A candlelight vigil was held outside the premises of the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade yesterday (21) to commemorate the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings, exactly one math after the tragedy.
Organised by a collective of youth organisations such as Sri Lanka Unites and Rise Up Sri Lanka, the vigil saw the participation of members of the general public, particularly young people, and families living in the vicinity of the shrine who had all gathered to mourn and pay their respects to the nearly 260 lives lost in the attack. Former Navy Commander Vasantha Karannagoda, too, was seen lighting a candle, though no other other high profile individuals were present.
Suchith Abeyewickreme of Sri Lanka Unites speaking to RepublicNext said: “We believe that by coming together as a country and having these kinds of events to honour and remember those who we lost, we can heal our country and society and by that prevent further violence in our communities.”
Sri Lanka Unites and other youth groups, he said, are in contact with the organisations that are working directly with the families of victims to provide them relief, support services, medical facilities and fulfill their needs.
Abeyewickreme also commended the Catholic Church for taking the initiative to offer a helping hand to the victims.
Similar vigils were also held at the same time yesterday at the Negombo Municipal grounds and at St. Mary’s Church in Batticaloa.