Bern, Press release, 11.03.2009

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has taken note with dismay and sadness of the news of the suicide attack yesterday near a mosque in Akuressa in the south of Sri Lanka, which caused the deaths of 15 people and wounded dozens more, including members of the government. Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms this terrorist attack and all such indiscriminate attacks directed against the civilian population of Sri Lanka. It expresses its deep condolences and solidarity with the Sri Lankan authorities and to the families and friends of the victims.

Switzerland condemns all acts of terrorism regardless of the perpetrators and the reasons for them. Switzerland considers it especially outrageous that the attack targeted a religious celebration of the Muslim minority in the country. The FDFA hopes that the perpetrators will rapidly be identified and brought to justice to answer for their crimes.  

In a humanitarian appeal it made on 5 February 2009, Switzerland recalled that “international humanitarian law proscribes the indiscriminate use of force and acts of terrorism at all times and without exception”. The FDFA reiterates its appeal for the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law as an indispensable condition for restoring peace in Sri Lanka.  

At this point in time, the FDFA has no information indicating that any Swiss citizens are among the victims. The Swiss Embassy in Colombo is in close contact with the competent authorities and remains ready to provide assistance to any Swiss nationals in need as a result of the attack.

Further information:

Joint SDC/PA IV medium-term planning cycle in Sri Lanka

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