Dubai: The Sri Lankan community Wednesday held a multi-faith meeting in Dubai in memory of the victims of the Easter bombings in their country.
More than 200 community members and heads of four religions attended the ceremony at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai.
Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai Charitha Yattogoda said April 21 was a black day for Sri Lanka and added that Sri Lankans here, irrespective of their ethnic differences, have come together to show their unity in a time of grief.
He said the multi-faith memorial service was organised “to invoke blessings of our religious beliefs for the departed souls and to seek blessings to the injured to recover fully”.
He said the memorial ceremony also aimed at having a closer interaction with the community and work towards common objectives.
A book of condolence was opened at the consulate and people of various countries have been extending their condolences and showing their solidarity, he said.
“A lot of Muslim brothers and sisters spoke to me and I understand their feelings. As a country, we work together on many occasions...We were able to stop many terrorist activities due to the intelligence (system) we have,” he said.
He praised the “invaluable roles that our Muslim officers have played in this regard which was one of the factors that had helped us to eradicate acts of terrorism earlier”.
He urged the community members to work together and understand and love each other in order to move forward together to put an end to terrorism.
He invited Sri Lankans of all religions to attend the special memorial services that will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Dubai on Friday.
Buddhist priest Ranmuthugala Buddhawansa Thero, Hindu priest Swami V. Venkat Raman, Islamic priest Yousuf Saleem and Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Jude Angelo led prayers in their respective faiths.
“The religion of Islam does not support any of these so-called movements. What happened on Sunday in a place of workshop is not condoned by our religion at all. We pray that Allah the Almighty protect our beloved country and all of us from such heinous crimes,” said Saleem.
“Unity is our strength. We will form an iron wall of unity against terrorism,” said A.S. Khan, charge d’affaires at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. He said terrorism has no religion and several ambassadors who came to the embassy to express their solidarity with Sri Lanka pointed to how terrorism is a global threat that all countries have to fight together.
The diplomat thanked everyone who stood by Sri Lanka at this difficult time and also the UAE leadership for their support.
Chathura Weerasekara, head of chancery at the consulate, welcomed the gathering and presented the vote of thanks.