03/29/2024, 12.15
Send to a friend

In Easter message, Sri Lanka bishops call for 'radical change for the country'

by Melani Manel Perera

In the words issued by the Bishops' Conference, the request to 'alleviate the suffering of the people' who have been on their knees for years now due to the economic crisis. Renewed call for justice for the more than 275 victims of the massacre five years ago. A security plan for the rites of the Triduum has been put in place in the country.


Colombo (AsiaNews) - The memory of the 2019 Easter massacre is still alive in Sri Lanka, with over 275 victims of the terrorist attacks that hit churches and residential areas including 4 hotels. An increasingly vivid memory as Lent advances towards the Christian feast of the Resurrection, which renews the hope of having justice for those who have lost their lives.

This was underlined by the Episcopal Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) in the message released on the occasion of Holy Week. The Sinhalese bishops ask for the truth and a greater effort from the authorities to alleviate the suffering of the population.

Easter 2024 is celebrated in a climate of serious turbulence, with numerous social, economic and political crises gripping the country. The CBCSL underlines in the statement the urgent need for an administrative reform.

“It is essential to bring about a radical change in the country's governance system to alleviate the suffering of the people. It is the responsibility of all citizens to work to bring about this change,” reads the message. The approach of Easter Sunday represents the opportunity to entrust to the Lord the social conflicts that have infiltrated the lives of the country's citizens for months

. “We celebrate Easter at a time when the country is facing a crisis it has never faced before. Easter is the sacred mystery and culmination of Christian belief. We ask the risen Lord to help us overcome the crisis we are facing at the moment", ask the prelates.

There are still many gray areas from the massacre of March 21st 5 years ago. Former president Maithripala Sirisena, condemned to pay compensation for failing to prevent the attacks, a few days ago declared himself willing to provide new statements to shed light on the responsibilities.

But the road to justice is still long. In the Easter message the bishops express renewed solidarity with the victims and their families.

“Five years have passed since the chaos of Easter Sunday, in which more than 275 people were killed and many were hospitalized (about 500, ed.). We ask the authorities to be close to the hearts of these suffering people and to do them justice", urged the Sinhala Episcopal Conference, in the message signed by the president and the general secretary, bishops Harold Anthony Perera and J.D. Anthony Jayakody.

“Easter is the sacred Christian mystery. We reach the culmination of this conviction when we celebrate it. During Easter we renew the conviction of the first followers of Christ: Jesus is alive". The invitation that the CBCSL addresses to the Christian community of Sri Lanka is to affirm with joy that "Jesus lives among us".

This presence instills hope as He "defeated death and sin with his resurrection". "It is the cornerstone of Easter celebrations. Let us turn away from sin, love one another ”, reads the message.

In these days approaching Easter, the Sinhalese police are developing a special security plan in churches across the country in view of today's celebrations of Good Friday and those on Sunday. Coordinating the operations is Inspector General of Police (IGP) Deshabandu Tennakoon, who gave directions to all officers, including senior deputy inspectors general of police (SDIGs), DIGs and officers in charge (OICs) of the divisions of police.

The officials are meeting the priests and the administrative bodies of the parishes to secure all the churches with personalized emergency plans, in view of the rites of these days, to guarantee a peaceful participation of the faithful.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Christian leaders slam escalating violence against civilians
Bishops’ solidarity with Tamils forced to leave Colombo
Easter Sunday attacks: Card Ranjith against easy acquittals
06/10/2020 17:31
Over 50 dead and hundreds wounded in six explosions in churches and hotels
21/04/2019 14:57
Easter 2019 massacres: Sirisena says he knows the 'real perpetrators'
23/03/2024 11:36


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”