09/28/2009, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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International Book Fair, a success for the Catholic Church

by 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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