Zion Church bomber encountered the pastor on the day of attack

Zion Church bomber encountered the pastor on the day of attack

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Published on 6/1/2020

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The Presidential Commission  revealed that the bombing of the Zion Church in Batticaloa on Easter Sunday was under the watchful eye of pastors in charge of Zion Church in the morning of the attack.

 

That was when the pastors in charge of the Zion Church gave evidence before the Presidential Commission.

 

Ganeshamurthy Thirukumar, minister of Batticaloa Zion Church, gave evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the easter attack yesterday.

 

Giving evidence before the commission, he said that on the morning of April 21 last year, he had observed a man he had never seen before.

 

Later, when inquired, the witness stated that he had identified himself as 'Umar' and had come to visit the shrine.

 

However, he had turned down the invitation to enter the church stating that he is seeking blessings for his sick mother.

 

The pastor further stated that he had told the person that the healing services would be performed on Wednesday.

 

At this point the commission asked the minister in what language the conversation took place. The pastor told  the Presidential Commission that the conversation took place in Tamil and owing to the fact that he referred to his mother as "Umma" , the pastor identified him as a Muslim. 

 

It was revealed that the victim was from Oddamavadi area. The pastor further stated that he wore  a pink-colored T-shirt, carried a huge backpack and held  a cap to his chest which had a smaller bag inside it.

The pastor had introduced the suspect to Brother Stanley who was asked to record his details and followng this, the suspect had left the church premises.

 

However, when the witness was about five kilometers away from the Zion Church, he had  received a telephone call informing him of the incident.

 

He added that he returned to the church as soon as he could and that many people had already died in the explosion, including his 12 year old son.

 

The pastor added that a layperson of the church had informed him that the suspect was seen loitering during Good Friday services as well.

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