Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week visited St. Zion Church which was affected by the suicide bomb attack on the Easter Sunday on 21 April. Due to this appalling attack, as at the reported date, 29 persons died while 67 persons suffered injuries.
The Prime Minister also had a discussion with the Parish Priest, Rev. Father, community representatives and with the concerned authorities including the Sri Lanka Army on the need to urgently rehabilitate and reconstruct the St. Zion Church.
It was also noted that Sri Lanka Army will undertake the rehabilitation and reconstruction works in close collaboration with the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs and Office for Reparations.
The payment of compensation for deaths and injuries was undertaken through the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs through its Office for Reparations. The Prime Minister is the Minister in charge of the Ministry.
The family members received compensation worth Rs. 1 million each for 27 deaths which were confirmed based on the supporting documents and evidences. Of the 67 reported injuries, 35 persons received compensation based on the medical report which stipulated the percentage of disabilities/loss of income. The balance number of victims are to be paid compensation based on the submission of documents and evidences, said Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.
Tourism Development Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga, Public Administration and Disaster Management Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, and State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne participated in the visit with the Prime Minister.
Further, Government officials namely V. Sivagnanasothy, Batticaloa District Secretary M. Uthayakumar, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Director S. Jalatheepan, Office for Reparations Director Ananda Wijepala, other Divisional Secretaries and senior officials participated in the program. The PM, as Minister of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs, advised the Secretary, and officials of the Ministry to commence the rehabilitation and reconstruction of churches on an immediate and urgent basis with the close consultation of Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Navy.