Several countries from across the globe, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, United States and United Kingdom have expressed shock and condemnations over the series of deadly blast on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that left over 200 people killed and 500 others injured. The churches and hotels that witnessed eight near simultaneous explosions this morning, were frequented by tourists, including dozens of foreigners - British, Dutch and American citizens among others.
The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury in Colombo. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were rushed to the Colombo General Hospital.
Taking to twitter, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks while describing it as "horrific". "Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured," Modi wrote.
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said on social media that the country stands with the people of Sri Lanka. "Pakistan condemns explosions and terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka at Churches and Hotels, that have led to numerous casualties and immense loss. People and Government of Pakistan stand by people and Government of Sri Lanka at this moment of tragedy and against terror," he said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also strongly condemned the barbaric attacks. "Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost and hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief," he tweeted.
Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 21, 2019
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli condemned the "heinous" terror attacks and extended condolences to the people of Sri Lanka.
"I am deeply saddened by multiple bomb blasts and killings of innocent people in Sri Lanka. I express my condolence to Ranil Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and bereaved families of victims of the brutality," Oli said in a tweet while wishing speedy recovery to the injured people.
I am deeply saddened by multiple bomb blasts and killings of innocent people in Sri Lanka. I express my condolence with Rt. Hon'ble Ranil Wickramasinghe, PM of SriLanka and bereaved families of victims of brutality. I wish speedy recovery of the injured.— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) April 21, 2019
"Government of Nepal strongly condemns the acts against humanity. I firmly believe that perpetrators behind these criminal and deadly attacks will be brought to justice at earliest. Nepal condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We stand by the people of SriLanka," Oli said in another tweet.
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep concerns over the explosions which took place on Sunday morning. In the message, she prayed for peace and salvation of the departed souls and offered her condolences to the grieving families. Hasina also hoped for a quick recovery of the injured.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the series of blast as "cruel and cynical". In a telegram of condolences sent to his Sri Lankan counterpart, the Russian leader said Moscow remains a "reliable partner of Sri Lanka in the fight against international terrorism".
Putin added that the Russians "share the grief of the relatives of those killed and wish a quick recovery to all those who were wounded" after the Easter Sunday blasts rocked the country. He voiced confidence that "the perpetrators and the masterminds of such a cruel and cynical crime committed amid the Easter festivities will take the punishment they deserve."
British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as "truly appalling". "The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time. We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear," she tweeted.
The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.
We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 21, 2019
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, "Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a "horrific terrorist attack". "To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support -- and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need," he said in a statement.
"At this time as Easter Sunday draws to a conclusion here in Australia, our heart goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack," Morrison added.
Our thoughts & prayers are with the beautiful people of Sri Lanka at this terrible time.— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 21, 2019
A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as "devastating".
"New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on March 15. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating," Ardern said.
New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence," she added.
Expressing his grief over the ghastly act of terror in the heart of Sri Lanka, US President Donald Trump said, "The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!"
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
The Catholic Church in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they "came while Christians celebrate Easter".
"We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation," the statement said. "We also express our solidarity with Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants in their various religious and ethnic backgrounds," it added.