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We sri lankans must be united and defeat terrorism

the Day after the terrorist attacks on Sri Lanka that cost the lives of 290 people and injured more than 500, the city streets basically deserted.

06: 00 on Monday, does not have train drivers and bus drivers could get to work, and only the minitaxifordon called the tuktuk are visible on the roads.

Read more: Eight attacks in six hours – it happened in Sri Lanka

Only when DN approaches the Saint Anthony church is visible, people on the streets. The church is cordoned, and heavily armed soldiers keep guard. Behind avspärrningsbanden is broken glass everywhere, and the priests walking around and talking.

Faisal Mustafa, a muslim member of parliament and former minister of sports, goes to the barricade and takes Jude Fernando, a priest in Saint Anthony, in hand.

the honourable Member Faisal Mustafa and priest Jude Fernando. Photo: Anders Hansson

the phenomenon has spread across the world. I condemn the attacks on the most powerful, and mourn with all those who lost family members and friends, and hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice and atone for their terrible crimes, " says Mustafa.

the government of Sri Lanka pointed out on Monday, the militant islamist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath as responsible for the attacks. They are believed to have had the help of an international network.

Roadblock at Saint Anthony church. Photo: Anders Hansson

– As a muslim, I am shocked that some of the misled muslims have been able to commit these crimes. Islam is a peaceful religion.

" We sri lankans must be united and defeat terrorism, as we have done in the past, so that we can enjoy the peace and quiet we've had since the civil war ended ten years ago.

just when communion would be taken at the end of the påskmässan. The 27-year-old präststudenten Don Herman Eranga was there. He is still shocked by what happened.

Eranga had been out and eaten a little breakfast and then to church to receive the eucharist. He opened the door and heard a huge bang.

" the People lay scattered in pieces, literally in pieces. People screamed and cried.

– Many needed to get to the hospital, but there was no one there that could take them there, " says Don Herman Eranga.

Don Herman Eranga. Photo: Anders Hansson

People were looking for relatives among the dead bodies.

But they were difficult to recognize, they were disfigured.

the Father of Fernando was in his office inside the church, and would just go out to the altar when the explosion came. He immediately began to try to help the injured together with others who were on the spot.

– With the help of parishioners and soldiers as there was in the path of the victims to the hospital.

the Damage to the church is massive. For example, the roof is gone. No one is allowed to go in there now, because it is too risky.

" this is a shock for all of us. It was an unthinkable event, " says Jude Fernando.

" We can without difficulty build up the church again but we can't give the victims their lives back.

" But a humble desire is to continue to pray for the victims. We are peace-loving people, and our God is not the vengeance of God but of love. We need to forgive.

a few stools by a tv-team. Tharush Akalanka, 12 years and singales, and Sudesh Kumar, 14 years, and tamil, drank soft drinks at a small kiosk 50 metres away from the church when they heard the explosion.

"We ran towards the church when people came utrusande just bloody," says Tharush.

Sudesh also ran into the church.

Photo: Anders Hansson

– The low arms and legs and blood everywhere. I was terrified and ran out again. Outside fell a woman down dead. I saw her child trying to get life in her, " says Sudesh.

They tell how the corpses radades up outside the church at night so that mourners could identify their dead.

"My mother is a christian and would have gone to church at nine o'clock," says Tharush.

set up on the street. On the lined up chairs sitting dejected people. Inside the open door is Anton Santiago Ravindran Fernando on lit de parade dressed in his finest suit. The face is wrapped in mosquito net to keep the flies away. On a chair next to sit his wife Delicia Fernando that looks incredibly tired.

Anton Santiago Ravindran Fernando died in the attack against the Saint Anthony church. Photo: Anders Hansson

Son Lawrence, age 19, was in fair at the same time as his father.

" But I was in the middle of the church, dad was at the back on the left. I had been with him, I had also been there in the day, " he says, and watch it all the time in the floor.

Read more: death toll rises in Sri Lanka – at least 290 have lost their lives

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