Trinity Academy rugby team’s Sri Lanka tour may be cancelled after terror attacks

A HIGH school rugby team face having their post-season tour to Sri Lanka cancelled over terror fears following the deadly suicide bombing attacks at a series of churches and hotels across the country.

Trinity Academy. Pic: Neil Hanna
Trinity Academy. Pic: Neil Hanna

Pupils from Trinity Academy were due to fly out to Sri Lanka in June for an end of term trip, but plans are now in doubt after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all but essential travel to and from the country.

Around 250 people were killed in the Easter Bombings in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and terrorists are “very likely” to attack again, according to the updated Government advice.

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The Royal High School are also said to be planning a trip to the country in 2020, however both are now ‘up in the air’ while education bosses assess the threat risk.

Sri Lankan Navy soldiers stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine a day after the series of blasts, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 2019. Pic: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

One parent told the Evening News: “I know from talking to my son that he and his friends were really looking forward to going to Sri Lanka. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“What happened there was horrendous, very upsetting to see, and everyone’s thoughts are with those who were affected by the attacks.

“The entire plan seems to be up in the air after the Foreign Office travel advice and we really don’t think the kids should be going. But then that sends the message that those who perpetrate such atrocities want, that they can strike terror.

“No one is going to put their child in harm’s way so perhaps calling off any travel to regions where there is a threat is the wisest choice in the meantime.”

Most of those killed were Sri Lankan but dozens of foreigners were also among the casualties, including three teenage children of Asos owner Anders Holch Povlsen.

Gunfire erupted during a raid on a suspected bomb factory in the town of Sammanthurai on Friday as government forces closed in on those suspected of being involved

In a statement issued on Thursday, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Following the horrific attacks on Easter Sunday, and the ongoing Sri Lankan security operation, I have received updated advice from the Foreign Office and decided to update the travel advice to British nationals to Sri Lanka to advise against all but essential travel.”

“We will keep this decision under close and constant review. My first priority will always be the security of British citizens living and travelling abroad.”

A spokesman for City of Edinburgh Council said: “With any school trips that are planned abroad, the headteacher and organisers will always take the official advice of the foreign office.”

He added: “The safety of children and staff is paramount.”