A nationwide curfew in Sri Lanka, declared on Sunday, was lifted early Monday morning. The country was rocked on Easter Sunday with eight explosions killing at least 290 people and wounding five hundred more. As many as 35 foreigners are believed to be dead in the attacks.
Colombo was struck the heaviest taking most of the explosions. The blasts at three Sri Lankan luxury hotels and churches devastated the entire nation. All hospitals as well as police and security agencies are put on high alert .
Social media networks including WhatsApp and Facebook have been temporarily blocked by the Sri Lankan government to stop rumors and misinformation from spreading.
Leaders around the world have condemned the incident as tragic and unfortunate. Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan denounced the attacks and shared his condolences with the government and the people of Sri Lanka.
Russian President Vladimir Putin termed the sad episode as “tragic and cruel”. The president’s message also stated that Russia will remain a reliable ally of Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan condemned the Easter bombing as “an assault on all of humanity.”
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the blasts as “cowardly”. He said that the government was working to “contain the situation.” In a tweet from his official account Ranil Wickremesinghe said, “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today.” He called upon all Sri Lankan people at this unfortunate incident to remain strong and united. He said ” The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”
This incident rings alarm bells not only for Sri Lanka but also all South Asian countries. Terrorism is one of the most serious issues in the region. Organizations like SAARC should be used as a platform to bind South Asia together and to fight the menace of terrorism as one united force.