This message comes from Sarvodaya's president, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, about Sarvodaya's emergency response to the Easter Sunday attacks. Read on for more information, and please consider donating to support these relief efforts.
On 21 st of Apirl 2019, Easter Sunday morning, there were a series of bomb attacks in different
locations in Sri Lanka including in the capital city Colombo. The attacks targeted Catholic/ Christian
places of worship as well as major hotels in Colombo. Six coordinated blasts targeting Easter
celebrations were carried out within a span of 45 minutes, the GoSL is of the opinion that a local
radical group with international connections have orchestrated the attacks. Investigations are still
ongoing and the terrorist group has not being identified concretely. The forces are still running checks
and investigations throughout the island and there had been incidents of explosives being found at
several locations and defused under control explosions.
As of today (24 April 2019, 1000hrs), 359 persons including 35 foreign nationals have been
confirmed dead and over 450 are being treated for injuries ranging from minor to intensive care. More
corpses are to be identified at the morgues by family members and Sarvodaya is providing assistance
to family members arriving to identify.
As a nation we are all shaken up by these horrific attacks and we are mourning the loss of our fellow
brothers and sisters. The situation in our country is unstable and we are unsure of the events that
may unfold. However Sarvodaya had immediately begun its emergency operation yesterday by being
on standby in the affected areas through our district centres. We have formed an Emergency
Operations Committee chaired by the President of Sarvodaya with senior staff of Sarvodaya and
external volunteer experts.
Immediate action include; supporting the affected families with aid and psycho-social support, visiting
the affected families (door-to-door) and understanding their needs , mobilising our inter-religious
island wide network to promote peace and reconciliation, and mobilising our youth networks to
support grassroots efforts to contain eruption of communal violence.
We have also been making appeals to the general public through social media requesting them to
remain calm and avoid spreading or sharing messages of hatred that may instigate violence. We are
closely monitoring the situation and will respond as the situation demands. We are very much grateful
for the kind thoughts, prayers and contributions we have been receiving from all our friends local and
in the international community.
For more information you can contact Chamindha (Executive Director) on email@example.com
+94777710205 OR Udesh on firstname.lastname@example.org, +94714738011
We will keep you updated on the situation on a daily basis.
President – Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
SARVODAYA'S ACTION PLAN TO RESPOND TO EASTER SUNDAY ATTACKS
- Support the victims and people affected by the attacks: Sarvodaya- Colombo, Gampaha, and Batticaloa are instructed to visit the churches, and houses of the affected people, and to extend any immediate support (in terms of financial and in-kind) to manage the immediate situations including the funerals
- Today, 63 families of injured receiving treatment at Batticaloa General Hospital given Rs.5000.00 each to manage the immediate expenses. Due to Hartal (strike and closure action) in the East coast, Batticaloa relief operations require prioritisation. Shop closures severely affect victim families and Sarvodaya will closely monitor their needs. A comprehensive list of information about deceased, survivors and victims prepared and already shared with HQ
- Taking part and assisting in funeral arrangements. (Food, relied as well as social monitoring in funeral held areas)
- Providing food and water to relatives and families of the deceased identifying corpses at the Colombo mortuary.
- Sarvodaya and Sarvodaya Vishva Nikethan (VN) is working on providing psych-social support for the survivors and victims families, and we are in discussion with CARITAS Sri Lanka as well as the catholic church on this. Majority of victims require a Catholic/Christian approach to counselling hence we try our best to collaborate with Catholic and christian bodies. VN is already in touch with experts on disaster related psychological care and are preparing in advance to briefly train accredited counsellors along with a team of para-psychologists (international experts) on the field.
- Specialist child care needs and scanning for victim children will be coordinated by Sarvodaya Suwasetha
- Sarvodaya Shanthi Sena (the youth peace brigades) are mobilising their existing inter-faith circles in the affected districts, and in other hotspots to get religious leaders of all religions on board to prevent any further escalation of communal violence. SSS will arrange key discussions with Muslim clerics as well as Business leaders in the coming days to expand efforts to curb potential communal violence.