Social Media partially blocked; another afternoon blast in Sri Lanka

Hours after the series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka in the morning of Easter Sunday, another explosion was reported in a hotel near National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwala, south of Colombo city. At least two persons have died. (Update: Reports around 3 p.m. said another blast has taken place at a housing scheme in Dematagoda in Colombo city)

Sri Lankan government Minister Mano Ganeshan tweeted, “A week before, my Ministerial Security Division (MSD) officers had been warned by their Division on two suspected suicide bombers in Colombo targeting politician,” several hours after the attacks that killed over 175 persons and injured more than 400 people.

Meanwhile, a letter was shared in social media widely by the anti-government elements and the racists claiming it was a directive by police to the VIP security divisions. The letter which the government sources declines as fake points finger towards an ethno-religious group for planning terrorist attacks.

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa also tweeted “It is absolutely barbaric to see such violent attacks on such a holy day. Whoever is behind these attacks must be dealt with immediately. My thoughts and prayers are with the families that lost loved ones and all of Sri Lanka.”

Government announced security had tightened and urged people to moan calmly.

Sri Lanka Telecom has meanwhile apparently blocked Facebook, You Tube, Viber and Whatapp. Groups based on these platforms were clearly visible organizing for hate campaigns and violence.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka media reported that famous culinary trainer Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter Nisanga Mayadunne had passed away in the bomb attack at Shangrila Hotel Colombo where they had visited with the family. They had shared on social media, a family photo while dining.

She was a famous culinary demonstrator on television and published her first cookery book ‘Rasa Bojun’ in 2001.

She is an Advanced Diploma holder from “Wilton School of Cake Making and Decorating” Chicago, USA.  

Meanwhile, National Blood Bank was brimming with people who had come to donate blood and the authorities had to request the donors to stop arriving at the Blood Bank as sufficient stocks had been collected already.

(Cover photo: Shantha Mayadunne’s family photo shared immediately before the blast at Shangrila Hotel)