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Sirisena appeals to international community to lift travel warnings

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on May 11, 2019 with No Comments

200 children lost family members in Lanka carnage

About 200 children in Sri Lanka have lost their family members, some of them sole breadwinners, in the massive Easter Sunday bombings, according to a leading charity organisation.

Some of the families have lost their source of income and might not have sufficient savings to resume their normal life, Colombo-based Sri Lanka Red Cross Society  said.  Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing more than 250 people. 

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has  appealed to the international community, including India, to lift travel the warnings issued after the Easter Sunday terror attacks, as the country’s tourist arrivals dipped 7.5 per cent last month.

The terror attacks on three luxury hotels and three churches on April 21 killed 257 people, including over 40 foreigners. Ten Indians were among the dead. President Sirisena urged the diplomatic community in Sri Lanka to lift the travel warnings since security in the country has been strengthened. The US, China, the UK, India and Australia were among the countries which issued travel warnings on Sri Lanka. Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with India, Britain and China being the main markets. The country earned about USD 4.4 billion in 2018 from the tourism sector. Following Sri Lanka’s worst terror attack, India issued an advisory for its nationals in the country. India is the largest source market for Sri Lanka, which received 2.3 million tourists from around the world in 2018. Around 450,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation was expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million in 2019. Meanwhile, according to official tourism arrival figures the first monthly report since the terror attacks, showed that Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals declined 7.5 per cent in April 2019 compared to the same period last year.  The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said April recorded 166,975 foreign tourists in the country compared to 180,429 in April 2018, a 7.5 per cent dip in arrival of tourists from abroad.

 

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