Special Mass for Sri Lanka terror victims
Hundreds of people came together at St Theresa’s Cathedral yesterday to mourn those lost in the Easter Day terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
John Rankin, the Governor, addressed the congregation at a special Mass held at the Pembroke church, greeting the worshippers briefly in Sinhalese and Tamil.
Mr Rankin was shocked by the violence in the South Asian island where he served for four years as British High Commissioner.
He said: “I was there after 30 years of intercommunal conflict had ended, and in a period which while still often very difficult, brought hopes of peace and reconciliation between the different communities on the island.
“To see the terrible violence that broke out on Easter Sunday was a shock to me, and I can only imagine was a far deeper for those who were born and brought up in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and who have friends and family who may have been caught up in the events.
Mr Rankin said one of the women who he worked with in Sri Lanka had recently given birth to a son and, in the wake of the attack, had expressed her concerns for the future.
He said: “She e-mailed me last week to say that she had hoped he was born to a changing Sri Lanka, but she was worried now that it may no longer be the case.
“But I think there’s hope. I know that those who carried out the attacks were not representative of most of the Muslim community of Sri Lanka, or indeed of most Sri Lankans.
“Our hope must be that all of those who were responsible for the attacks are dealt with as according to the law and that there are no reprisals or escalations of violence.
He added: “The events in Sri Lanka and the events last month in New Zealand show that we live in troubled times, but my firm belief is that we are all one child under God and that there is more that can unite us then can divide us — in Bermuda, in Sri Lanka and around the world.”
At least 250 people were killed and more than 500 injured in Sri Lanka on Easter Day in suicide bombings at three Christian churches and three hotels.
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