‘Avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka’: India issues advisory to its nationals
India on Saturday asked its nationals to avoid “non-essential travel” to the Sri Lanka following series of blasts on Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 people and injured over 400 others. In the advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said those requiring to undertake emergency travels can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo, the Assistant High Commission in Kandy as well as Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna for any assistance.
"In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on April 21, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel," it said.
"In case of those undertaking essential/emergency travels, they can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant High Commission in Kandy / Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance," the MEA added.
The MEA said Sri Lanka has beefed up security in the country but a nation-wide emergency including night time curfew has been in place which may affect travel within Sri Lanka.
Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 253 people.
The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ). Sri Lankan security forces are continuing their hunt for members of the NTJ.
On Friday night, six children and three women were among 15 people killed when militants linked to the bombings opened fire and blew themselves up during a fierce gun battle with security forces in Sri Lanka's Eastern province.