Olympic Council of Asia President expresses shock and grief over Sri Lanka attacks
Monday, 22 April 2019
Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has expressed his shock at the attacks that ripped through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
The attacks killed 290 people and injured at least 500 more.
"The OCA is shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Sri Lanka and would like to send deepest condolences to the families of the victims," Sheikh Ahmad said in a statement today.
"Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan people hold a special place in our hearts and we share their grief at this terrible time.
"We hope and pray that Sri Lanka can recover from this dark day.
"The Olympic family is with you.
"Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues and to all the people of Sri Lanka at this difficult time."
Police have arrested 24 people in connection with the suicide attacks, the worst violence the South Asian island has seen since its bloody civil war ended 10 years ago.
Sri Lankan authorities have declared a state of emergency and announced would be a national day of mourning.
Most of the dead and injured were Sri Lankan.
At least 39 tourists were killed and 28 injured, the country's Tourism Ministry said today.
The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka reported that they were not aware of any injuries among their staff.
"We all are safe at NOC SL and we appreciate Sheikh Ahmad’s concerns for Sri Lanka and, in particular, our NOC," its secretary general Maxwell de Silva said.
"The damage is devastating and the loss of life is unbearable."