Sri Lanka’s ‘Little Rome’ Grieves In Fear After Easter Sunday Massacre

As S D Suran, 11, stood outside the main entrance of St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo on Sunday, he spotted a man with a blue backpack.

Holding his tambourine and ready to play with his prayer band, the dark-haired Catholic boy watched the bearded figure move around the building.

Security footage showed the man passing a father, who was holding the hand of his young daughter, and entering the church through a side door towards the end of the Easter Sunday Mass.

Once inside, among a congregation estimated at about 1,500, he pressed his detonator.

The boy’s mother, housewife Swarma Suran, 49, was also outside St Sebastian’s, a Gothic building modelled after the Reims Cathedral in France.

She saw a flash and debris flying across the courtyard.

Her son cried wildly at the chaos around him. He remained in shock for two days.

“Too many lives have been lost in this church,” Ms Suran says on Tuesday at a memorial tent set up outside the church. “I always come here but I have never seen something like this.”

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