Sri Lankan President Has Audience with Pope

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 2002 ( John Paul II today received in audience Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, president of Sri Lanka.

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Elected in 1994 and re-elected in 1999, Kumaratunga recalled the Pope´s visit to Colombo, the country´s capital, in January 1995. The Vatican Press Office did not give details of their meeting.

Of Sri Lanka´s more than 19 million inhabitants, 73% are Buddhist, 15% Hindu, 8% Christian and 7% Muslim.

Catholics number some 1.2 million. Sri Lanka has 11 dioceses, 374 parishes and about 1,000 diocesan centers.

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