President deplores Mahabodhi attack (Updated)

President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed shock over blasts inside the MahaBodhi Temple in India today.

The Government information department said that the President has directed the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India to look into the matter.

“Sri Lanka has undergone similar tragedies when the most venerated and sacred Temple of the Tooth and Sri Maha Bodhi were mercilessly attacked by terrorists, some years ago. Therefore, people and the Government of Sri Lanka will extend their fullest support to the people and the Government of India in this hour of great tragedy.¬†We also wish speedy recovery to those who were injured due to these blasts and offer prayers for quick restoration of normalcy of this most venerated shrine in order that Buddhists and other pilgrims are able to perform their religious observances as in the past,” the President said.

He also said that respect for all religions and places of worship and veneration is a must if we are desirous of creating a society that values peace and harmony.

The President said that acts of sabotage, destruction and vandalism against any religious place of worship must be totally condemned, and all peace loving human beings of all faiths must hold hands together to root out any acts against religions and places of worship and veneration.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan High Commission in India had advised Sri Lankan pilgrims to avoid visiting the Temple until investigations into the blast conclude.

India’s Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said that the blasts were indeed a terror attack.

First Post.com reported that some Burmese and Tibetan monks had been injured in the Bodh Gaya blasts.

The additional DIG of Bihar has meanwhile admitted that terror warnings were received six months back, but blamed the private security organisations in charge of protecting the Mahabodhi temple for allowing the blasts to happen.

The Mahabodhi Temple is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Japan and the whole of southeast Asia. (Colombo Gazette)

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