The bombings in Sri Lanka had a devastating affect on the Sri Lankan community in Australia. And nowhere was this more apparent than the Sri Lankan expats and residents in Canberra.
The Sri Lankan High Commission in Yarralumla opened their doors to allow the broader community an opportunity to place flowers and sign a condolence book. 10 year old Eesa Bokhari, from the Muslim community, was one of the first visitors to lay flowers on the doorstep of the High Commission.
Mr Mainul Haque, President of the Canberra Muslim Community, offered “deepest condolences for the terrible tragedy that once again struck the beautiful Sri Lanka” to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, H.E. Mr. Somasundaram Skandakumar.
“We condemn the heinous and barbaric act of the deranged terrorists that took so many innocent lives. We condemn all forms of violence and terrorism against any individuals or groups regardless of their views or ethnicity or religion,” he added.
Canberrans, including Muslims, came out in numbers in support of Sri Lanka and the local community at the Multi-Faith Memorial Service and Peace Vigil held at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Manuka on Tuesday 23 April.
The service, organised by Stephen Muller of the Sri Lankan Catholic community, included representatives of the major religions in Sri Lanka, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims who each recited a prayer in front of the attendees.
Mr Ashrof Farouk, representing the Muslim community and himself a Sri Lankan, said a few words, before reciting Surah Al-Fatiha, in which he reminded the attendees of Sri Lanka’s decisions to waive its right to claim reparations from Japan at the end of World War II on the basis of the fact that hatred can only be stopped by love.