How the Peace Foundation will support those affected by the Sri Lanka attacks
The Peace Foundation operates the national terrorism survivors assistance network. This is a free, confidential and specialist service open to all British nationals and international citizens living in the United Kingdom who have been affected by terrorism – this includes bereaved families, survivors and witnesses.
On Sunday 21st April 2019, there were a series of explosions at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, in central Colombo; in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade, and in Negombo roughly twenty miles north of Colombo; and in the east of the country in Batticaloa.
This is an ongoing incident and there are significant casualties, with numbers still to be confirmed but includes many British citizens.
If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please call the British High Commission in Colombo: +94 11 5390639, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of the consular team.
If you’re in the UK and worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) switchboard number: 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.
The FCO website will be updated with the latest information
In Sri Lanka, the consular team will assist with any immediate needs and connect you to services that can provide support for those who are bereaved or injured. Other organisations such as travel companies and insurers will also offer advice for needs such as returning home.
If you need urgent support or information, then you can also call the ‘victims’ Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 – this is operated by the charity Victim Support and operates 24/7 every day of the year. They will connect anyone needing Peace Foundation specialist support to our team of caseworkers. The Peace Foundation can be contacted directly (in normal office hours) on email: SAN@peace-foundation.org.uk or phone: 01925 581240 or Twitter DM @peacefoundation
What will the Peace Foundation do?
The survivors assistance network builds on 25 years of supporting people affected by terrorism. Such events present a high degree of trauma but also identify many different needs that can impact welfare, finances, work and even social aspects such as friendships. The Peace Foundation can help anyone affected from people facing bereavement, through to people injured or even having just witnessed such an event, to cope and recover. This is a free service, it is confidential and not time-limited. We work closely with other national and international charities such as Victim Support, the National Homicide Service, the British Red Cross, Cruse Bereavement Services and the Samaritans. We also work with England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioners (and similar organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland) to connect you to local support.
Many people just want to make contact, and our team can also connect you with others affected by the same incident to provide each other support. We give you access to private information and communication channels and we look to help you gain some normality after such terrible events. Most people find they are very resilient after such events, but some people will struggle with having been part of such a traumatic incident and we provide access to many services to help people navigate their way through all matters health, legal, financial and even in dealing with aspects such as the media.
What can you do to help?
Following a major incident there is always a level of confusion and people disperse quickly, for example wanting to return home – please ensure you pass on this information to as many people as possible through your friends, families, workplaces, on social media. It is important that we offer help and support and make contact as soon as possible.
You may wish to help financially and donate to the Peace Foundation charity to support the costs of our casework and help those people impacted. You can donate here – please ensure you mark your donation Sri Lanka so we ensure the donations go directly to help families and people affected . PLEASE NOTE – our appeal and any monies raised will be reported transparently so you can track how we used your donations.
The Peace Foundation campaigns #ForPeace. In addition to supporting survivors of terrorism we work to prevent it taking place in the first place and to promote conflict resolution and peace building in families and communities. Our charity was set up by Colin and Wendy Parry in memory of their son Tim and another child Johnathan killed by terrorists. They want to ensure nobody has to go through what they do and to make sure people who do, get the best support possible. Colin and Wendy visited Sri Lanka on a holiday two weeks ago and are devastated by the attacks and having met such wonderful people during their time in Colombo are resolved to help in any way they and their charity can. Our thoughts are with the people of Sri Lanka and all those people affected.
Violence and terrorism is never justified and these attacks are an outrage to humanity. The attacks on churches and hotels filled with families and defenseless people is beyond comprehension and no words are strong enough in condemnation. The Peace Foundation calls on everyone to join together in support and solidarity to pursue non-violent ways to resolve conflict – find out about our work here and please support us.