VIDEO NEWS PACKAGE BY EMILIE BAXTER
ARTICLE BY NISHANT KULKARNI
The outpouring of grief for the hundreds of lives lost in the Sri Lanka terror attacks has continued in Melbourne.
The shockwaves of the coordinated Easter Sunday suicide bombings, which left more than 250 people dead, have been felt around the world.
Following a candlelight vigil on Friday, a silent rally was yesterday held at the State Library. Last night, mourners gathered in Federation Square to pray.
Sri Lankan national Sharan Velauthan, a RMIT commerce student, organised the silent rally to send a message of love and support.
“The whole point of the rally, or the rations of food we will send, is that the victims know that we are with them,” Mr Velauthan said.
“With so much going on the whole point is to show solidarity.”
A message board was available at the rally. Attendees wrote messages of love and support for the families at the centre of the loss.
They will be sent to Sri Lanka, along with the food rations.
Hours after the silent rally, people brought flowers to Federation Square for a makeshift shrine as they stood in prayer.
Sri Lankan Australian Nawun Samarpathi organised the event, and said the attacks felt close to home.
“It's not about the religion or ethnicity of people involved. It’s our people that we need to help,” Mr Samarpathi said.
“I know it's very scary even for us, but I ask [Australians] to be with us, look after us.”
Sri Lankan Australian and Liberal MP Craig Ondarchie also paid his respects at the service.
“Responsible Australians have been overwhelming with support. Australia knows Sri Lanka is a beautiful country,” Mr Ondarchie said.
“Actions are going to be taken by the state parliament to show support as well.
“We will do a condolence motion for Sri Lanka and will continue to support our community here in Melbourne.”
The suicide bombers targeted catholic churches and public places in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.
The initial death toll of 359 was later revised to 253 after authorities realised the bodies had been miscounted. Around 500 people were injured.
Police have arrested more than 100 suspects including the alleged coordinator of the attacks, Zahran Hashim.
A statement released by Sri Lanka's tourism department said the country remained a safe tourist destination.
“There is no place for terrorism of any kind in Sri Lanka and whoever that is responsible for the Easter Sunday violence will be hunted down and punished in the strongest possible manner,” the statement read.
“Sri Lanka is a proudly diverse nation which celebrates its multicultural nature and it will do everything in power to maintain peace that Sri Lankans have cherished.”