The Sri Lankan community of Paphos is inviting the public to attend a peace gathering and fund raiser on Sunday in support of the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.
The gathering will take place at the A Lyceum of Paphos (in the old town) on Sunday from 6pm to 9pm.
Suicide bombers killed more than 250 people and injured more than 500 in the recent bombings that shocked the world.
Many of the 1,500 or so Sri Lankans in Paphos lost family members, friends and neighbours in the blasts according to Tamara De Silva (Kumari), who has lived in Paphos for the last eight years. The Sri Lankan community of Paphos decided to organise the event to promote peace and raise funds to help, she said.
Kumari was in Sri Lanka on holiday with her family at the time of the bombings. She witnessed the carnage at one of the churches on Easter Sunday, soon after the bomb was set off, and told the Sunday Mail the life would never be the same.
“It was a terrible sight and for the rest of my time there we didn’t sleep hardly at all. It was terrifying and still is. People are scared to go to work and send their children to school. Isis released a video when I was there threatening to kill 60,000 Sri Lankans and children,” she said tearfully.
Clearly shaken by the experience, she said :“ All of our lives changed that day. We are all still in shock and full of fear. Even though we have had civil war for 33 years, I have never seen such fear in the people,” she said.
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are the main religions in Sri Lanka and representatives from both the Catholic church and the Buddhist faith will come together for the event for the first time in Paphos, according to Father Carlos Ferrero, the St. Paul’s Catholic Parish Priest.
Buddhist Monk, Soratha Thera, will attend from Nicosia and along with Father Carlos Ferrero will talk and pray and lead the programme, said Kumari.
Attendees will wear white to respect the bomb victims and hundreds of tea light candles will be lit to spell out ‘Pray for Sri Lanka’ underneath the flag of Sri Lanka, also depicted by lit candles.