Temple officials held in Lanka for holding festival

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A huge crowd attended the festival at the Sri Kamakshi Amman Kovil temple in Tamil-dominated Jaffna without maintaining social distance or wearing face masks…reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lankan officials have arrested the top officials of a Hindu temple for allegedly holding a festival despite a ban on large gatherings amid a spike in Covid-19 infections, according to the Colombo Gazette newspaper.

A huge crowd attended the festival at the Sri Kamakshi Amman Kovil temple in Tamil-dominated Jaffna without maintaining social distance or wearing face masks, the newspaper reported.

The Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the temple have been arrested for holding the event despite a ban. Such large events have been banned by the Government until May 31, it was reported.

Last week, the government announced that tuition classes, parties and public gatherings have been banned until May 31st after Sri Lanka was placed on Alert Level 3 following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

According to new health guidelines, casinos, night clubs and beach parties have also been temporarily banned. Government and private offices have been told to operate with minimum staff while others work from home.

Also read:Highly infectious Covid-19 strain detected in Sri Lanka

Last week, Sri Lanka marked the second anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings with religious ceremonies, as Catholics called for investigations into the attacks to be expedited.

The bombings carried out by extremist groups targeted three churches during Easter Sunday services in 2019. Three luxury hotels were also hit in simultaneous attacks on April 21, DPA reported.

Catholic churches conducted prayer services after two minutes of silence in remembrance of the 271 people killed in the multiple explosions. Other religious groups held similar events.

A multi-religious remembrance service attended by Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim clergy and diplomats was held at the St Anthony’s Catholic shrine in the capital Colombo – one of the targets of the suicide bombings.

Heavy security was placed outside churches in Colombo and surrounding areas where the main services were conducted.

Silent protests were held outside churches in some locations demanding speedy investigations into the attacks.

Also read:Ex-Sri Lanka minister, brother to be detained for 90 days