Sri Lanka blasts: China warns its citizens against travelling to island nation
Colombo, Apr 23: China on Tuesday warned its citizens against travelling to Sri Lanka after a a series of bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels across the island nation on Easter Sunday, killing 321 people, including two Chinese nationals.
"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 Chinese 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," it said.
Seven suicide bombers carried out multiple blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 321 people in the country's worst terror attack. Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested in connection with the attacks which shook Sri Lanka.
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. China is a major investor in Sri Lanka, which is also a popular tourist destination for Chinese people. China joins the US and Canada, who issued travel advisories on Monday to their citizens seeking to visit Sri Lanka, citing threats of terrorism.