Residents with Sri Lankan ties worry about loved one's safety after attacks

Posted: Updated:

Many New Jersey residents with ties to Sri Lanka are praying for the victims of the Easter attack that killed more than 200 people.

New Jersey has one of the largest Sri Lankan populations in the country.

Dr. Derrick DeSilva, who lives in Belle Meade but was born in Sri Lanka, says it's hard to comprehend the horrific violence in his home country.

"Why are people just doing this? I don't understand," DeSilva says.

More than 200 people have died, and hundreds more were injured after a string of bomb blasts hit luxury hotels and churches on Easter Sunday, leaving the entire country in a state of lock-down.

MORE: Easter Sunday bomb blasts kill more than 200 in Sri Lanka 

DeSilva's aunt and friends live in the country and are safe, but DeSilva says it's heartbreaking to see the churches and landmarks he visited as a boy destroyed, along with the innocent lives lost.

"There were so many years of violence going on in the country and then there was peace, and now it is just starting all over again," says DeSilva.

Pushpak Mar owns Sigiri, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Edison. His mother currently lives in the country.

Mar's mother was not at the blast sites, but he worries about her safety in the country moving forward.

Both men hope this is the end of the violence.

"I am hoping and praying that this doesn't escalate as time goes on, and I hope these people will be brought to justice," DeSilva says.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."