Tulanians honor lives lost in Sri Lanka bombings at campus vigil

Hugo Fajardo, Intersections Editor

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Sofia Viscuso | Associate Photographer

This past Easter Sunday was meant to be a day like any other in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Instead, it quickly became a day of fear and violence as the city’s churches and hotels were targeted in a tragic act of terrorism.

While the attacks were isolated, the devastation they caused has been felt worldwide.

“I’m Sri Lankan … I’ve been there many times, and it’s one of my homes,” junior Zahra Saifudeen said. “It’s affecting me in a particular way because my dad is currently in Sri Lanka. He got there a couple of days before the bombs and has since been trying to navigate the country safely and is trying to get out safely.”

As of April 24, the bombings in Colombo on April 21 killed 359 people and injured 500 more. The entire country remains in deep mourning while working to ensure that no more people are harmed. Sri Lankan officials suspect that there may be more undetonated bombs in the city and are committing controlled explosions of suspicious items and spaces. The people of Sri Lanka, despite the sorrow that follows this tragic event, remain vigilant and cautious of any further malicious happenings.

The people of Sri Lanka have shown resilience and strength in the face of adversity, as evidenced by the  recent history of violence and war in the country. For almost three decades, Sri Lanka’s people faced a civil war which took 40,000 lives at the ending stages of the war alone. The civil war, which waged until 2009, left lingering oppressive treatment against Sri Lankans of Tamil descent, a predominantly Hindu ethnic group, and many Sri Lankan Muslims still seek for answers about their loved ones who disappeared during the civil war.

Sofia Viscuso | Associate Photographer

“As someone who is Muslim and someone who is Sri Lankan, in the past three days [you feel] like your two identities hold such little value that someone else can blow people up and not responding to that violence and that brutality.” Saifudeen said. ”Someone needs to be saying something about it.”

On Wednesday, April 24, Saifudeen along with fellow students Sanjali De Silva, Sara Good Chanmugam, and Krishna Navaratnam hosted a vigil at McAlister Stage to commemorate and remember the hundreds of lives impacted by the devastating events in Colombo this past Sunday.

Editor’s Note: Vigil co-host Sanjali De Silva currently serves as The Hullabaloo’s Digital Director and is the incoming Editor-in-Chief for the 2019-20 school year. Per Hullabaloo policy, De Silva was not involved in the writing or editing processes of this article.