About a hundred people attended a candlelight vigil in downtown Halifax on Tuesday, remembering those killed in the Colombo suicide bombings earlier this week.
Faith leaders said prayers in English, Arabic and Sinhala as members of the Sri Lankan diaspora lit candles bordering a chalk drawing of the Asian island nation in Victoria Park.
More than 320 were killed in the coordinated attacks on the capital on Easter Sunday, and roughly twice that number were wounded. It was the deadliest instance of violence in Sri Lanka since a brutal civil war, which ended 10 years ago after nearly three decades of conflict.
“We call our motherland the Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” said Sanjee Ekanayake, who led the ceremonies on behalf of the Sri Lanka Canada Association of the Atlantic Region (SLCAAR).
“Today our hope [is for] that pearl to shine again with love, unity and peace.”
Politicians, including federal MP Andy Fillmore and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, made short speeches before the crowd observed three minutes of silence.
“I think the message that resonates is forgiveness,” said Pastor Keith Ferreira of the Atlantic Foursquare Gospel Church.
“It happened on the Easter Sunday where we celebrated the forgiveness the Lord has given us. And it is hard, but I think that’s the message that resonates.”
According to the SCAAR, which represents roughly 1,000 Sri Lankans living in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, no Maritimers lost family in the attacks.
A candlelight vigil was also held in Charlottetown on Tuesday evening, and one will be held in Truro, N.S. on Wednesday.
To date, roughly 40 people have been arrested on suspicion of connections to Sunday’s bombings and the investigation is ongoing.
WATCH: Coverage of the Sri Lanka attacks on Globalnews.ca