"I don't think there could be any survivors," Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told Reuters, after visiting the disaster site in the tea-plantation village of Haldummulla, 190 km (120 miles) from the capital, Colombo.
Last month, the United Nations demanded that all states make it a serious criminal offence for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of Islamic State.
The comments, made by a senior State Department official, are rare U.S. praise for Beijing, which this week hosts Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his first visit abroad since assuming office in September.
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