Singapore—Anita Nicholson, a British lawyer who had been based in Singapore, along with her two children, were among the victims in the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21.
This was confirmed by her husband, Ben; as well as her employer, mining and metals firm Anglo American.
The family had been enjoying a week of holidays in Sri Lanka. Ms Nicholson and her husband Ben, together with their 14-year son Alex, and daughter, eleven-year-old Annabel, had been having breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo when a bomb went off.
Mr Nicholson is the only member of the family who survived the blast.
The eight bombs that were set off on Sunday, plus an additional one that detonated on Monday, April 22, have caused the deaths of 290 people and injuries to 500 others.
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports Anglo American as having said in a statement, “We are in contact with Anita’s husband, Ben, and supporting him in any way we can.
Our thoughts are very much with Anita’s and Ben’s families, colleagues and friends and we ask that you respect their privacy at this difficult time.”
Ben Nicholson himself has also issued a statement that confirmed the deaths of his wife and children while at breakfast on Sunday morning.
“I am deeply distressed at the loss of my wife and children.
Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children.
The holiday we had just enjoyed was a testament to Anita’s enjoyment of travel and providing a rich and colourful life for our family, and especially our children.
Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood.
They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with.
I would like to give my sincere thanks for the medical teams at General Hospital, Colombo, for treating Anita, Alex, and Annabel with great dignity and me with kindness and sympathy.
I would also like to thank the teams at the British High Commission and Adhvan Tours who have looked after me since Sunday morning and the Sri Lankan people I have encountered in Colombo following this catastrophe.
Anita, Alex, and Annabel leave behind a large extended family and many close and cherished friends who are now grieving this tragic loss.
We shall all miss them dearly.”
Mr Nicholson, who is also a lawyer, said that his wife and children “mercifully… died instantly and with no pain or suffering.”
“A colossal failure of intelligence”
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan authorities are now under scrutiny due to claims that warnings had even given concerning the bombings days before they occurred. The National Thowheed Jamath jihadist group was being closely watched by the police ever since they had received warnings concerning possible attacks, although the country’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, insists that neither he nor his cabinet members had been told about these warnings.
Ever since a rift occurred between the Prime Minister and President Maithripala Sirisena in 2018, Mr Wickremesinghe has not been included in security briefings, according to cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne.
The President had fired Mr Wickremesinghe along with his cabinet last October but had been forced to reinstate them due to pressure from the Supreme Court.
According to Mr Senaratne, warnings from intelligence agencies had been issued as early as April 4, followed by a detailed warning to the chief of police. On April 11, he said, a memo was issued about the matter to the top officials of several security divisions.
The BBC reports that the minister for town planning, Rauff Hakeem, has said that the bombings were a result of
“A colossal failure of intelligence. It is shameful for all of us. We are all ashamed of this.”
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