All of us are horrified by the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, but I know that many local residents take a particular interest as a result of their own family and business connections in Sri Lanka.

This afternoon I received a briefing from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and want to flag their travel advice:

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to the current evolving security situation following attacks on 21 April 2019. This does not prevent people from travelling to Sri Lanka, but I would advise you to read the FCO guidance in advance and check in with any local contacts you may have before making a decision. For those in Sri Lanka, there is no obligation to return but the change in advice may make this easier if you wish to. Check with your airline and travel insurance provider.

If you have been directly affected by the attacks or need urgent consular assistance, call the British High Commission in Colombo on +94 11 5390639, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of our consular staff. If you’re in the UK and worried about British family or friends in Sri Lanka, call the FCO in London on 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.

I am pleased that the UK Government has offered assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka and obviously lessons will need to be learned about what happened in the lead up to these attacks.

Due to my visit to Edinburgh yesterday, I was unable to attend our local vigil, but I will be representing our community at a vigil in Parliament on Monday.

Given my broader work on human rights in Sri Lanka, I will be monitoring developments on this front, particularly given the security sensitivities.

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