Sri Lanka terror attacks: ASOS billionaire children killed and retaliatory attacks begin

News 23/04/2019

A Danish billionaire has lost three of his four children in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

Anders Holch Povlsen runs the online fashion retailer ASOS. His family had been on holiday in Sri Lanka at the time of the bombings.

His daughter Alma shared a holiday photo of her three siblings, Astrid, Agnes and Alfred next to a pool days before the attacks.

It is not yet known which of the children survived.

Around 290 people died in the targeted attack at churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

Pasan Jayasinghe from a political reform group says plans for burials are underway.

The Government has promised to cover funeral costs, but given the scale of how many, the process will be complicated.

A number of bodies are still being identified.

Meanwhile, there are reports of retaliatory attacks across Sri Lanka as a violent reaction takes place over the suspected culprits.

It has been reported the attack was carried out by a local small radical Islamic group known as National Thowheeth Jama'ath, but the Sri Lankan government is also looking at international links.

"Even through the curfew, there have been reports of multiple attacks on mosques, Muslim businesses and houses and that's actually across the country," Jayasinghe said.

He called for the Sri Lankan government to step in to the situation.

"Without a forceful government response to that in terms of providing protection for those [affected] the space in the vacuum is just there for these retaliations to continue."

The attack has thrown previously known information about terrorism into the air, with some experts saying the pattern is changing.

Waikato University's Alexander Gillespie told Newshub there has been a spike in deaths from terrorism.

The spike is appearing in countries where we previously did not expect terrorism to be.

"Most people thought Sri Lanka, like New Zealand, was a comparatively safe country."

Fundraising efforts for the victims of the attack are starting in New Zealand, with representatives of the Sri Lankan community calling on the Government to help.

Siva Vasanthan from the Federation of Tamil Associations says it bears similarities to the Christchurch attack, so our Government is well placed to step in.

"There's a lot the New Zealand Government and public could do, to help the victims and we are trying to coordinate that."

The AM Show / Newsub reporters Katie Fitzgerald & Kethaki Masilamani