Australian father recalls finding his wife and daughter kills in Sri Lankan attacks, & more in News in 5.

1. “I just saw my daughter on the floor.” Australian father tells of finding his wife and daughter had been killed in Sri Lankan terror attacks.

An Australian father has described the heartbreaking moment he found his wife and daughter who were killed in the Sri Lankan terror attacks.

Sudesh Kolonne had briefly left the church after a service when a bomb went off, claiming Manik Suriyaaratchi and their 10-year-old daughter, Alexendria.

“There was a bomb blast, I heard a huge noise and I jump into the church and I saw that my daughter and my wife was on the floor,” he told ABC in Colombo.


“I don’t know what to do. And I was…Just saw my daughter on the floor and I tried to lift her up, she’s already dead, exactly the same next my wife is dead.

“That’s the end of the story of – end of the story of my daughter, my wife.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the identity of Manik Suriaaratchi and Alexendria on Tuesday.

The family were attending an Easter Sunday service in Negombo when they died in the attacks, which have claimed at least 290 lives.

Mr Morrison spoke to Mr Kolonne on Tuesday afternoon to offer support and sympathy.

“It is just the most sickening of news,” the prime minister earlier told Seven’s Sunrise.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like for him to lose a little 10-year-old girl, to lose his wife Manik.

“His whole world has been rocked by these events. We just have to reach out and hold them and hold each other as Australians.”

Alexendria was born in Melbourne and the family lived in the city’s southeast, but had returned to Sri Lanka in recent years.

Mr Morrison has also been in touch with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, who expressed his thanks and appreciation for Australia’s deep concern and solidarity.

He said there was still no evidence of who was responsible for the blasts which targeted hotels and churches on Easter Sunday.


“This is just such horrible news,” he told Sky News.

Two Australians – both of whom were dual citizens – were also injured but are in a stable condition, with one treated for shrapnel wounds and the other a broken leg.

Mr Morrison said the pair would receive consular support but he had no information about other Australians hurt.

More than 500 people were injured in the bomb blasts that ripped through three churches, three luxury hotels and a guesthouse on Easter Sunday.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has described the attacks as devastating.

“Easter Sunday’s senseless and barbaric murder of hundreds of citizens, including two Australians and 500 injured, is something we should all mourn and we do,” he told reporters in Townsville.

2. Sri Lankan official says Easter Sunday attacks were revenge for New Zealand killings.

A Sri Lankan official says the devastating Easter bombings were retaliation for recent deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand, with two domestic Islamist groups believed to have been behind Sunday’s blasts.

Sri Lankan officials inspect St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, north of Colombo
Sri Lankan officials inspect St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, north of Colombo.

No group has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks, which officials said were carried out by at least seven suicide bombers, on three churches and four hotels.

The toll rose to 321 dead with about 500 people wounded.

"The initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack," junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament.

He did not elaborate on why authorities believed there was a link to the killing of 50 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch during Friday prayers on March 15. A lone gunman carried out those attacks.

Wijewardene said two Sri Lankan Islamist groups - the National Thawheed Jama'ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim - were responsible for the blasts early on Sunday during Easter services and as high-end hotels served breakfast.


US intelligence sources said the attacks carried some of the hallmarks of the Islamic State militant group, although they were cautious.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament investigators were looking into foreign links.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sri Lankan government and military sources said a Syrian had been detained among 40 people being questioned over the bombs.

Tuesday was declared a national day of mourning and the funerals of some of the victims were held, as pressure mounted on the government over why effective action had not been taken in response to a warning this month about a possible attack.

Most of the dead and wounded were Sri Lankans, although government officials said 38 foreigners were killed, including Australian mother Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria.

Others included British, US, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.

The bombs brought a shattering end to a relative calm that had existed in the Buddhist-majority Indian Ocean island since a bitter civil war against mostly Hindu, ethnic Tamil separatists ended 10 years ago, and raised fears of a return to sectarian violence.

Sri Lanka's 22 million people include minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Until now, Christians had largely managed to avoid the worst of the island's conflict and communal tensions.

The government imposed emergency rule at midnight on Monday, giving police extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.


An overnight curfew has also been imposed since Sunday.

US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Monday to pledge US support in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The Washington Post quoted an official as saying Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were being sent to Sri Lanka to help with the investigation.

The FBI had offered expertise to test evidence and analysts were scouring databases for information, the Post said. Counter-terrorism officials from Britain are also due on Tuesday.

The attacks have also underlined concern over fractures in Sri Lanka's government, and whether the discord prevented action that might have stopped them.

The government received a tip-off from India this month about a possible attack on churches by the National Thawheed Jama'ut.

It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken in response. A government minister said on Monday that Wickremesinghe had not been informed about the warning and had been shut out of top security meetings because of a feud with President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena fired Wickremesinghe last year only to be forced to reinstate him under pressure from the Supreme Court. Their relationship is reported to be fraught.

3. Toddler who was dragged from his camp bed by a dingo will fully recover.


A toddler, who suffered a fractured skull after he was dragged from a camp bed by a dingo on Queensland's Fraser Island, is on his way home from hospital.

The 14-month-old boy's family were camping in a remote area of the island in the state's southeast on Thursday night when two dingoes entered their camper trailer as they slept.

One of the dingoes bit the boy's neck and began dragging him into the bush by his head before his father heard his screams and fought the dogs off.


He was flown to Brisbane for surgery on Friday following the attack, which also left the boy with puncture wounds to his head and neck.

On Tuesday, the boy's parents thanked emergency service personnel and hospital staff for the care given to their son.

"Our son is doing well and we anticipate a full recovery," they said in a statement on Tuesday.

It was the third dingo attack on Fraser Island this year and has resulted in increased ranger patrols of the island over the rest of the Easter and Anzac Day holidays.

In February, a nine-year-old boy and his mother were admitted to hospital after a dingo pack chased them down and mauled them.

It followed a January attack on a six-year-old boy who was bitten on the legs while camping with his family in the same area as the toddler attacked on Friday.

An urgent review will assess the management of the island's dingo population.

Officials will also look at other ways to prevent dangerous interactions between the animals and visitors, along with a review of how people are educated about dingoes.

4. Pauline Hanson says humans aren't causing climate change.


Pauline Hanson has denied man-made climate change is happening, arguing "fear mongering" is behind global concerns about the environment.

The One Nation leader said the same shifts in climate that caused the extinction of dinosaurs are behind changes the world is experiencing today.

"This has been man-made, this fear mongering about climate change," Senator Hanson told Nine's Today on Tuesday.

"If climate change is happening it is not because man is causing it to happen."

The Queensland senator claimed volcanic eruptions and oceans caused more carbon emissions than man-made pollution.

"There has been changes. What happened to the dinosaurs, how did they die off? Humans didn't create it," she said.


"We have volcano eruptions that actually spew out more carbon emissions and even the oceans do."

Senator Hanson said there was "no scientific fact" about the impact climate change was having on Queensland - despite a wealth of credible, peer-reviewed research on the topic.

"There's no peer review of these scientists," she said.

Senator Hanson also appeared to question the Bureau of Meteorology's climate data, hot on the heels of an LNP Senate candidate doing the same.

"They haven't released the true facts and figures as far as temperature changes over the years. They've fiddled with facts and figures," the One Nation leader said.

Gerard Rennick, who is in the Queensland LNP's winnable third position, last month accused the weather bureau of rewriting weather records to fit in with the "global warming agenda".

"Our public servants are out of control," he said on Facebook.

Labor's campaign spokesman Jim Chalmers says both parties are being poisoned by "crackpot stuff".

"That's very concerning to hear the LNP dance to One Nation's tune on issues like climate change, which the Australian people want a sensible and responsible plan to deal with," he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"It's a reminder that it's very hard to tell where One Nation ends and the LNP begins."


The bureau has strongly rejected the allegations, pointing to the nation's leading statisticians and mathematicians' support for their methods.

5. New Zealand will grant permanent residency to all survivors of Christchurch mass shooting.

New Zealand will grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed, it says.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting in which 50 other people at Friday prayers were wounded.

The government had said it was considering giving visas to survivors, but no decision was announced.

Tuesday's news was only released as a link on the immigration website, which some say was done to avoid any backlash by opponents of immigration.

Immigration New Zealand said a new visa category called the Christchurch Response (2019) visa had been created.

People who were present at the mosques when they were attacked on March 15 can apply, as can immediate family members.

Applicants must have been living in New Zealand on the day of the attack, so the visa will not be available to tourists or short-term visitors. Applications can be made from Wednesday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attack was an act of terrorism and passed firearm laws banning semi-automatic weapons.