Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Sri Lanka’s ‘Little Rome’ rocked by clashes between Christians and Muslims

Sri Lanka’s ‘Little Rome’ rocked by clashes between Christians and Muslims

There were more cancellations than bookings for hotels on the island following the Easter bombings.

The government has blamed the Easter bombings on a local jihadist organisation which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Kishu Gomes told a media briefing here that countries who had suffered global terrorist attacks had managed to revive their tourism industries within a year and Sri Lanka had begun studying their forms of revival.

Sirisena said that intelligence services from eight countries, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol, were helping Sri Lanka with the investigation.

He said the decision was changed based on "information received", but did not elaborate.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said on Monday that the curfew was lifted after the violence was brought under control and two people were arrested.

Sri Lanka Army's chief has said some of the suicide bombers who carried out the country's worst terror attack on Easter Sunday last month had visited Kashmir and Kerala for "some sorts of training" or to "make some more links" with other foreign outfits. The Islamic State took responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to March attacks on two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people.

The relatively unknown National Thowheeth Jamaath - an affiliate of the ISIS - had reportedly carried out the Sri Lanka blasts.

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, said that it was a personal clash between two groups.

"The information we have from a reliable foreign source is that attackers are planning to hit a very famous church and a Catholic institution", the Cardinal said in a statement.

Government primary schools up to grade 5 are scheduled to open next week. Meanwhile we have also started legal formalities and have got in touch with the Sri Lankan mission.

The Negombo's main church, St Sebastian's, a building modelled on the cathedral in the French town of Reims, was targeted by a suicide bomber.

Police said, security arrangements are being made at every school and the public has been asked not to park cars close to schools. However, the normal school traffic was not seen.

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