Sri Lanka's Catholic church announced Thursday that it has cancelled all Sunday mass in churches across the island nation until further notice after warning of more possible attacks, days after it was announced that public mass would resume from 5 May.All public church services were cancelled after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that ripped through three churches and high-end hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others.Sri Lanka on Sunday, 28 April, lifted the nationwide night curfew barring three areasSri Lanka’s Defence Secy and Police Chief have resigned taking responsibilityThe health ministry on 25 April sharply revised the death toll downward to 253, saying the previous figure of 359 was due to a “calculation error”A state of emergency remains in effect to prevent further attacks(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted on Tuesday that there had been prior intelligence warnings about the attacks in the country, including on the Indian High Commission in Colombo, reported PTI.Talking to reporters, he also said that there will be changes in the top positions of the security establishment following the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings which killed 321 people and injured over 500.Wickremesinghe said there had been prior intelligence warnings on the attacks, including on the Indian High Commission.Two hours before a series of suicide bombing killed nearly 300 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Indian intelligence officers had tipped off their Sri Lankan counter part, reported Reuters quoting sources.The death toll from the Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka rose to 359, police said on Wednesday, 24 April, adding that more suspects have been arrested overnight raising the total detained to 58.Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister has said that over 60 people have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday suicide bomb blasts which claimed the lives of at least 359 people.Addressing a press conference, he added that the leader of local Islamist group that carried out attacks, committed suicide at Shangri-La hotel.Sri Lanka police say investigation has confirmed that there were nine suicide bombers, of which eight have been identified. According to news agency Reuters, one of the nine bombers was a woman.The US ambassador to Sri Lanka has denied that the United States had prior knowledge of the Easter militant attacks that it passed to the Colombo government, CNN television reported on Wednesday, 24 April.“We had no prior knowledge of these attacks,” US ambassador Alaina Teplitz told the US channel in an interview on the suicide attacks on Sunday that killed 359 people, including at least four Americans.The Indian Coast Guard has beefed up surveillance and deployed more ships and aircraft for patrolling following a series of devastating blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday.This has been done to ensure that no element that could pose as a security threat sneaks into the country through sea, a senior Coast Guard official said.“We have deployed all our ships from Coast Guard stations at Tuticorin, Mandapam and Karaikal for surveillance,” the official said.Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has asked the country’s police chief and defence secretary to resign, Reuters reported, citing two sources close to the president on Wednesday.The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday had admitted that “major” intelligence lapses led to the massive Easter Sunday bombings and indicated that heads will roll for failing to act on tip-offs.Top officials acknowledged that Sri Lanka received intelligence about possible terror strikes ahead of the attacks, but both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have said that they did not receive the information.State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, addressing a press conference, had accepted that there had been "major" lapses in the security arrangements.“We (the government) have to take the responsibility. The President (Maithripala Sirisena) is planning to make some changes in the security establishments... Some of them (the attackers), in earlier incidents, had been taken into custody (after) small skirmishes, but nothing of this magnitude.”Ruwan Wijewardene, as quoted by PTIMinister of State for External Affairs V K Singh on Wednesday, 24 April, visited the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi and expressed deepest condolences on the tragic loss of lives and injury to the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks in the island nation."Sharing the grief. MoS @Gen_VKSingh visited the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi today expressing deepest condolences on the tragic loss of lives & injury to the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on 21 April," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.On Sunday, 21 April, 43-year-old Anusha Kumari was left childless and a widow when suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka.Kumari lost her daughter, son, husband, sister-in-law and two nieces.They were buried three days later on some vacant land near the stricken church that has quickly become a cemetery for some of the bombing victims.The Easter Sunday tragedy is a consequence of a "weak" government, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told Parliament on Wednesday, 24 April, as he faulted President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, defence officials for the country's worst terror attacks.Speaking during the emergency debate in the House, the former army chief said people will not be able to get on with their day to day lives if the government goes on in the way it is doing things today.He then faulted President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and defence officials for the attacks last Sunday that has killed 359 people and injured nearly 500 others."The whole government including the Cabinet becomes weak if the President is weak," the 68-year-old Field Marshal said."The intelligence reports which are sent to defence ministry clearly goes to President Sirisena as he is the Minister of Defence," he said referring to the statement made by Sirisena who said he was also not aware of the intelligence reports beforehand."The President should have returned to the country from Singapore earlier than 12 midnight as there were Sri Lankan Airlines flights operating from Singapore to Colombo several times. Mr. Sirisena only sent a message of condolence," he was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror."I have no personal issue with the President," he said and alleged that the law and order ministers who were appointed earlier were not competent.Faulting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, he said one cannot get away saying he was not informed."The Prime Minister had said he was not informed of the warning made by the foreign intelligence units. He should have either informed Parliament if he was not called for the Security Council meeting for the last six months."I also must mention that it took 48 hours for the Prime Minister's office to invite me for a meeting, I should have been summoned to Temple Trees immediately after the Sunday's bomb attacks as it is me who has more knowledge on defence", he said while highlighting that government should have made a better use of him.Under Fonseka's command the Sri Lankan Army ended the 26- year Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) led by Velupillai Prabakaran.Also he said State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene should have resigned from his post if he was not called for the security council meeting for six months.Fonseka also faulted the Opposition as well.(Source: PTI)A blast was heard in Pugoda town, 40 km east of Sri Lanka capital Colombo, reported Reuters, on Thursday, 25 April.All Sri Lanka Catholic church services suspended, said senior priest, reported AFP.The number of Indians killed in the massive Easter Sunday bombings rose to 11 on Thursday, as one more person succumbed to injuries, taking the total number of foreigners who died in the attack to 36, according to the Lankan Sri foreign ministry.Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said that as of Wednesday April 24, the number of foreign nationals who have been killed in the attack rose to 36.Israel on Thursday urged its citizens travelling in Sri Lanka to leave the country, citing an "elevated concrete threat" following deadly Easter bombings there, reported news agency PTI.The recommendation from Israel's counter-terrorism bureau said the travel warning was issued after consultations with security and foreign ministry officials.The Sri Lankan police has arrested three people in a raid in Colombo. Grenades and other weapons have been seized, news agency Reuters reported quoting police spokesperson.Sri Lanka on Thursday suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival to citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings that killed nearly 360 people, reported news agency PTI."Although arrangements were in place to issue visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries, we have now decided to hold it for the time being in consideration of the current security situation," Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said in a statement."Investigations have revealed foreign links to the attacks and we don't want this facility to be abused," Amaratunga added.The visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to OctobeSri Lanka's Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned from his post on Thursday, days after a series of devastating suicide attacks that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing nearly 360 people, reported news agency PTIPresident Maithripala Sirisena had asked Defence Secretary Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara to quit after their failure to prevent the blasts despite having prior intelligence.Fernando handed over his resignation letter Thursday on a request made by President Sirisena, according to Colombo Gazette.Nine suicide bombers, believed to be members of local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), carried out the devastating blasts that killed 359 people and wounded more than 500 others.The US embassy has tweeted asking people to stay ‘vigilant’ saying that more attacks are expected over the weekend.The Islamist extremist group behind the deadly Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka would have been planning the suicide attacks for "at least 7 to 8 years" and could be led by someone having the calibre of slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran, news agency PTI reported quoting Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.Speaking during the emergency debate in Parliament, Fonseka, who led the Sri Lankan military that vanquished the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009, was quoted by the media as saying that the Easter attacks were a long planned one.The death toll in Sri Lanka’s Easter Day attack is around 100 fewer than the 359 originally thought, a top health official told news agency Reuters on Thursday.“It could be 250 or 260. I can’t exactly say. There are so many body parts and it is difficult to give a precise figure,” Anil Jasinghe, the director general of Sri Lanka’s health services told Reuters.Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around "a certain category of mosques" after intelligence warning that the Islamist extremist group blamed for the Easter blasts was planning an attack on them during Friday prayers.A letter, signed by DIG Priyantha Jayakody on behalf of Inspector General of Police Jayasundara, warned that the group which had carried out the Easter blasts was planning an attack on mosques on Friday, the Times Online reported.The letter dated 24 April, 2018 said a certain category of mosques identified as 'Awliya Mosques' could be possible target for these attacks."Security has been tightened in the vicinity of all mosques owing to these possible attacks. Therefore, the public need not worry," Jayakodi said.The letter was addressed to the Presidential Security Division, the Special Security Division, and the Prime Minister's Security Division urging that the matter be brought to the immediate attention of the relevant authorities.Chairman of the Dewatagaha Mosque in Colombo said that the State Intelligence Service has informed him of a possible threat by the group, which was involved in the Sunday's carnage.He said that intelligence officers have also informed him that other mosques too would be warned of a possible attack in order for devotees to remain vigilant of possible threats.Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs Abdul Haleem has requested the community members to avoid gathering for congregational prayers this Friday.The Archdiocese of Colombo Thursday suspended all Catholic church services because of security concerns.Sri Lanka on Thursday night sharply revised downward the death toll from the Easter Sunday terror attack by more than 100 to "about 253", citing a "calculation error".Authorities earlier said that nine suicide bombers, believed to be members of a local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), carried out the devastating blasts that killed 359 people and wounded more than 500 others.However, Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of the Health Services, said the larger death toll was released as a result of "a calculation error"."The approximate total of the dead would be 253 and not 359 as reported in media," he said.Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena confirmed that wanted Sri Lanka radical cleric Zaharan Hashim died in hotel attack, reported AFP.Sri Lanka police chief resigns over serial bombings, reported AFP, quoting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.At least nine Pakistani nationals are among the 76 people have been arrested in connection with the serial blasts in Sri Lanka, reported Hindustan Times.Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking to the newspaper, said that he will seek Pakistan's help to seek terrorists if needed.“Pakistan has fully supported Sri Lanka’s war on terror. If necessary, we will seek their help to trace the terrorists and eliminate them. I see this tragic event as further strengthening the trust that exists between our countries and increasing cooperation,” he said.Sri Lanka government has said it fears up to $1.5 billion tourism losses over blasts, reported news agency AFP.Three fresh explosions rocked Kalmunai city of Sri Lanka on Friday, 26 April, while security forces were carrying out search operations to nab the suspects of the Easter attacks, reported ANI. No casualties or damage to property has been reported yet.Officials also exchanged gun fire and found explosives, ISIS flags and uniforms during the raids.Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, 27 April, apologised to public for failing to prevent the Easter bombings that left 253 people dead and several hundreds injured.In a tweet, Wickremesinghe said, "We take collective responsibility and apologise to our fellow citizens for our failure to protect victims of these tragic events." "We pledge to rebuild our churches, revive our economy, and take all measures to prevent terrorism, with the support of the international community," he added.The archbishop of Colombo says there will be no Sunday Masses until further notice after the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith made the comment during a news conference on Friday, 26 April, in the Sri Lankan capital.Ranjith appealed for financial support to rebuild the lives of affected people and reconstruct the churches targeted in the Islamic State-claimed suicide bombings, which killed over 250 people on Sunday, 21 April.The US Embassy in Sri Lanka has warned people to stay away from places of worship this weekend over concerns about possible further attacks.Sri Lankan officials say they continue to search for suspects in the bombings.On Friday, authorities urged Muslims not to hold congregational prayers over fears they might be targeted. However, several mosques did under the protection of security forces.(Source: AP)The Sri Lankan government on Friday warned that anyone found guilty of spreading fake news and false propaganda about the Easter Sunday bombings that claimed 253 lives may be imprisoned for 3 to 5 years, following a growing number of incidents of public disturbance.The national media centre, in a statement, said that action will be taken against those who spread fake news and false propaganda regarding the situation in the island, Daily News reported.It said a number of incidents of public disturbance were reported from several parts of the country due to the circulation of false information.The police and the security forces have taken measures to take strict legal action against persons circulating such false information through websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.The circulation of such false information creates disturbance and panic among the general public and also misleads the security forces, the report said, adding that the public is requested to refrain from involving in such activities.Action will be taken against persons involved in circulating false information under the Emergency Regulations and anyone who is found guilty of committing such offences may be imprisoned to 3 to 5 years, it said.Shortly after the bombings, the Sri Lankan government took the drastic decision to block social media.To stop the spread of "false news reports", Facebook, Facebook-owned whatsApp and Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Viber were all banned.The US State Department on Friday raised the level of its travel warning for Sri Lanka, urging citizens to reconsider visiting the island in the wake of a devastating series of suicide bombings that killed more than 250 people.The department has "ordered the departure of all school-age family members of US government employees in kindergarten through 12th grade," it said in a statement, adding that it had also authorised non-emergency personnel to leave."Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas," it said.Police say that 15 bodies including six children have been found after a raid in east Sri Lanka on militants linked to the Easter bombings.Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara gave the figures early Saturday after a gunfight between soldiers and the suspected militants near Sammanthurai.The gunbattle began Friday night after police tipped off soldiers to a suspected safe house, where authorities say the militants set off three explosions and opened fire. At least three others were wounded in the attack.Gunasekara says some of the dead likely were militants who blew themselves up in suicide bombings.Earlier, the military said at least one civilian had been killed in the attackThe Ministry of External Affairs has asked Indians intending to travel to Sri Lanka to not undertake non-essential travel.“In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on 21 April 2019, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel.”MEA StatementThe Islamic State group has claimed three of the militants who blew themselves up during a bloody police raid in Ampara linked to the Easter bombings, reported the Associated Press.In a statement carried by the extremists’ Aamaq news agency, IS identified the bombers by their noms du guerre as Abu Hammad, Abu Sufyan and Abu al-Qa’qa. It said they opened fire with automatic weapons and “after exhausting their ammunition, detonated ... their explosive belts.”Sri Lanka cardinal calls suicide attacks “insult to humanity” at one week memorial service.A total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal, have been arrested in Sri Lanka in connection with the Easter Sunday blasts, police said.The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is carrying out the interrogation of the 106 suspects, Colombo Page reported.(Source: PTI)Father, two brothers of Sri Lanka suicide bombings mastermind were killed during the gun battle on east coast on Friday, 26 April, police sources said.(Source: Reuters)Barring three areas, Sri Lanka on Sunday, 28 April, lifted the nationwide night curfew which was imposed after the island nation was rocked with eight blasts targeting churches and hotels that killed 253 people, including Indians."No island-wide curfew tonight. Curfew only imposed in Kalmunai, Sammanthurai and Chavalakade areas from 5 pm today," police spokesmen Ruwan Gunasekera said.(PTI)Sri Lankan forces have killed or arrested most of the radical Islamists linked to the Easter suicide bombings and the country is ready to return to normality, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sunday.But the prime minister said the government had planned tougher laws to deal with Islamist extremists and that foreign clerics teaching in Sri Lanka illegally will be expelled.The Easter Sunday bombings that left 253 dead were carried out by a "small, but a well organised group," Wickremesinghe said in a statement."Most of them have been arrested. Some have died," he said. "Now we are able to return to normality." "We should all now help restore the normal life of the community."Wickremesinghe confirmed that a number of would-be suicide bombers had taken their lives when confronted by security forces on Friday night in the east of the country.Fifteen people died in a clash with security forces when three suicide bombers blew themselves up at a jihadist safe house on Friday night.The prime minister also thanked the minority Muslim community for tipping off authorities about radical groups.The government on Saturday used emergency laws to ban the extremist National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), which was accused of carrying out the Easter attacks.(PTI)Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to veil their faces under an emergency law ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena that bans all kinds of face coverings that may conceal people's identities.The law takes effect from Monday, eight days after the Easter bombings of churches and hotels that killed more the 250 people in Sri Lanka. Dozens of suspects have been arrested but local officials and the US Embassy in Colombo have warned that more militants remained on the loose with explosives.The decision came after the Cabinet had proposed laws on face veils at a recent meeting. It had deferred the matter until talks with Islamic clerics could be held, on the advice of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.(AP)Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday, 29 April suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara, after the defiant Inspector General refused to quit following the intelligence failure that led to the massive Easter Sunday bombings.The police chief can only be removed through a parliamentary procedure and Sirisena's action is the first step towards that, officials said.Senior Deputy Inspector General CD Wickremaratne has been appointed as the acting police chief.Female bombers posing as devotees may have been planning to attack Sri Lanka's Buddhist temples after authorities seized white clothes from a house that was raided following Easter Sunday blasts, a media report, as quoted by PTI said on Monday.The Sri Lankan intelligence agency has received inputs of possible attacks on Buddhist temples by female bombers of the banned local terror outfit National Thawheeth Jamath (NTJ) after police found white pairs of skirts and blouses from the house which was raided after the explosion in Sainthamuruthu area in the Eastern province, raising suspicion that the attackers might pose as Buddhist devotees, the Daily Mirror reported.The Sri Lankan government lifts ban on social media that was imposed after Easter Sunday bombings, reported Reuters.The United States believes members of the militant group blamed for Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks may be at large and planning more attacks, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz, said on Tuesday, 30 April, reported Reuters.Kerala DGP Loknath Behera said that the state police is on high alert after Sri Lanka blasts.“An alert has been issued to Indian Coast Guard, Commandos and Bomb Detachment Squad. An analysis of large volumes of technical data like phone calls, social media activities being done daily,” said Behera.It is quite possible that the Islamic States (IS) has launched a "new strategy" by beginning to target smaller countries, says Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, as reported by ANI.IS had claimed the responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombings last month, which killed over 250 people in Sri Lanka.In an interview with the Sky News, Sirisena said the authorities are aware of "a small group" of Sri Lankans, who have travelled abroad to receive training from the IS over the past decade.He said the analysis of the explosives and devices taken into custody suggested that the bombs used in the coordinated terror attacks on April 21, which rattled several churches and high-end hotels across the country, were made locally.Sri Lanka's Catholic church announced Thursday that it has cancelled all Sunday mass in churches across the island nation until further notice after warning of more possible attacks, days after it was announced that public mass would resume from 5 May.All public church services were cancelled after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that ripped through three churches and high-end hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others.Three main churches which were conducting Easter Sunday mass were attacked by suicide bombers."His eminence the Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has instructed that Sunday masses should not be held this week," Reverend Edmund Thilakaratne the spokesman for the Archbishop's House Reverend Edmund Thilakaratne said.