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‘It wouldn’t have felt right’: UK honeymooners cancel dream stay at Sri Lanka attack hotel | UK News



It was meant to be the highlight of a dream honeymoon – a week fully immersed in the culture and stunning scenery of Sri Lanka.

As for many Britons, the island nation was top of the list when Amy Goodman and fiance Ross planned their post-wedding getaway.

But the horrific Easter attacks, which saw at least 359 people killed by suicide bombers targeting churches and hotels, made the most eagerly-anticipated leg of their trip impossible.

Mass burials are carried out in Sri Lanka following terrorist bombings

Mass funeral for Sri Lanka victims in Colombo

“We wouldn’t have felt safe,” Ms Goodman, 27, told Sky News.

“We would’ve been staying in the Cinnamon Grand for part of the week – one of the hotels that got bombed. It was the one we had wanted to spend the longest time in because it looked so amazing.”

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the hotel’s restaurant as people ate breakfast. CCTV captured him hovering between tables seconds before his act of mass murder.

Ms Goodman added: “Just the thought that we could have been there… If you see the hotel you were meant to spend the first few weeks of your married life in blown to pieces, it just wouldn’t have felt right.

More from Sri Lanka Attacks

“It would not have had the same romantic and carefree vibe.

“You think of a honeymoon as a time when you should be happy and chilling, free of stress, but every minute we would have felt like we were looking over our shoulder.

“It made us feel quite uneasy to go to another country where a government has stipulated that there is a threat and that there could be another attack at any time.”

Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed

CCTV shows Sri Lanka attacker outside hotel
Funerals held for victims of Sri Lanka attacks
Funerals have been taking place for the hundreds of victims

The couple were due to fly out two days after their wedding – first to Dubai, then on to Sri Lanka, before ending the holiday in the Maldives.

But with the Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel to the country, the couple found themselves at the mercy of their travel agent to salvage their honeymoon.

The damage  at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo - one of the locations attacked
The damage at the Kingsbury Hotel in Sri Lankan capital Colombo
Officials have described the explosions as a terror attack by religious extremists
Officials say intelligence about the attacks was not properly acted on

“With it being in the middle of the holiday, it has been very difficult to get my travel agent to change the package because it is at the goodwill of each travel operator,” Ms Goodman said.

“Fortunately they came back to us and asked if we were happy to pay extra for a few extra days in Dubai, and the surcharge was manageable, but we know in many ways we are some of the lucky ones.

“It had been in the planning for over two years, I work at a hospital in Northern Ireland, and took on extra work at weekends and had long days to pay for the honeymoon.

“Of course we really wanted to go – it was the part of the holiday I was really looking forward to.

“But it just wouldn’t have felt right – the eeriness, and of course the tragedy for the Sri Lankans as well, we felt we couldn’t do it.”

Amy Goodman and fiance Ross were due to spend part of their honeymoon in Sri Lanka
The couple were due to stay at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo
Amy Goodman and fiance Ross were due to spend part of their honeymoon in Sri Lanka
The couple from Northern Ireland managed to save up £13,000 for the trip

For the 10,000 British residents living in Sri Lanka and 8,000 UK visitors there at the moment, the Foreign Office is urging them to stay vigilant, keep a low profile and avoid large gatherings.

Britons who are due to leave – or now want to – should keep in contact with their airline, tour operator and travel insurance company.

Those travelling independently should make their own arrangements to come home in consultation with their travel insurance company.

:: If your Sri Lanka travel plans are affected by the foreign office’s decision please get in touch with Sky News via WhatsApp on 07583 000853 – or via email at [email protected]

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