90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Central Florida Sri Lankan Community Responds to Easter Attacks

Play Audio
The State Department has confirmed four Americans were killed during the attack. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The State Department has confirmed four Americans were killed during the attack. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The Sri Lankan community in Central Florida is reeling after churches and hotels in Sri Lanka were attacked over the weekend. 

Almost 300 people were killed and more than 500 wounded when bombs went off in three churches and three hotels on Sunday.

Orlando resident Percy Fonseka says one of his relatives was killed and another injured while attending Easter mass at St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church.

Fonseka says it’s the worst violence he’s seen since the end of the civil war in 2009.

“We were in a nice peaceful time which we enjoyed everyone enjoyed. Here as well as over there. It was really a shock to every one of us as well as here back in the country.”

Fonseka says although his family were scared about the threat of violence-it didn’t stop them from returning to the church.

That why he and fellow Orlando resident Gavin Parys says they want to rally the local Sri Lankan community to help rebuild.

Parys says he attended Catholic schools growing up in Sri Lanka.

He says a second grader at his old school was killed while attending Easter mass.

“I talked to my family members in Sri Lanka. They are all sad. They are all down. Easter is a celebration we were looking forward to. We did not celebrate Easter because we did not feel like doing anything.”

Parys says his family is worried about more attacks like Fonseka’s family is.

But he’s also worried about the damage the attacks will do to Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

The State Department has confirmed four Americans were killed in the attacks-a total of more than 30 foreign born people were reported killed in the attacks.

The FBI announced today it will be assist the Sri Lankan government in investigating the bombings-ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter and Substitute Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern ... Read Full Bio »