China issues Sri Lanka travel alert after deadly Easter blasts

24-Apr-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:38 AM Print This Post

China has warned its citizens not to travel to Sri Lanka after a series of explosions on Easter Sunday resulted in the deaths of 310 people, including one Chinese national.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese embassy to Sri Lanka remind Chinese nationals not to travel to Sri Lanka in the near term,” a statement posted on the embassy’s website read.

“Those already here, please step up safety precautions, try to stay away from crowded areas and pay attention to safety reminders by the embassy and local media to ensure personal safety.”

The embassy warned it would not be able to help Chinese citizens if they insisted on visiting Sri Lanka and that individuals would need to bear the financial cost of any assistance required.

“In view of the current situation in Sri Lanka, if Chinese citizens insist on going after the reminder is issued, they will bring themselves huge security risks and make it difficult for the embassy to provide effective assistance,” it said. “The resulting costs will be shouldered by the individuals.”

Five Chinese citizens were wounded in the blasts and five are missing. They include eight oceanology scientists who were to conduct a study in the Indian Ocean.

In a meeting on Monday afternoon, China’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan, urged Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to take effective measures to find the five missing Chinese nationals. The list of missing Chinese had been shared with Sri Lanka, he said.

Wickremesinghe said his country’s foreign ministry was “duty-bound to take the lead” in handling the aftermath of the bombings and would work with China in relevant areas, according to a separate statement on the Chinese embassy’s website.

The Sri Lankan government imposed a state of emergency late on Monday.

A woman surnamed Tang, who works in a restaurant in Colombo, told, a website affiliated with the Global Times newspaper, that she and five other Chinese employees had not dared to step outside since Sunday.

She said because the restaurant was safe and had ample food, and she contacted her family in China every day to assure them she was safe.

“Everybody was nervous when the explosion happened. We then became calm, but were a bit anxious after another bombing on Monday,” the woman was quoted as saying.

Chinese media said a bomb exploded in Colombo on Monday while police were trying to defuse it.


Category: China

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