Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed shock and dismay at the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya.

“It is with deep sadness that I condemn the explosions within the hallowed precincts of the most venerated and sacred Bodh Gaya shrine in Bihar in India. Undoubtedly, it is one of the holiest shrines highly respected and venerated not only by Buddhists throughout the world, but by all peace loving human beings,” he said in a statement.

“Sri Lanka has undergone similar tragedies when the most venerated and sacred Temple of the Tooth and Sri Maha Bodhi were mercilessly attacked by terrorists, some years ago. Therefore, people and the government of Sri Lanka will extend their fullest support to the people and the Government of India in this hour of great tragedy,” he said.

Official sources said Mr. Rajapaksa spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over telephone and conveyed his sorrow.

He also enquired about the arrangements made for devotees in the current situation. The President has directed the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi to keep him posted of developments.