Hours after three explosions hit three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj assured Indians living in the country that the government is monitoring the situation. Further, Swaraj said that she was in touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo.
Colombo - I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation. @IndiainSL— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
The Union Minister has also shared the helpline numbers activated by the Indian High Commission in Colombo for Indians who wants to seek any sorts of assistance, help or clarification. The following are the helpline numbers: +94777902082 +94772234176.
Indians in distress may please contact Indian High Commission in Colombo. We will provide you all assistance. @IndiainSL Our helpline numbers are :— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
Meanwhile, The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised to keep to take immediate action and have urged people to avoid propagation of unverified reports and speculation.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister has also called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day. At least 185 people killed and more than 400 injured after Sri Lanka was rocked by six explosions on Sunday. Three churches - St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa - were targeted. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.
The blasts occurred around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress in churches. The Easter Sunday blasts is said to be one of the biggest attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago in Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, cricketer Virat Kohli, and several other leaders and celebrities have condemned serial blasts in Sri Lanka:
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 21, 2019
India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country. Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilised society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 21, 2019
I’m saddened & disturbed by reports of multiple bomb blasts in #Colombo in which over 100 people have died & more than 300 injured.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 21, 2019
I strongly condemn this diabolical act of terrorism.
My condolences to the families of the victims. I pray the injured make a speedy recovery.
I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the loss of innocent lives in multiple bombings on Easter Sunday in Colombo #SriLanka.— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) April 21, 2019
My heartfelt condolences to the members of bereaved families and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.#lka#SriLankaBlasts#Blasts
Saddened and shocked at the disturbing news coming in from Sri Lanka. All forms of violence are unacceptable. Easter is a Festival of Peace. My thoughts and prayers with the grieving families— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 21, 2019
My thoughts and prayers with those affected by the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. Stay strong #SriLanka— Jasprit bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) April 21, 2019
Saddened by the terror attacks in #SriLanka. Condolences to those who’ve lost family members/friends. Hope the injured recover fast. We stand by SriLanka in this hour of grief.— Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 21, 2019
Deeply saddened and shocked by the bombing in Sri Lanka. Hate truly has no boundaries no limits. Heartfelt condolences and prayers for the entire nation. Stay strong #SriLanka— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 21, 2019
Deeply saddened by the bomb blasts in #Colombo#SriLanka and killing of innocent people there. Such ghastly acts of violence are highly condemnable. My thoughts & prayers are with the bereaved families. Pray for speedy recovery of injured.— Chowkidar Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 21, 2019
Shocked to hear the news coming in from Sri Lanka. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. #PrayForSriLanka— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) April 21, 2019
The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 21, 2019
We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, "Shocked & saddened by news of church & hotel bombings in SriLanka. Intolerance, bigotry & terrorism sadly know no borders or limits. Profound condolences to the families & my thoughts and prayers for that beautiful & tortured land."
According to National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), an organisation that represents more than 200 churches, reported an estimate of 86 verified incidents of discrimination, threats and violence against Christians in 2018.
However, this year, the NCEASL recorded 26 such incidents, including one in which Buddhist monks allegedly attempted to disrupt a Sunday worship service, with the last one reported on March 25, mentioned Reuters.
As per Sri Lanka's 2012 census, out of the total 22 million population, 70 percent are Buddhist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian.
(With agencies inputs)