Sri Lanka attack death toll rises to 290
Eight British nationals have been confirmed dead following the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, according to a spokesperson for the High Commission of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom.
"Yesterday we confirmed that five British nationals had died. This morning, we were able to confirm an additional three British nationals had been killed in the attack, bringing the total death toll to eight,” the High Commission spokesperson told CNN Monday.
The UK Foreign Office has not yet confirmed the deaths.
At a small house outside of Colombo near the St. Sebastian Church hit in Sunday’s attack, grieving relatives are already putting their loved ones to rest.
A green-covered coffin was loaded into an undertaker's van along with flowers as relatives cried.
A huge number of people in this predominantly Christian part of Sri Lanka had turned out to watch the brief service and pay their respects. A one-lane road thronged with people.
The church in Negombo, north of the capital, was one of the first sites attacked on Easter Sunday. More than 1,000 devotees had turned out for the holiest day in the Christian calendar when a blast tore through the church, killing 102 people.
The press officer of Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, Niteen Yeola, has released the names of the five Indian victims killed in the Sri Lankan bombing attacks.
The five individuals are:
- Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh
- K.M. Lakshminarayan
- K.G. Hanumantharayappa
- M Rangappa
- Narayan Chandrashekhar
Yeola added that there are a few more Indians injured in the attacks, but their names have not been released.
Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen, the largest shareholder in online clothing retailer ASOS, lost three children in Sunday’s terror attack in Sri Lanka.
“We can confirm that Anders lost three children in the attack,” Jesper Stubkier, Bestseller’s communication manager, said in a phone interview with CNN.
He added that he could not give further information about the victims because he “had to respect the privacy of the family.”
Povlsen is a member of the board of directors of Bestseller, according to the company’s website. Bestseller is the largest shareholder in clothing giant ASOS.
Earlier, Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samulesen tweeted that three Danish nationals were killed in the bombings.
In the aftermath of the blasts at eight sites across Sri Lanka on Sunday, the existence of a memo warning of a potential attack has emerged. A police source told CNN the memo was dated April 11, 10 days before tragedy struck.
Sajjan Gohel, international security director for the Asia-Pacific Foundation, tells CNN the memo "could be a vital piece in understanding the network that exists inside Sri Lanka."
I think what's also significant is that Sri Lanka's political system may have also played a role in that information not being relayed correctly. The government there is a system of cohabitation like in France," Gohel added.
Gohel says the Sri Lankan President does not have a good relationship with the Prime Minister.
"When it comes to what has transpired in the Columbo, Sri Lanka attacks, it shows that lack of information being relayed, it could result in this mass devastation," he added.
Following a series of coordinated attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, Jagath Abeysinghe, president of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, has warned the population not to respond with violence.
In a tweeted statement, Abeysinghe said:
As we continue to learn more about the attacks, it is vital that we receive this information and exercise restrain when responding to them. Violence is and never will be answer (sic)."
Abeysinghe added that instead people should focus on holding "our leaders accountable."
"We need to know whether this was an incident that could have been averted? And if so why did it not occur that way?"
Read his full statement here:
Harsha de Silva, the country's economic reforms minister, has promised in a tweet that funeral costs for those who died at St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo will be covered by the government.
He said that 102 people had died at the site.
Two Australians died in the bombings, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Melbourne on Monday. They were members of the same family, living in Sri Lanka, he said.
Morrison added that two Australian women had also been injured and were being treated for shrapnel wounds and a broken leg.
Kumar Wickramasinghe, director of Colombo’s National Hospital, was working in the medical ward on Sunday morning when blast victims were first brought in.
The hospital received 263 people in the wake of Sunday’s attacks, he told CNN. Three children are among the wounded receiving intensive care.
The hospital is not in need of supplies, Wickramasinghe said, adding that so many locals came forward to donate blood yesterday that the hospital had to turn some volunteers away.
“We have enough supplies, medicine and others things, but help is always welcome,” he added.