Lanka vows crackdown on ‘hate attacks’

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today ordered tough action to stop hate attacks after a Roman Catholic church was set on fire, the latest in a wave of strikes against Christian worship sites in the Buddhist nation.

Kumaratunga, who holds the Interior Ministry portfolio, had asked police chief Indra De Silva to investigate the attacks and show no leniency in arresting those responsible, a spokesman said. ‘‘We are for the firm maintenance of law and order and we can’t tolerate such action irrespective of the party, religion, caste or social standing of the people involved,’’ spokesman Sarath Amunugama said.

The Roman Catholic church here condemned the latest attack yesterday which came amid stepped up violence against Christian places of worship in several parts of the country over the past month.