British woman Anita Nicholson and her two children have been confirmed dead in the wave of terror attacks that hit Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Mrs Nicholson’s husband Ben was the only member of the family to survive the blast at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo – one of seven locations targeted by terrorists.
Local media reported Mr Nicholson desperately searching for his wife and children Alex, 14, and Annabel, 11, after the explosion.
It had been believed that Alex may have survived, but Mr Nicholson confirmed on Monday afternoon that all three were killed.
The family had been visiting Sri Lanka for a holiday from their home in Singapore.
Mrs Nicholson was a lawyer for mining and metals company Anglo American, while Mr Nicholson is a partner with law firm Kennedys.
Mr Nicholson said in a statement: “Following reports in the media over the past 36 hours, my family and I wish to confirm that my wife Anita, our son Alex, 14, and our daughter Annabel, 11, were killed in the bombing of the restaurant of the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, on Sunday morning while sitting at our table. Mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering.
“I am deeply distressed at the loss of my wife and children. Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children.
“The holiday we had just enjoyed was a testament to Anita’s enjoyment of travel and providing a rich and colourful life for our family, and especially our children.
“Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children, and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood.
“They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with.”
Mr Nicholson thanked medical teams at General Hospital in Colombo for assisting him after the attack, as well as the British High Commission and holiday company Adhvan Tours.
“Anita, Alex and Annabel leave behind a large extended family and many close and cherished friends who are now grieving this tragic loss. We shall all miss them dearly,” he said.
“We are all grateful for the many expressions of support and good wishes. We would ask that the media now respect our privacy and allow us to grieve together.”