Sri Lanka President Sirisena appoints new acting police chief

Tuesday, 30 Apr, 2019

The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed over 250 people, Sri Lanka has banned burqas calling it "a security risk and a flag of fundamentalism".

Sri Lankan Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Minister Harsha De Silva said last Monday that Indian and United States intelligence services had briefed Sri Lanka on the terrorist attacks being plotted ahead of their execution. The decision was approved by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the announcement was made late on Sunday via a press release.

Speaking to reporters at his first public appearance since last week's attacks on churches and hotels, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith slammed what he described as Sri Lanka's culture of impunity, saying many high-profile assassinations over the past 30 years had remained largely unsolved.

The ban was brought to the agenda at a Cabinet held last week.

More than 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, have been detained for questioning for questioning over the Easter attacks.

"This directive specifies the need for one's face been clearly visible for ascertaining their identify as its main criterion".

Police believe that radical Muslim preacher Zahran led the NTJ - or a splinter faction - to mount the attacks in Colombo as well as on a church in Batticaloa in the east. he authorities have named the other group suspected of involvement as Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.

Police said they had arrested 48 suspects over the past 24 hours as checkpoints mounted by all of Sri Lanka's security forces sprung up across the country of 21 million people. "The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema told all Muslim women not to wear face veils for security reasons".

According to Varatharajah, the Sinhalese community, which makes up the majority of the Sri Lankan population, fear suicide bombers, who were used by the Tamil insurgency between 1980 and 2000.

Then on Friday, in the raid at suspected safe houses around 15 people killed including six children.

Kalmunai is in the same region as the hometown of the militant Zahran Hashim who founded the National Thowheeth Jama´ath (NTJ) group accused of staging the attacks.

Sirisena's office added that any face garment which "hindered identification" would be banned automatically.

The memo said the possible attacks were planned by the "same perpetrators" as those thought to be behind the Easter Sunday bombings.

The police found white pairs of skirts and blouses from the house which was raided after the explosion in Sainthamuruthu area in the Eastern province.

Also this week, priests allowed journalists inside one of the bombed churches, St. Anthony Shrine in Colombo, where broken glass littered a blood-stained floor, said AP.