Celebrity chef Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter Nisanga Mayadunne were among those who lost their lives in the deadly coordinated blasts that rattled three churches and three high-end hotels across Sri Lanka, killing nearly 290 people on Sunday (April 21).
Minutes before the terror attacks, Mayadunne’s daughter, Nisanga shared a photo of the family enjoying Easter breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, one among three hotels targeted by suicide bombers, New York Post reported.
One Nisanga’s friends, Radha Fonseca told Gulf News that destiny has taken away both of them and I am devastated,” referring to the death of Nisanga and her mother.
“Nisanga was a very popular girl in college. Besides the fact that she was bright and smart, her mother Shantha Mayadume, a renowned chef, made her more popular in college. She (the mother) was well respected and an inspirational chef for Sri Lankans,” Fonseca was quoted as saying.
When I heard the news, I was left numbed and shocked. I don’t know what more to say, she added.
Shantha Mayadunne, renown for her cookbooks, culinary school and popular television show, was a local household name in Sri Lanka.
On Monday (April 22), Sri Lanka police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara said that 24 people, mostly locals, have been arrested in connection with the deadly explosions which injured around 500 people on Sunday.
According to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry, at least 17 people from eight countries, including five from India, were among those who were killed in the serial blasts. The dead included five citizens of Britain, three Danes, two each from China and Turkey and one each from the Netherlands and Portugal, reported CNN.
The ministry added that 19 foreign nationals injured in the attacks are receiving treatment at Colombo National Hospital.
The Sri Lankan government has lifted a curfew that was imposed during Sunday night following the attacks. However, steps have been taken to block all social media accounts until the investigations are concluded.