CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Sri Lankan community thanks diocese for support

HONG KONG (SE): Sri Lanka was in a civil war for 33 long years. There is no exact casualty toll, but the United Nations has suggested that as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the last stage of the war alone. The civil war ended in 2009 after a large-scale operation by the army. 
Just as Sri Lankans were beginning to heave a sigh of relief after three decades of war, tragedy struck the country again on Easter Sunday, April 21, in the form of suicide bombers.  
Two worshipping communities of the Archdiocese of Colombo, devotees of another Christian denomination in Batticaloa, in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka, and three hotels in the heart of the city of Colombo, were hit by extremist bombers, killing hundreds and injuring thousands with major and minor injuries. The country was once again gripped by fear. 
World leaders stood united in their condemnation of the barbaric act of extremism. Pope Francis denounced the cruel violence, saying in his traditional Easter Sunday Urbi et Orbi (To the city and the world) message: “I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka.” 
On May 5, the Diocese of Hong Kong appealed to parishes for special prayers for the victims of the attack and called for a special collection to help the Church in Sri Lanka. In addition, members of the Sri Lankan community in Hong Kong gathered at the Central Ferry Pier on April 28 to express solidarity with their grieving brethren in Sri Lanka.
On behalf of the Sri Lankan Catholic community in Hong Kong, Father Blaise Cooray, who works with the Diocesan Commission for Pastoral Services to the Migrant Workers, expressed gratitude towards the Diocese of Hong Kong for the evangelical sensitivity to the needs of Sri Lanka in its hour of need.

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