Warrnambool's Sri Lankan community and residents stood solemnly on Tuesday evening to remember those killed and injured overseas in a devastating terrorist attack.
More than 100 people attended the candlelight vigil, on Warrnambool's Civic Green, which honoured the 290 people killed and 500 injured in Sri Lanka.
The Easter Sunday attack included the bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites.
Vigil organiser and Sri Lankan Jayaweera 'Bundy' Bandara came to Warrnambool 25 years ago and thanked residents for their support at a very sad time. "It's really good that the community has come together," Mr Bandara said. "That's the main thing, it doesn't matter what religion. They're all together and supporting the cause. That's why I like Warnambool, it's like Sri Lanka, everybody's friendly and supports each other."
Rex Clements, a senior member of the Warrnambool Sri Lankan community also spoke and St Joseph's Catholic Church priest Father John Fitzgerald led a prayer. There was a minute's silence and residents were invited to speak and light candles.
Sri Lankan Ruwan Jayamett moved to Warrnambool with his wife and three children seven months ago and said the attack had affected them deeply. "Our entire family is at home but fortunately they weren't directly affected. It's very close. Seven months ago we were there," Mr Jayamett said.
He said it was hard to know what to do when he was so far from home but the vigil had helped him feel connected. "It's really great that Warrnambool has done this. You see a lot of Sri Lankan faces but a lot of other faces as well. It feels like home."
Warrnambool residents Raj and Rashmita Samrai attended and said the city's people, regardless of their background, were united in grief and shock. "There's the same empathy towards the situation and people who have lost their lives and families who have been affected," he said.
Sri Lankan flags were visible alongside two posters. One said Stay strong Sri Lanka and another which read: You have taken away our hotels, but you will never take away our hospitality. You have taken away our churches, but you will never take away our values, generosity or kindness. You have taken our people but you will never take away our humanity because Sri Lanka is not a hotel, church or a person...it's all of us.
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