US President Donald Trump made an appalling mistake while tweeting his condemnation over the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Trump, while tweeting his “heartfelt condolences”, put the death toll at “138 million”. In fact, the death toll is currently under 200. And, in fact, the entire population of Sri Lanka is just 21 million.
Donald Trump deleted the tweet and posted a new one sometime later, this time, thankfully, he took out the word “million” after the death toll.
Trump was tweeting after eight bomb blasts ripped through several locations, including churches and five-star hotels, in Sri Lanka, marring Easter celebrations on the island nation. Six blasts first targetted three churches and three hotels in capital Colombo and other areas. Two more explosions were reported a short while later.
The Sri Lanka bomb blasts shattered the last decade of peace after the end of the decades-long Sri Lankan Civil War.
Among the places targetted in the bomb blasts were the St. Sebastian’s gothic-style Catholic church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo and an evangelical church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.
The Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo were the hotels that were hit by the bomb blasts.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the bomb blasts.
The Sri Lankan government declared curfew in the aftermath of the serial blasts. The curfew would continue “until things settle down” a government minister told reporters.
The government also clamped down on social media, blocking major services such as Twitter and Facebook to arrest the spread of misinformation and fake news.
The Sri Lankan railways announced suspension of certain services while the education department postponed exams that were to be held on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the horrific blasts and said India stood in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka.