Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency
Sri Lanka is under a state of emergency following bomb attacks at hotels and Christian religious centers in the country Sunday. The attacks killed almost 300 people and wounded hundreds of others. Sunday was Easter, the holiest day in the Christian year.
President Maithripala Sirisena's emergency order permits police expanded power to search, seize, arrest, and question people. A curfew is also in effect from sunset to sunrise.
The government also has blocked most social media websites.
Sri Lankan officials said Monday that intelligence agencies had warned weeks ago of possible attacks by a little known Muslim extremist group, National Thowfeek Jamaath. It has now been blamed for the Easter attacks in the mainly Buddhist country.
Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the intelligence agencies began issuing the warnings on April 4. The defense ministry wrote to the police chief with information that included the group's name. And police wrote April 11 to the heads of security of the judiciary and diplomatic security division.
It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken after the threats. Officials said they knew where the group trained and kept shelter. However, they did not identify any of the seven suicide bombers, whose bodies were recovered, or the suspects arrested so far.
After Senaratne spoke to reporters Monday, a car parked near one of the bombed churches exploded. People fled.
Police found three additional bombs near the vehicle and tried to disarm them, but they exploded. No one was hurt.
Also on Monday, police found 87 bomb devices near Colombo's bus station, officials said. They did not say if they were linked to Sunday's attacks.
Senaratne also said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet did not know about the warnings until after the attacks.
Sirisena was out of the country at the time of the attacks. He had removed Wickremesinghe and his cabinet from power in late October. The Supreme Court has since returned Wickremesinghe as prime minister. However, he has been barred from meetings of the country's Security Council since October.
All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but officials suspect foreign links, Senaratne said.
Sirisena will meet with diplomats in Colombo Tuesday to ask for help in the investigation.
Two other government ministers also suggested intelligence failures in Sri Lanka. The telecommunications minister wrote on Twitter: "Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored."
Another minister said some security officers warned about the possibility that two suicide bombers would target politicians.
The Roman Catholic leader of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said the attacks could have been prevented. "We placed our hands on our heads when we came to know that these deaths could have been avoided. Why this was not prevented?" he said.
Sri Lanka's defense minister described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.
Police said 24 suspects had been arrested, but no one has claimed responsibility.
Most of the explosions were in Colombo, the country's capital. Outside Colombo, St. Sebastian's Church in the town of Negombo was also targeted.
Nilantha Lakmal, a 41-year-old businessman, and his family went to St. Sebastian's for Easter service Sunday. He said they all escaped unharmed, but he remained horrified by images of the bodies being removed from the church.
At the Shangri-La Hotel, one witness said "people were being dragged out" after the explosion.
"There was blood everywhere," said business owner Bhanuka Harischandra, of Colombo, who was going to the hotel for a meeting. "People didn't know what was going on. It was panic mode."
Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the ministry of tourism said 39 foreigners were also killed.
The U.S. said "several" Americans were among the dead. Britain, India, China, Japan and Portugal said they also lost citizens.
Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka condemned the church attacks. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, expressed sympathy at the end of his traditional Easter blessing in Rome.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Washington that he had spoken to the Sri Lankan prime minister and offered assistance.
"This is America's fight, too," he said. "We also stand with millions of Sri Lankans who support the freedom of their fellow citizens to worship as they please. We take confidence in knowing that not even atrocities like this one will deter them from respecting religious freedom."
I'm Caty Weaver.
And I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.at the end of 在...的尽头
There is a shop at the end of this lane.
2.bus station 汽车站
He has gone to the bus station half an hour ago.
3.drag out 拖延
I don't want to drag out this argument any further.
4.religious freedom 宗教自由
We would not criticise religion or religious freedom.
5.It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken after the threats.
It was not immediately clear 目前尚不清楚
It was not immediately clear which show he appeared on.
It was not immediately clear when the new government will be formed.
6.A curfew is also in effect from sunset to sunrise.
in effect 实际上；有效
In effect, the state decides how many students will go to university.
A nine-week-old ceasefire is supposed to be in effect.
斯里兰卡的酒店和基督教宗教中心周日接连发生炸弹袭击，随后，该国宣布进入国家紧急状态 。这些袭击导致近300人遇难，数百人受伤 。周日是复活节，是基督教一年中最神圣的节日 。
总统迈特里帕拉·西里塞纳(Maithripala Sirisena)的紧急命令允许警方扩大搜查、逮捕、监禁以及审问嫌犯的权力 。日落开始实施宵禁直至日出 。
周一，斯里兰卡官员表示，情报机构数周前曾警告称，一个不知名的穆斯林极端组织National Thowfeek Jamaath可能会发动袭击 。现在，该组织被指在这个以佛教为主的国家制造了复活节袭击案 。
斯里兰卡卫生部长塞纳拉特纳（Rajitha Senaratne）表示，情报机构从4月4日开始发出警告 。国防部致函警察局长，提供了包括该组织名字在内的信息 。警方于4月11日致函司法及外交安全部的安全主管 。
尚不清楚发现这些威胁后相关部门是否采取了防范措施 。官员表示，他们知晓该组织训练及藏身的地点 。然而，他们没有确认7名自杀式袭击者的身份（尸体已经找到），也没有确认目前被捕嫌犯的身份 。
塞纳拉特纳周一告诉记者，停在被炸毁教堂附近的其中一辆汽车被引爆 。人们四散逃离 。
警方在汽车附近又发现了三枚炸弹，并试图进行拆除，但炸弹还是爆炸了 。所幸无人受伤 。
官员们称，同样在周一，警方在科伦坡汽车站附近发现87枚炸弹装置 。他们没有透露着是否与周日的袭击有关 。
袭击发生时，总统西里塞纳正在国外 。他已于10月底将维克勒马辛哈及其内阁赶下台 。之后，最高法院重新任命维克勒马辛哈为总理 。然而，自去年10月以来，他一直被禁止参加该国国家安全委员会会议 。
另有两名政府部长表示，斯里兰卡的情报工作存在失误 。电信部长在推特上写道：“需要采取严肃行动，说明为何这一警告会被忽视 。”
科伦坡的罗马天主教领袖红衣主教马尔科姆·兰吉斯(Malcolm Ranjith)表示，悲剧本来可以避免 。“当意识到这些死亡本来可以避免的时候，我们却坐以待毙 。为什么不阻止这些袭击？”
大多数爆炸案发生在该国首都科伦坡 。而科伦坡城外，尼根博的圣塞巴斯蒂安教堂也成为袭击目标 。
41岁的商人拉克马尔(Nilantha Lakmal)和家人周日前往圣塞巴斯蒂安教堂参加复活节礼拜 。他说，他们都毫发无伤地逃了出来，但是看到教堂内的尸体被移走的场景，他仍然心有余悸 。
来自科伦坡的企业主Bhanuka Harischandra说，“到处都是血” 。“大家不知道发生了什么事 。众人陷入了一片恐慌 。”
大多数遇难者是斯里兰卡人 。但旅游部门表示，另有39名外国人遇难 。
美国方面称，遇难者中有“几名”美国公民 。英国、印度、中国、日本和葡萄牙表示，他们国家的公民也在袭击中罹难 。
斯里兰卡两个穆斯林组织谴责了教堂袭击事件 。罗马天主教堂领袖——教皇方济各在罗马传统的复活节祝福结束时对袭击一事表示同情 。
他说：“这也是美国人的战斗” 。“我们也会与支持同胞信仰自由的数百万斯里兰卡人并肩而战 。我们相信，即使这样的暴行也无法阻止他们尊重宗教自由 。”