An inter-faith religious service was held on December 29th at 4.00 PM at the Sri Lankan Embassy in remembrance of the victims of the Tsunami tragedy that struck the country. Sri Lanka has suffered the second highest casualty figures with approximately 25,000 citizens reportedly killed so far. Reflecting the multi-religious make up of the country, prayers were led by Buddhist monks, a representative for the Christian and Hindu communities and a Muslim Imam. The ceremony was witnessed by Embassy staff and their families, members of the general public and the national media.

The ceremony was officiated by Chief Judicial Sangha Nayaka of the United States, Bhante Katugastota Uparatana Maha Thera and Banthe Katugasthota Vidura from the Wheaton International, Buddhist Center. Other Buddhist monks were also present. Mrs. Renganathan Hindu community representative read scriptures. Dr. Gregg Fernandopulle said Christian prayers and Imam Johari Abdul Mohammed, Imam of Howard University and Director of Outreach at Dar-al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Falls Church, Virginia read prayers from the Holy Koran.

Speaking at the conclusion of what was a moving and an emotional event, Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe thanked the religious dignitaries for their prayers and blessings. He also noted that “Help was forthcoming from the US government and the general public around the country, this tragic event will also provide us with an opportunity to work together past ethnic and religious lines.”

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

30 December 2004


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