CONDOLENCES | SRI LANKA TERRORIST ATTACKS

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:48:55): I too rise to share my sincere condolences with the people of Sri Lanka and the Christian community all around the world. On Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019, many people had gathered for Easter services in Sri Lanka’s churches. Easter Sunday is a holy day, and billions of people across the planet celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on this day. Tragically, this day has been marked with the horrific deaths of many children, men and women, with 250 people dead. Those who commit such horrendous acts seek to destroy the diversity that we all hold dear. These attackers show us time and time again that terrorism has no religion, no faith and no race. The memory of the tragedy that happened in New Zealand is still fresh in my mind, and now this barbaric attack has brought more suffering and pain. I cannot imagine the anguish of the families who have been impacted. Victorians have come together strongly to show solidarity and support for the people. As Australians, we are the best example of successful multiculturalism and strong diversity. Extremist views have no place in any society, regardless of where they are derived from. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims in Sri Lanka, their families and the people of Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful country which has been home to secular values. I hope that we can unite as a strong community against these barbaric events. Many of my friends from Sri Lanka feel scared and unsafe. I want to say to all in Australia and in Sri Lanka: I stand with you and my prayers are with you. Fear and hate have no place in any society. We must stand together. We must make sure that no-one feels fear when they practise their faith. We must hold the victims of these attacks in our hearts and fight against future atrocities occurring.