Irish tourists in Sri Lanka advised to stay indoors

Irish tourists in Sri Lanka advised to stay indoors
Sri Lankan security forces stand at the site after a vehicle parked near St. Anthony's shrine exploded in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Monday. Picture: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

Irish tourists in Sri Lanka have been advised to stay indoors after a wave of bombings on Easter Sunday killed 290 people and left more than 500 injured.

The Sri Lankan government has invoked emergency powers in the wake of the attacks on hotels and churches. More than 20 people have been arrested.

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has advised holidaymakers in the country to follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lankan local authorities and accommodation providers.

Travellers are advised to stay indoors where possible and to avoid large gatherings. They are also told to heed local travel restrictions and curfews, which are in place across the island.

A national curfew has been announced by the Sri Lankan government but passengers are still able to travel to the airport, providing you have both a passport and ticket valid for travel that day.

The airport is still operating but there are increased security to measures in place. Some airlines are advising travellers to arrive early for check-in in order to allow time for security screening.

There is no Irish embassy or consulate in Sri Lanka. Holidaymakers are advised to contact the honorary consul in Columbo on +94 (11) 258 7895 or the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on 01 408 2000.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney condemned the attacks.

"No political or other cause can justify or excuse the bombing of people at worship or simply going about their daily lives. I express my sympathy to the families of those who have been killed and my support to those who have been injured," he said.

A group of Islamic extremists were behind the attacks, senior Sri Lankan officials have said.

The seven suicide bombers were all Sri Lankan citizens belonging to National Thowfeek Jamaath, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference on Monday but the group is believed to have links with foreign terrorist networks.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

More on this topic

Sri Lanka’s new president reaches out to Tamils and Muslims at inaugurationSri Lanka’s new president reaches out to Tamils and Muslims at inauguration

Man dies and shops and mosques are destroyed in Sri Lanka communal violenceMan dies and shops and mosques are destroyed in Sri Lanka communal violence

Sri Lanka churches hold first Sunday Mass since Easter bombingsSri Lanka churches hold first Sunday Mass since Easter bombings

Sri Lankan Catholics watch Mass on TV for second week following Easter attacksSri Lankan Catholics watch Mass on TV for second week following Easter attacks


More in this Section

Rescue mission underway for five fishermen off coast of DonegalRescue mission underway for five fishermen off coast of Donegal

Man arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbingMan arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbing

Two arrested as rival protesters come face to face at #Rally4PeaceTwo arrested as rival protesters come face to face at #Rally4Peace

Gardaí investigate after human skull found in KerryGardaí investigate after human skull found in Kerry


Lifestyle

Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner