Over 200 members of the community gathered at the Multi-faith prayer vigil organised by Sri Lanka Society of New Zealand (SLSNZ) at Western Springs Community Centre on Sunday, April 28.

People came to the event to show their solidarity and share the pain of the Sri Lankan community who suffered immensely in the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka.

Representatives of different faiths in Auckland chanted mantras and verses from the holy books and made special prayers for the victims and the extended Sri Lankan community present in New Zealand.

“These attacks are vicious and inhumane; the perpetrators have no place in our society. We share the grief of the lost and the ones injured and express our unanimity towards Sri Lanka who is recovering now,” one of the speakers at the event said.

Also present at the event were National List MP KanwaljitBakshi, Labour MP Deborah Russell, representatives from NZ Police, and president of New Zealand Muslim Association (NZMA) Ikhlaq Kashkari.

“It’s been a sad six weeks in NZ, I have been grieved, hurt and upset for the sisters and brothers lost here of our Muslim Whanau in Christchurch and in the last week I have grieved for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka and the members of the Sri Lankan community here in New Zealand who too are deeply affected by the violence there. Our thoughts and Aroha are with the people of Sri Lanka,” MP Deborah Russel said.

Every individual present at the event echoed the message of love and peace for one another and condemned the act of violence committed on peaceful worshippers and innocent people died and injured in the Sri Lanka blasts and the ones in Christchurch mass shooting.

“We need to be prepared for these things, as unfortunate it is. There is a minority outside our curve that will always be there to create trouble. How to respond? My suggestion is to speak up as these minority is creating havoc in the world and dominating the peaceful majority,” NZMA president IkhlaqKashkari said at the event.

“Speak up, raise your voice against wrong- report it,” Mr Kashkari added.

“People from all faiths gathered at the event, and we are glad to see the love and brotherhood we share at this time of distress for our communities,” Sharthaar MJM, Secretary of SLSNZ said.