Who Is Shantha Mayadunne? New Details About The Celebrity Chef Who Died In The Bombing Attacks In Sri Lanka

She was well-known and talented in Sri Lanka.

Who Is Shantha Mayadunne? New Details About The Celebrity Chef Who Died In The Bombing Attacks In Sri Lanka facebook

On April 21st, which was also Easter Sunday, over 290 people were killed in deadly bombings. The bombings happened in five hotels and three churches in several cities, and later, smaller explosions occurred at a housing complex and motel.

Included in the fatalities were foreign nationals, US citizens, police officers, hotel staff, British nationals, Turkish engineers, Australians, Indians, Chinese, and others, though most were Sri Lankan. The attacks are believed to be planned by suicide bombers.


But also among the dead are a fifth grader from Washington, D.C., ASOS tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen’s three children, and Shantha Mayadunne. Who is Shantha Mayadunne? The celebrity chef and her daughter, Nisanga, were killed while at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.


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The mother and daughter were eating Easter breakfast together, when they were killed in the bombings. Shortly before they were killed, Nisanga posted a photo on Facebook.

According to a friend of the family, Radha Fonseca, Nisanga was 30 years old and was studying at the University of London. “Nilanga was a very popular girl in college. Besides the fact that she was bright and smart, her mother, Shantha Mayadume, a renowned chef, made her more popular in college. [Shantha] was well-respected and an inspirational chef for Sri Lankans. Destiny has taken away both of them. I am devastated,” she said.


Mayadunne was a mother, but she was also a well-loved chef. She worked for 30 years in the field, and in those years, accomplished quite a lot.

Sri Lanka deemed her cooking “quick and easy,” and her techniques were derived from all over the world. She studied in Thailand, India, the UK, Australia, and Singapore, and had an Advanced Diploma from the Wilton School of Cake Making and Decorating in Chicago, Illinois.



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She also was the first chef in Sri Lanka to have a live television cooking show, which aired on the Independent Television Network. And after she became successful and well-known, she taught classes, workshops, and mass media programs. Mayadunne was an author, and published two cookbooks: Rasa Bojun, and Rasa Bojun 2.


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Since the bombings, tributes have poured in from all over the world, including from Mindy Kaling, Tim Cook, Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, and Barack Obama.

During his Easter Urbi et Orbi blessing, Pope Francies said, “I wish to show my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence. I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically been lost and I pray for the wounded and all those who suffer because of this dramatic event.”

President Obama tweeted his condolences:

And the Eiffel Tower in Paris also went dark at midnight on Sunday, paying tribute.


According to news sources, these attacks were “retaliation” for the attack on mosques in New Zealand, at least according to Sri Lanka’s state minister of defence. “The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch, but we are continuing investigations,” Ruwan Wijewardene said to politicians in Parliament.


Wijewardene also believes the Muslim organization, National Thawheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), and another local group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI), are both involved. However, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) took responsibility for the attacks, but without evidence.

On Tuesday, April 23rd, Sri Lanka began a national day of mourning, taking three minutes of silence for the victims. Mourners brought flowers and prayed as coffins were carried to and from the church.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.