25 Apr 2019

Victims of Sri Lanka terror attacks remembered in Fiji

3:54 pm on 25 April 2019

Hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered in Suva yesterday to remember the victims of the Sri Lanka terror attacks on Easter Sunday which killed more than 300 people.

Fijians this week remembered the victims of the Sri Lankan bombings on Easter Sunday.

Fijians this week remembered the victims of the Sri Lankan bombings on Easter Sunday. Photo: Fiji govt

The general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Reverend James Bhagwan, condemned the bombings in Sri Lanka.

He said it was important to stand in solidarity with Sri Lanka as it did for Christchurch last month.

"Gathering in vigils of solidarity for those whose lives have been destroyed by terror and violence. I think the remembrance of Christchurch is still raw for many Pacific islanders. And I think the solidarity expressed, condemning these types of acts - confirming the need for inter-religious harmony, dialogue and peace."

Mr Bhagwan said violence had no place in society.

"The minute we resort to violence, the attention shifts to violence and not to the cause that we are trying to support."

He said there was a need to address the root causes of violence.

"We need to continue to look at the root causes for radicalisation," he said. "The root causes for discrimination and what motivates people to commit these terrible crimes against humanity.

"What are the motivational factors and how can we work to address those situations?

"So there is a need for us to look much deeper at the inequalities that people experience, the hurt and frustration that people experience, and try to understand where they are coming from.

"So that we can address those root causes and hopefully that leads to a reduction in these sorts of terror attacks."

Mr Bhagwan said people should not demonise whole communities based on the actions of radicals from one particular community.

"Whether it is an ethnic community, religious community or a group with a particular idealogy."

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