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    » 09/28/2009, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    International Book Fair, a success for the Catholic Church

    Melani Manel Perera

    More than a million visitors browse through 400 stands set up in the capital. The end of the civil war leads to a boom, as people feel free to travel the country. Bertram Fernando, who was in charge of the Catholic Church’s stand, says many Buddhists bought CDs of sacred music.
    Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Church’s stand was a great success at the Colombo International Book Fair, which ended yesterday. More than a million visitors browsed through the 400 stands set up at the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall.

    Upali Wanigasuriya, secretary of Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association, said, “this was the most successful book fair of the eleven held so far”.

    Bertram Fernando, who was in charge of the Catholic Books stand, said this was a boom year because of the end to the war.

    The priest told AsiaNews that “the fear of threats and bombs was no longer on people’s mind. Sri Lankans rediscovered the possibility of travelling freely.”

    For the first time, the Church’s stand also exhibited religious articles like rosaries, statues and medals alongside books. However, Christian CDs with songs and hymns were the real hit. 

    “Many Buddhists, in particular monks, bought books, magazines and DVDs about Mother Teresa. But CDs with Marian hymns by the late Fr Mercelin Jayakody were the best-sellers, Bertram Fernando said.

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    See also

    11/08/2005 INDIA
    Biggest Bible on display at the Chennai Book Fair


    10/05/2007 TAIWAN
    Taiwan’s changing landscape, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall renamed
    Taiwan’s government approves renaming the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. Kuomintang cries foul.

    21/07/2009 SRI LANKA
    IMF to provide a US$ 2.5 billion loan, but government forgets the poor
    The loan is set to finance post-war reconstruction and cushion the impact of the global economic crisis. However, government policies are negatively impacting broad segments of the population through higher taxes and disincentives to production. Women and small scale economic operators like fishermen are the hardest hit.

    29/12/2004 sri lanka
    Bishop of Sri Lanka: Local Ngos better equipped to assist the survivors
    In some areas international aid has not yet arrived. Peoples are sheltered in schools, churches, temples and rely on local humanitarian organizations for water, food, clothes.

    10/07/2009 SRI LANKA
    Meeting for Freedom and democracy in Sri Lanka six months after journalist assassinated
    Some 300 people gather in Colombo’s New Town Hall to remember Lasantha Wickramathunga and protest against the lack of freedom of expression in the country. Since 2007 10 journalists have been assassinated, 27 assaulted, 11 imprisoned and six abducted.



    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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