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 Post subject: Sri Lanka church set on fire
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:37 am 
Sri Lanka church set on fire

BBC Sinhala
18JUL2005

A Catholic church in Polonnaruwa has been set fire by unidentified assailants, police said.

Holy Cross Church at Abhayapura, Pulastigama was set fire and a church worker was beaten early morning on Sunday.

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Reporters say the police are clueless of the culprits.

The worker, Angel Rukmal Fernando, 19, has been admitted to Polonnaruwa hospital.

Polonnaruwa Lankadeepa correspondent Raj Weerasinghe, who visited the scene, says the police are clueless of the culprits.

Religious leaders including leading Buddhist monks have condemned the attack.

Condemnation

Head of Somawathie Rajamaha Vihara, Pahamune Sumangala thero condemning the attack said he also attended the ceremony to open the new church premises.

The attack was condemend by the Buddhist leaders

The thero said Archbishop Oswald Gomis, who ceremoniously opened the new premises in 2002, promised the Church would not try to convert Buddhists.

It was funded by residents of the area of Catholic, Buddhists, Hindu and Muslim faiths replacing a temporary building.

Father Erik Fernando in charge of Palugasdamana Mission said he opposed any attempt to prevent people practising their religions.

He described the attack as a violation of Catholics' fundamental rights.

“As a Catholic priest, I strongly oppose the attempts to remove Buddhist statues in Omanthai and Trincomalee.”


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