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The latest from Sri Lanka in regards to eight deadly terror attacks on Easter Sunday leaves 290 dead and more than 500 people injured.
Among the dead are also foreign tourists including 3 from India, 1 from Portugal, 2 from Turkey, 3 from the UK, and 2 with both a U.S. and U.K. citizenship
9 foreigners are missing, 25 unidentified bodies are also believed to be foreigners.
The German embassy is working on identifying possible German tourists among the victims.
Bombs explosions were reported yesterday in eight locations
An improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered in close proximity to the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo last night. The IED was successfully diffused and detonated by the members of the Sri Lanka Air Force. The bomb was discovered along the Adiambalama road, in close proximity to the BIA hours before President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the country.
According to the Crime Division of the Sri Lanka Police (CCD) 13 individuals linked to the attack last night were arrested and 10 of them were later transferred into the custody for further investigations.
Officers of the Wellwatte police late last night managed to take into custody a van and a driver believed to have been used to transport the attackers. 24 people have been arrested thus far in relation to the incidents.
Schools and Universities remain closed, scheduled government examinations have been postponed. The Colombo Stock Exchange last night announced that they would not be open for trading until further notice.
The United States of America and the United Kingdom have issued travel advisories for Sri Lanka.
In the meantime, curfews and social media and instant message shut down are in effect in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka had planned to double tourist arrivals next year. This may be a big test to achieve such numbers.
The attacks that took place yesterday has also drawn international condemnation.
Here are some of their messages:
“I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka,” he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to hear his Easter Sunday message.
“I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence.”
“World Jewry – in fact all civilized people – denounce this heinous outrage and appeal for zero tolerance of those who use terror to advance their objectives. This truly barbarous assault on peaceful worshippers on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar serves as a painful reminder that the war against terror must be at the top of the international agenda and pursued relentlessly,” he said in a statement.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, JUSTIN WELBY, SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
“The will to power leads to the murder of innocents in Sri Lanka. The utterly despicable destruction that on this holiest of days seeks to challenge the reality of the risen Christ. To say that darkness will conquer, that our choice is surrender or death. Jesus chose to defy this darkness and he is risen indeed.”
“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!,” he tweeted.
“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,” he said on Twitter.
“Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost and hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief,” he tweeted.
“Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena in connection with tragic consequences of terrorist acts,” his English Twitter account said.
“It is shocking that people who had gathered to celebrate Easter were the deliberate target of vicious attacks,” she wrote in a letter of condolence to Sri Lanka’s president.
“Deep sorrow following the terrorist attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We firmly condemn these heinous acts. All our solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and our thoughts go out to all victims’ relatives on this Easter Day,” he said on Twitter.
“Terribly saddened by terrorist attacks on Sri Lankan worshippers during Easter. Condolences to friendly govt & people of Sri Lanka. Our thoughts & prayers with the victims & their families. Terrorism is a global menace with no religion: it must be condemned & confronted globally,” he said on Twitter.
“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating,” she said in a written statement.
“New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence.”
It was with horror and sadness we heard of the bombings in Sri Lanka costing the lives of so many people. We condemn the horrendous attacks targetting innocent civilians. Our sympathies go out to all the victims. Maldives stands in solidarity with people & Govt. of Sri Lanka.
The Toronto sign has been dimmed in solidarity with Sri Lanka following today’s tragic attacks. We join our Sri Lankan community and our Christian community in mourning those killed and pray for the recovery of those injured.
Tourism and Dairy are popular in Port Campbell, a coastal town in Victoria, Australia. The town is on the Great Ocean Road, west of the Twelve Apostles, in the Shire of Corangamite and has less than 500 residents.
Two of these residents a father and son today drowned trying to rescue a tourist from rough on Sunday have been described as selfless members of the local community and “like peas in a pod”.
Ross, 71, and Andrew Powell, 32, were life-long members of the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club and were prominent figures in the local dairy farming industry.
They, along with one other lifesaver, were attempting to save a tourist at Sherbrook River, near the Twelve Apostles on Victoria’s south-west coast, on Sunday morning when their boat flipped.
The father and son were declared dead at the scene, while the third lifesaver was seriously injured and airlifted to The Alfred hospital.
A 30-year-old male tourist got into trouble wading near the entrance to the Sherbrook River, a 10-minute drive from the Twelve Apostles, about 11am.
Rough surf caused the rescue boat to flip, tossing the three lifesavers into the ocean in an area Cr Trotter said was notoriously dangerous.
The surviving rescue worker, a man in his 50s, has injuries to his back and legs and was airlifted to The Alfred hospital in a serious condition. He remained in a serious but stable condition on Sunday evening.
The tourist who was swept into the water suffered hypothermia and was taken by road ambulance to the Warrnambool hospital in a stable condition.
Mr James said initial investigations found all three lifesavers had been wearing life jackets.
Earlier reports suggested the tourist was taking photographs when he was swept off a rock at the mouth of the river, but emergency services say this was not the case.
The Port Campbell Hotel said on Facebook that live music at the venue had been canceled due to the “heartbreaking tragedy in our community”.
Police are preparing a report for the coroner
A major step forward for the future promotion and development of the Solomon Islands dive tourism sector, the destination’s main dive operators have agreed to combine resources to create a formal representative body – Dive Operators Solomon Islands (DOSI).
The move follows a recent forum in Honiara facilitated by Strongim Bisnis, an Australian government initiative working in partnership with local companies and operators to promote business growth.
All participants unanimously agreed on the need for a formal association to champion issues affecting the local dive industry in relation to the overall growth of the tourism industry.
Forum attendees included Tulagi Dive, Raiders Hotel & Dive, Driftwood Solomon Islands, Biliki Cruises, Dive Munda/Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions, Yawana Dive, Dive Gizo and Uepi Island Resort
Gizo-based Sanbis Resort and Solomon Dive Adventures are also expected to become DOSI members.
Other stakeholders taking part included the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Tourism Solomons, Solomon Airlines, and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and NZAid also attended.
Welcoming the development, Tourism CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto underlined the important role a strong, united dive operators’ association can play in helping to shape the country’s tourism future.
“This has certainly been the case in several of our neighbouring destinations where dive operators have combined resources to form industry bodies and in the process taken action in helping to propel increased international visitation numbers,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“From our perspective, tourism is ever growing in importance as a key economical driver for the Solomon Islands and with international divers making up a large percentage of the 28,000 international visitors we host every year, we need to do all possible to ensure we maximise the opportunity.
“Having a strong, uniform voice with the ability to help raise and tackle pertinent issues affecting this key sector is timely.
“This voice in synch with stakeholders will enable us jointly to drive what has the potential to act as a very powerful industry lobby.”
The Solomon Islands is renowned as one of the world’s foremost dive locations.
Just last December the Solomons Islands was named one of the world’s top 10 dive destination’s in the prestigious annual ‘Dive Travel Awards’ conducted by the world’s largest dive publication, British-based Dive Magazine UK.
In 2017 CNN Travel ranked the Solomon Islands as one of its 10 best snorkelling locations.
The destination’s 992 islands and unspoilt coral reefs literally teem with huge numbers and unique varieties of marine life.
Add to this the dozens of WWII shipwrecks and downed aircraft that litter the seabed, so much so that in one area just a short journey from the country’s capital Honiara has been renamed ‘Iron Bottom Sound’.
Tourists in Nepal are not affected in today’s deadly storm. The Nepal Prime minister KP Sharma Oli expressed his condolences in a tweet and said that as well as the 25 killed, around 400 were injured in the Bara District.
Deepak Ra Joshi, CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board told eTurboNews: ” This region is in south plain, close to the border with India. It’s not a tourist region and no tourists are hurt. The Government of Nepal is focused on rescue and treatment of those affected.”
Bara lies in Province No. 2. It is one of the seventy-seven districts of Nepal. The district, with Kalaiya as its district headquarters, covers an area of 1,190 km² and has a population of 687,708. Bakaiya, Jamuniya, Pasaha, Dudhaura and Bangari are the main rivers of Bara.
Bara district is famous for the Gadhimai Temple, particularly as every five years it celebrates the Gadhimai Mela. The region is usually not on any visitors itineraries.
At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds injured after stormy weather hit southern Nepal, destroying houses, uprooting trees and toppling electricity poles, officials said.
The thunderstorm swept through the district of Bara and adjoining areas late on Sunday (Mar 31), Bara’s police chief Sanu Ram Bhattarai said.
On Sunday night, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said rescue teams from Nepal Police, the Army, and the Armed Police Force had been deployed overnight. The government has been dispatching helicopters to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, hospitals in both districts have been overwhelmed by hundreds of injured. More than 200 victims have been admitted to Kalaiya Hospital, which has only five doctors on duty. The bodies of dead have been piling up at the Narayani Hospital, National Medical College and Healthcare Hospital in neighboring Birgunj district.
More on Nepal Tourism: https://www.welcomenepal.com/