Britain has sent a team of Counter-Terrorism Police to Sri Lanka after the deadly bombing attacks that killed at least 359 people, including eight Britons, on Easter Sunday.
United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that family liaison officers had been sent to Sri Lanka to support and assist the families of British victims and help with repatriation of their bodies.
“The attack was complex, tightly coordinated and designed to cause maximum chaos, damage and heartbreak,” Hunt told Parliamentarians in the House of Commons yesterday (23).
“The UK will never stand by in the face of such evil, so today we stand in solidarity with the Government and people of Sri Lanka, who have been making enormous strides towards stability and peace after the conclusion of the civil war almost 10 years ago.”
Hunt spoke with the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana on 22 April evening to offer his condolences and the UK’s assistance with the investigation.
After eight explosions ripped through hotels and churches across the country, an improvised pipe bomb found on Easter Sunday evening was destroyed by the security services at the Katunayake Airport.
Hunt said that the device was probably meant to harm fleeing civilians.
British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe earlier yesterday (23). May stressed the UK’s solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka.
“The Leaders discussed the strong connection between the UK and Sri Lanka, and the need to stand together in the fight against terrorism,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
“Wickremesinghe expressed his gratitude for the UK’s support.”
Hunt stated that the attacks were a ‘primitive and vile’ attempt to sow division between the people of different faiths.
“We must respond by bringing people together – the exact opposite of what was intended by the perpetrators,” he said.
“To attack Christian worshipers at Easter, which is a celebration of peace and the holiest day in the Christian calendar, betrays in the attackers an absence of the most basic values of humanity,” he added.
“In response to such acts, we must redouble our efforts to protect the freedom of religious minorities to practice their faiths, wherever they are,” he said.
He said that the British Government will continue to give their wholehearted support to the people of Sri Lanka.
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