Money, assets of Sri Lanka bombers recovered

Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID has chanced upon LKR 140 million in cash and assets worth over LKR 7 billion that belonged to the suicide bomber squad believed to have carried out the Easter attacks, police said on Monday. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the CID had confiscated part of the cash, while the remaining is in bank accounts maintained by suspects. The discovery comes as part of the ongoing investigation into the serial explosions, in which over 250 people died.

A fortnight after the coordinated blasts, security forces continued search operations and raids to eliminate any potential threat.

Meanwhile, in the first instance of violence reported since the blasts, a mob late on Sunday attacked homes and vehicles owed by Muslims in Negombo, some 40 km north of Colombo. The coastal town, among the targets on April 21, lost over a 100 people in the blast at its St. Sebastian’s church.

Following clashes on Sunday night, a police curfew was abruptly imposed as authorities feared overnight escalation of violence. The government briefly banned social media platforms, including Facebook and Whatsapp, as it did for days after the attacks. Two persons were arrested in connection with the incident. Following the development in Negombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the head of Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church, appealed for calm. “I appeal to all Christians, Buddhists and Muslims to be patient, show restraint and ensure the peace we maintained after the Easter bombings,” he said. Many schools, which were closed following the Easter bombings, reopened on Monday, “to near-empty” classrooms, Reuters reported. Amid enhanced security checks at schools and persisting fear of possible repeat attacks, parents decided not to send their children to school. Heavy military presence was visible in the capital and across the island as Sri Lanka’s Muslims geared up for Ramzan.

Further, the Mahanayake Theras, chief prelates representing four influential Buddhist temples, have urged the public to avoid huge gatherings or festivities around Vesak, a key Buddhist festival later this month.