Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Tributes paid and prayers offered for Sri Lanka bomb blast victims at Abu Dhabi service

Residents turned out to honour those killed on Easter Sunday at a remembrance ceremony held at the Sri Lankan Embassy

Scores of Sri Lankans turned out in force at a remembrance ceremony in Abu Dhabi to pay an emotional tribute to hundreds of lives cruelly cut short in the deadly Easter Sunday terror attack on the country.

Poignant prayers were offered as about 150 people gathered at the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UAE capital on Friday for an inter-religious service held in memory of those who died in the series of bomb blasts targeting churches and hotels that rocked the nation.

The service was just the latest show of solidarity offered in the UAE in the wake of the devastating attack which has left more than 250 dead.

The UAE honoured the victims by lighting up the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in the national colours of the Sri Lankan flag on Thursday evening.

Other landmarks in the Emirates, including the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Emirates Palace, were also lit up in support of Sri Lanka.

Hundreds gathered for services at a Dubai church on Easter Monday to commemorate lives lost.

Father Jude Angelo, assistant parish priest at St Francis of Assisi Church in Jebel Ali, told how dozens had been killed in his home city of Negombo in Sri Lanka.

The series of bomb strikes has left a trail of destruction that has been felt all over the world, including in the UAE.

Two Dubai resident who was caught up in the bombings died in the attack.

Juno Srivastava, an Indian national, was having breakfast in the Cinnamon Hotel in Colombo, one of the locations targeted by suicide bombers in Easter Sunday’s co-ordinated strikes.

The 42-year-old worked in IT for the Al-Futtaim group and was in Sri Lanka on a business trip. His colleague and friend, Lorraine Campbell, 55, from the UK, was also killed as she ate breakfast with Mr Srivastava.

UAE Rulers joined the chorus of international condemnation for the atrocities.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said terrorist are those who "plant fear" and seek to "ignite religious conflict" while offering his condolences to the people of Sri Lanka.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the bombings "represent a new wave of terrorism that affects humanity" and called for the "scourge of terror" to be defeated.

The alleged mastermind of the plot was killed during the Easter Sunday bombings, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said.

Mr Sirisena said Zahran Hashim, a radical preacher, died at the Shangri-La hotel in the capital, Colombo.

Updated: April 26, 2019 03:34 PM

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