On 21st of April, Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka witnessed atrocious terrorist attacks in Colombo and a few suburbs. Three Christian churches during Easter services in Batticaloa, Negombo and Colombo and three luxury hotels, Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury were targeted in a series of coordinated suicide bombings, killing 253 people including at least 42 foreign nationals and three police officers and at least 500 were injured.
“Sri Lanka has worked hard to entice tourists back and ensure them that this is a safe, welcoming and peaceful country to visit, over the last decade. And it has been successful".
Terrorist threats today are a global phenomenon and unfortunately this time around Sri Lanka was a target. Due to the barbaric acts so many innocent people worshipping in three churches on the holiest day in the Christian calendar have fallen victims.
In order to assess the current situation and take necessary steps to ensure all possible assistance is provided to tourists in need of help, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have continued to engage with high-level government officials and tourism stakeholders following the acts of terror that took place on Easter Sunday.
Hopefully, the travel ban will be lifted in the next few weeks as the series of events that took place on Easter Sunday have been reported as an isolated incident.
It is a responsibility of the entire global community to wipe out this menace from our societies to prevent attacks of this nature in any of our countries. In order to achieve this goal we all will have to stand tall and ensure that we support each other in times of difficulties. The objective of terrorist group is to disrupt our day to day life. We as a team, society and as a country completely refuse to give in to this demand!
The police, tourism police and the security forces are jointly implementing a comprehensive security plan to ensure their safety across the island including all important tourism sites and to assure that the tourists who are already in the country and unaffected by the terror attacks are safe. On the 22nd of April, a security briefing was held for hotel owners and operators on the new safety measures that are being rolled out and to seek their cooperation in strengthening security at hotels and resorts.
Next several days we are certain life in Sri Lanka will come back to normalcy and we will once again look forward to the future with a positive mind set. We have been through many difficult situations in the past and we have always bounced back and displayed characteristics of a true hospitable and warm community.
All possible measures have been taken to ensure the safety and security of tourists and Sri Lanka Tourism would like to reassure the world that the country is open for business! Our world famous tourism sites, hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions will remain open as usual. There won’t be any road closures or restrictions on any movement anywhere in the country.
We along with Sri Lanka Tourism look forward to warmly welcome all those who have planned trips to the country in the days, weeks and months ahead.