Sri Lankan ambassador to Israel: 'We are still in shock'

Envoy to Israel says waiting for word from Colombo regarding assistance needs

April 23, 2019 19:20
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv lit up in a display of the Sri Lanka flag

Tel Aviv lit up in a display of the Sri Lanka flag. (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)


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Sri Lanka has not yet turned to Israel for any type of assistance following the terrorist outrages in the country on Sunday, even as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said his government will seek help from overseas in tracking down foreign links to the attacks that killed more than 300 people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered assistance to the South Asian country soon after the attacks, and his national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat passed on that message in a phone conversation with his Sri Lankan counterpart.

“So far we have just offered, there is nothing concrete yet,” one Israeli diplomatic source said.

Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Israeli Periyasamy Pillai Selvaraj told The Jerusalem Post that the government in Colombo is still busy investigating the attacks, and is waiting for information regarding what type of assistance the country might be interested in.

Selvaraj said he has he has received “many condolence messages from Israeli citizens, including offers of assistance.

“I told them that of course we need assistance, but we [would] like to get assistance once we get more information [about what is needed] from Colombo,” he said.

He also expressed appreciation for the Tel Aviv Municipality’s gesture Sunday night of lighting up the municipal building in the colors of the Sri Lankan flag as a gesture of solidarity.

The ambassador said that the embassy has not heard from the 6,000-7,000 strong Sri Lankan community in Israel about anyone personally affected by the attack.

“They are sad, everybody is sad,” he said. “We are still in a state of shock.” 

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