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May 20, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Vigil Held For Victims of Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Attacks

A vigil for the lives lost in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday attacks was held in the Hub on May 8.

 

In the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, suicide bombers targeted three churches and three luxury hotels, leaving at least 250 people killed and hundreds injured.

The vigil was organised by the Sri Lankan student community at VUW, and started with a short clip about Sri Lanka.

The national anthem was then played, followed by Anglican, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist prayers from religious leaders, as well as speeches from various leaders to commemorate the victims.

The vigil concluded with a two-minute silence, and thoughts written on a blackboard.

Miniruwani Samarakoon and Pavithra Jayawardena, two of the vigil organisers, told Salient the Sri Lankan students at Victoria were shocked and devastated by the news.

“Since we are living miles away from our home, we wanted to get together and do something that would bring prayers and blessings for the victims of the terror attack.”

“This is why we thought of a multi-religious vigil because Sri Lanka is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country.”

Those who gathered for the prayers felt blessed to hear all the prayers and were encouraged to be strong during difficult times.

VUWSA President Tamatha Paul told ^Salient that they send “their aroha and tautoko to the people of Sri Lanka and our Sri Lankan student community here at Vic.”

She added, “we cannot let hatred win, and we hope with the launch of #iTooAmVic we can celebrate our diverse student community even more and show every single student […] that we care about them and will support them.”

 

The university also extended their support to the Sri Lankan community and thanks for organising the vigil.

Provost Professor Wendy Larner told Salient, “Gatherings like this remind us that we are a single community and that regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or religions of the victims, we all share a sense of outrage at the violence that has occurred.”

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