Billionaire Asos tycoon and his wife say the loss of their two daughters and son killed in Sri Lanka is completely incomprehensible but vow to come through it together at memorial service
Anders Holch Povlsen was injured during Sri Lanka terror attacks while three of his four children were killed
They have now been identified as son Alfred and daughters Alma and Agnes. Third daughter, Astrid, survived
Anders, wife Anne and Astrid said they are deeply grateful for love they have received since the tragedy
In message sent to supporters at a memorial in Brande, Denmark, family vowed to come through it together
Published:11:07 BST, 26 April 2019Updated:13:48 BST, 26 April 2019
The billionaire Asos owner who lost three of his four children in the Sri Lanka terror attacks has described the loss as utterly incomprehensible but said he is deeply grateful for peoples support in the wake of the tragedy.
Anders Holch Povlsen confirmed that son Alfred and daughters Alma and Agnes were killed in the attacks targeting Christians and foreign tourists on Easter Sunday, while third daughter Astrid survived.
In a text message read aloud to mourners at a memorial service on Thursday in Brande, Denmark, where the headquarters of his fashion empire is based, the family vowed to come through it together.
Anders Holch Povlsen and wife Anne Storm Pedersen have confirmed the names of their three children killed in the Sri Lanka terror attack, while saying they are deeply grateful for the support their family has received since the tragedy
Pictured are daughters Astrid and Agnes alongside son Alfred, in an image taken by daughter Alma. Mr Povlsen has confirmed that Agnes, Alfred and Alma died in the terror attack, while Astrid survived
Mr Povlsen and his wife described the loss of their three children as utterly incomprehensible but vowed to overcome the tragedy together (pictured are Astrid, Agnes and Alfred in an image taken by Alma)
Memorial services were held for the three children in Stavtrup, a suburb of Aarhus where the family lives, on Thursday as a torch-lit walk went from the town centre to their house
Walkers gathered outside the Povlsen house before Anders and Anne emerged and stood with them for a few minutes
As well as the memorial in Stavtrup (pictured), commemorations were also held in Brande, where Mr Povlsens fashion empire is based, the capital Copenhagen and third-largest city Odense
Sri Lanka fears its lucrative tourism industry could see arrivals drop up to 30 percent, with losses of $1.5 billion this year, after deadly Easter attacks, the finance minister said on Friday.
Tourism will be the worst affected, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters.
We expect a 30 percent drop in arrivals and that means a loss of about $1.5 billion in foreign exchange.
The minister said: Typically, countries that suffer isolated IS-style attacks see tourism recovering within one-to-two years, as long as root causes are addressed and security measures taken are well communicated.
He pointed to Belgium, France, Spain and Tunisia as countries which recovered their tourism markets within a short time.
Samaraweera said tourism was emerging as Sri Lankas success story when Sundays blast shattered hopes of reaching a revenue of $5.0 billion, up from last years $4.4 billion.
Official figures show that tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year jumped 4.6 percent to 740,600 from a year earlier.
India, Britain, and China were the biggest tourism generating markets for the island, which is known for its tropical beaches and picturesque tea-growing mountains.
The industry was recovering from a severe battering during the 37-year Tamil separatist war that claimed 100,000 lives, but there had been no violence affecting tourists in the past decade.
Samaraweera said he was hoping to unveil a package of concessions to help the tourism sector weather the impact of the suicide bombings.
Most of the deluxe hotels in Colombo have stepped up security and curtailed bookings amid fears of more attacks.
Reading the message to a crowd of around 700 well-wishers, pastor Arne Holst-Larsen said: The loss of our beloved children Alma, Agnes and Alfred are completely incomprehensible.
With the many lovely people we have around us, close friends, talented colleagues and our loving family we will come together through it.
We greatly appreciate the humanity that is also shown in Brande tonight – not only to our families and children, but to all the victims of the cruel acts in Sri Lanka.
People had gathered in the city square to light torches, sing song, read prayers and hold a two minute silence out of respect for the dead.
Meanwhile another memorial service was held in Stavtrup, a suburb of Aarhus, where the family lives.
Mourners led a torch-lit walk from the suburb to Povlsen family home before Anders and Anne emerged to stand with them for a few minutes.
Commemorations were also held Wednesday in the capital Copenhagen and third-largest city Odense.
Mr Povlsen was staying with his family at the Shangri-La Hotel in the capital of Colombo when it was hit by suicide bombers Zahran Hashim, suspected plot mastermind, and Ilham Ibrahim, the son of a millionaire spice merchant.
It is thought he was injured in the attacks himself, though it is not clear how seriously he was hurt. Denmarks ambassador to India, Peter Taksøe-Jensen, confirmed that one family member was injured but was discharged and returned home.
Mr Povlsens children were killed just days after he revealed plans to hand his Scottish estates to his children just days before they died, in the hope theyd carry on his legacy of conservation.
He has been working via his Wildland project to rewild parts of Scotland, bringing back endangered species by reviving long-lost habitats.
In an open letter posted on the firms website last week, Mr Povlsen and wife Anne Storm Pedersen wrote that the project will take longer than a lifetime to complete and so would be carried on by their children after they died.
He wrote: From our home at Glenfeshie, both Anne and myself our children and our parents too have long enjoyed a deep connection with this magnificent landscape.
As the holdings have grown and our common vision for the work becomes ever clearer, we have incorporated the entirety of the project into a venture we call Wildland.
Its a significant and lifelong commitment that we have made – not just for ourselves but for the Scottish people and Scottish nature too – a commitment which we believe in deeply.
Mr Povlsen was staying with his family at the Shangri-La Hotel in the capital of Colombo, when it was targeted by two suicide bombers identified as suspected plot mastermind Zahran Hashim and Ilham Ibrahim
The death of Mr Polvsens three children came just days after he revealed plans to pass on his estates in Scotland – where he is the countrys largest land-owner – to them after he died
Lynaberack, tucked away in the Cairngorms, was one of Povlsens earliest purchases and cost him 5million
Povlsen bought Killie Huntley estate in 2011 and rents out the vast farmhouse to holidaymakers
We wish to restore our parts of the Highlands to their former magnificent natural state and repair the harm that man has inflicted on them.
There are many vulnerable properties across all of the holdings that we have the wonderful and privileged opportunity to rehabilitate and restore to life; there are also archaeologically important structures that we have the responsibility to protect.
Our vision of Wildland is of a project that provides security and an enduring connection, not just for those that work and live on our estates but also for the greater communities.
We are working towards an entirely sustainable model; everything in balance a project that can endure beyond what Anne and myself can ever expect to see in our own lifetime.
Mr Povlsen, Denmarks richest man, had four children with Anne, named Alma, Astrid, Agnes and Alfred. A spokesman for the family has confirmed the deaths of three of them, but did not say which ones.
Just days before the devastating attacks, Alma had shared a holiday snap of her siblings next to a pool.
The billionaire had been on holiday with his family for the Easter holidays when the bombs hit.
Sri Lankan officials have blamed a little-known Islamist group called National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the terrorist attacks, adding that the organisation had international help.
A video has emerged of eight men pledging allegiance to ISIS and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before the attack.
The bombers co-ordinated their attacks targeting five-star hotels and churches on Easter Sunday in an apparent deliberate attempt to target westerners and Christians.
Manisha Gunasekera, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, has said eight British nationals were killed in the attacks. In total 39 foreigners have been confirmed dead including two joint UK-US nationals and a number of Dutch, Turkish, Australian and Portuguese people.
Also among the confirmed dead are a British BP lawyer, her 11-year-old son, and her daughter. Anita Nicholson was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri La hotel in Colombo when two suicide bombers walked in and blew themselves up.
Another two British teenagers are feared to be among the dead, but this has not been confirmed.
Povlsen, 46, and Anne Storm Pedersen, pictured together left, met when Anne began working in sales for Bestseller. Brit Alex Nicholson, 11, was killed with his mother Anita, 42, pictured together right, as they ate breakfast in the Shangri La in Colombo
Floral tributes to Mr Povlsens children have been laid outside the headquarters of his company Bestseller, located in the city of Brande, in Denmark
Mr Povlsen met wife Anne after she began working in sales for Bestseller, which owns 17 clothing brands including Asos. Flowers were laid outside the company headquarters on Tuesday
Seven suicide bombers killed at least 320 people in coordinated attacks on five-star hotels and churches on Easter Sunday. Pictured: the interior of St Sebastians church in Negombo
A crime scene official inspects the site of a bomb blast inside a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which lost half its roof tiles with the force of the blast
Sri Lankan soldiers secure the area around St. Anthonys Shrine after a blast in Colombo. A van exploded near where dozens of people died the previous day
Sri Lankan Police officers inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo a day after a bomb ripped through the building on Easter Sunday
A map showing where the eight blasts went off yesterday, six of them in very quick succession on Easter Sunday morning
Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said: We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country. There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.
The NTJ were the subject of an intelligence warning ten days before the attacks. The warning said they were planning attacks on churches and the Indian high commission.
Police sources confirmed that the terrorists who targeted the Shangri La hotel had pamphlets and paraphernalia associated with extremist Islamic ideology in their hotel room.
The killers had checked into room 616, where investigators also found two iPhone chargers.
Detectives told local media that the Shangri-La blast was a result of at least 55lbs of C-4 plastic explosives, though the conclusions await formal confirmation by a Government analyst.
Povlsen, 46, is married to Anne Storm Pedersen. The pair met when Anne began working in sales for Bestseller.
The pair have 11 Scottish estates, and a castle, covering an astonishing 221,000 acres. He isBritains biggest private landowner, surpassing the Dukes of Atholl with 144,000 acres and the Prince of Wales, who owns 130,000 acres.
He began building this ever-growing property portfolio 12 years ago, in the autumn of 2006, with the 7.9 million acquisition of Glenfeshie, a 42,000-acre patch of the Cairngorms National Park.
Povlsen and Anne are said to have a 200-year vision for their estates, which involves rewilding the land, reports theTimes.
In the vision, Povlsen said he planned to pass the estate along to his four children and that they would continue his work.
His father, Troels, began his fashion empire with a single store in 1975. Povlsen now employs 15,000 people and owns brands such as Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, along with almost 30 per cent of ASOS.
Its success has helped him build a fortune estimated at 5.4 billion.
Povlsen and his wife live at Constantinsborg, a neo-classical former royal palace near Aarhus.The couple send their four children to state schools.
In a statement, Bestsellers spokesperson Jesper Stubkier said: I can confirm that three children have been killed.
We have no further comment and we ask that the familys privacy is respected at this time.
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Billionaire Asos tycoon names three children killed in Sri Lanka terror attack
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