EASTER Sunday in Colombo and across Sri Lanka is a huge and popular event.
There was a real party atmosphere as many Christians were dressed up to go to see family and go to church together.
Reuters A relative of a victim of the explosion at St. Anthony’s Shrine
Reuters Crime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La hotel in Colombo
Sri Lanka attacks – Police detain seven suspects in relation to explosions at churches and hotels on Easter Sunday
The streets were crowded with people going shopping and taking the day off.
There was much merry-making. It has been ten years since the civil war and everyone is getting back to normal.
But after the bombs it was complete and utter chaos. People were running in the streets. It was helter skelter.
People were literally running to hospital. It was chaos. Bodies everywhere.
Like many Christians in Sri Lanka I had a day off so I travelled to see my mother just outside Colombo so we could go to church for morning Mass.
But at around 9am messages flashed up on a WhatsApp group with journalists that there was a sudden blast at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo.
Colombo is paralysed and no one is allowed outsideSulochana Ramiah Mohanin Colombo
At first we thought it must be an electric transformer exploding or an accident.
But then we heard of another at St Anthony’s Church, followed by a born-again Christian church in Batticaloa.
I then knew it was well-planned and organised simultaneous attack.
Two blasts in at Shangri-La, then the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury came under attack.
Security was beefed up and a curfew was imposed and the streets are empty.
But everyone is worried there may be more blasts. People are on vigil.
After the bombs it was complete and utter chaos. People were running in the streets. It was helter skelterSulochana Ramiah MohanIn Colombo
It’s shocking. People were so relaxed. It’s been a peaceful environment since the civil war ended.
This terrorist attack has brought back memories of the horrors of the past.
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Easter is a huge event in Sri Lanka. We had New Year four days earlier and there are sales in the shops.
The whole week was a party with people enjoying life like never before.
But now Colombo is paralysed and no one is allowed outside.
AFP or licensors Sri Lankan hospital workers transport a body on a trolley following an explosion at the Zion Church
EPA At least 207 were killed and 450 injured after a series of blasts during Easter Sunday
Reuters A string of explosions ripped through high-end hotels popular with tourists and churches holding Easter services
AP:Associated Press Police officers clear a road in Colombo as an ambulance drives through
AP:Associated Press Stunned witnesses are calmed by people following an explosion in Colombo
Reuters Colombo residents are in shock after the horrendous attacks on the city
Theresa May paid tribute to the victims of the Sri Lanka Easter Bombings
Sulochana Ramiah Mohan is the Deputy Editor of Ceylon Today
Sri Lanka attacks – Over 200 people killed and hundreds more injured in explosions at churches and hotels on Easter Sunday