In a statement on his official Twitter account, Wickremesinghe said: “We take collective responsibility and apologize to our fellow citizens for our failure to protect victims of these tragic events.

ARRESTS MADE

Meanwhile, two suspects, wanted over the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings, were arrested on Sunday, police said. The two men were identified as Mohammad Iwuhaim Saadiq Abdul Haq and Mohammad Iwuhaim Shahid Abdul Haq, reports the Daily Mirror.

 

With IANS inputs