Community remembers those lost in Sri Lankan bombings

Chathushka Pitiwila Liyanage (6), of Oamaru, lights candles at a vigil for the more than 250 people killed in the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in the country where he was born.  Photo: Hamish MacLean
Chathushka Pitiwila Liyanage (6), of Oamaru, lights candles at a vigil for the more than 250 people killed in the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in the country where he was born. Photo: Hamish MacLean
A crowd of about 60 people gathered in Lower Thames St, in front of Oamaru's courthouse, yesterday, to remember the more than 250 people killed in the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

The vigil's master of ceremonies Chinthaka Desilva, of Oamaru, said it had been a hard time for all Sri Lankans since the co-ordinated suicide bombings at churches and hotels in the South Asian island nation - "one of the darkest days of our country".

And for the half-dozen local Sri Lankan families it was hard not to be there physically.

"But we were wounded mentally," he said.

The vigil had been organised with the assistance of Waitaki migrant support co-ordinator Christine Dorsey, and representatives of several Oamaru churches spoke after a moment of silence and the playing of both the New Zealand and Sri Lankan national anthems.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher recalled the March 16 vigil at the same spot for the dead and injured at the Christchurch terrorist attack and said New Zealanders knew how it felt to have a terrorist attack wound a community.

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