Minutes after seven bomb blasts ripped through Sri Lanka, killing at least 160 people and injuring 450 at three churches, as many hotels and a zoo, messages have poured in from the global community, condemning the attacks and condoling the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks.
#PrayForSriLanka trended on Twitter as denizens across the world prayed for the safety of Sri Lankans and people who lost their loved ones in the blasts.
In a tweet Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called the attacks “cowardly” and urged his countrymen to remain united and strong in the time of crisis.
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
Wickremesinghe’s predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa while condoning the families of the dead said the attacks perpetrated on a holy day were “absolutely barbaric”.
In another tweet Rajapaksa said the country will not “tolerate such violence, such acts of terrorism, of cowardice within our borders once again. We will stand together and rise up against it as one voice.”
It is absolutely barbaric to see such violent attacks on such a holy day. Whoever is behind these attacks must be dealt with immediately. My thoughts and prayers are with the families that lost loved ones and all of Sri Lanka.
— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) April 21, 2019
The blasts targeted 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 around 8.45 am (Srilankan local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Three explosions were also reported from five-star hotels – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, the Kingsbury – and Dehiwala zoo. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.
Prominent Sri Lankan politician Managal Samaraweera, called the attacks a “well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy” in the country.
Easter Sunday bomb blasts in churches & hotels, killing many innocent people seems to be a well coordinated attempt to create murder,mayhem & anarchy.All those who cherish democracy,freedom & economic prosperity must unite now with nerves of steel to defeat this heinous attempt.
— Mangala Samaraweera (@MangalaLK) April 21, 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the blasts horrific and warned the perpetrators that “there is no place for such barbarism” in India.
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
In a statement, The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) condemned the attacks on religious places and on a holy day.
“We mourn the loss of innocent lives due to extremist and violent elements who wish to create divides between religious and ethnic groups to realise their agenda. This is a deliberate attempt to create panic and disrupt civil life,” the statement read.
The Muslim body also urged Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to conduct an inquiry into the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she is constantly in touch with officials in the Indian High Commission and is keeping a close watch on the situation.
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
The Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka has also issued emergency numbers for Indians in distress.
The film and cricketing fraternities from across the world also took to Twitter to express solidarity with the bereaved families.
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
Saddened to hear about the terror attacks in various parts of Sri Lanka. Strongly condemn these acts of terror. Hatred and violence will never overpower love, kindness and compassion. 🙏🏻 #SriLanka
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 21, 2019
Sri-Lankan-born-Indian actress, Jacqueline Fernandez, a native of Sri Lanka condemned the attacks and said “it is unfortunate that one is not able to see that violence is like a chain reaction”.
Extremely sad at the news of bombings in Sri Lanka. It’s unfortunate that one is not able to see that violence is like a chain reaction. This has to stop !
— Jacqueline Fernandez (@Asli_Jacqueline) April 21, 2019
Pakistan’s foreign office tweeted that the country stands by the people of Sri Lanka and its government at this moment of tragedy and terror.
Pakistan condemns explosions and terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka at Churches & Hotels, that have led to numerous casualties and immense loss. People and Government of Pakistan stand by people and Government of Sri Lanka at this moment of tragedy and against terror: FO spokesperson pic.twitter.com/1kVr1gIbOk
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) April 21, 2019
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also offered his solidarity with Sri Lankans through a tweet.
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