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Brief Update on the prevailing situation from the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka

Yesterday, on 21st of Apirl, Easter Sunday, there has been a series of bomb attacks in different places in Sri Lanka including in the capital city Colombo. Six blasts targeting Easter celebrations were carried out within a span of 45 minutes, with no group or individual claiming responsibility so far. As of today (22nd April 2019), 290 persons including 35 foreign nationals have been confirmed dead and over 450 are reported injured and receiving treatment in hospitals.

As a nation we are all shaken up by these horrific attacks and we are mourning the loss of our fellow brothers and sisters. The situation in our country is unstable and we are unsure of the events that may unfold. However Sarvodaya had immediately begun its emergency operation yesterday by being on standby in the affected areas through our district centres. We also had a meeting this morning chaired by our Founder Dr. A.T Ariyaratne, and attended by Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, the President, and the Sarvodaya staff on the immediate steps that need to be implemented. These include – supporting the affected families with aid and psycho-social support, visiting the affected families (door-to-door) and understanding their needs , mobilizing our inter-religious island wide network to promote peace and  reconciliation, and mobilizing our youth networks to support grassroots efforts to contain possible eruption of communal violence. We have also been making appeals to the general public through social media requesting them to remain calm and avoid spreading  or sharing messages of hatred that may instigate violence. We are closely monitoring the situation and will respond as the situation demands. We are very much grateful for the kind thoughts and prayers we have been receiving from all our friends in the international community. We will keep you updated on the situation.

Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne
President – Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement