Indians advised to avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday bombings

Indians advised to avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday bombings

View of St Sebastian’s Church damaged in blast in Negombo | Photo from AP

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday issued a travel advisory for Indians travelling to Sri Lanka and advised them to avoid “non-essential” travel where the situation continues to be precarious in the wake of the Easter Sunday serial terror blasts.

The advisory issued by the MEA said, “In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on 21 April 2019, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel.”

“The Government of Sri Lanka has beefed up the security in the country. A nation-wide emergency including nighttime curfew is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka,” it added.

“In case of those undertaking essential travels, they can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant HC in Kandy/Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance. The helpline number of the Indian High Commission is available on its website,” it stated.

Sri Lanka was hit by multiple blasts on Easter Sunday (April 21) which claimed the lives of more than 350 people and injured over 500, in the bloodiest attacks in the country since the civil war ended a decade ago.

On Friday, 15 people, including six children, were killed in a gunfight when the Sri Lankan security forces raided a hideout of suspected terrorists, three of whom were suicide bombers who blew themselves up, according to the local authorities.

Three more explosions rattled Saindamarudu area in Sri Lanka’s Kalmunai city on Friday. No casualties or damage to property was reported. The explosions were reported while security forces were carrying out searches to nab suspects of the Easter Sunday attacks.