In Sri Lanka yesterday, on an Easter Sunday that should have been filled with nothing but joy, family, and worship, terrorists deliberately targeted churches with their bombs and their hatred, once again aiming to instill fear in the hearts of those looking for peace. Over two hundred innocent souls were lost, with still hundreds more left burned and maimed by these monstrous acts –– acts that have no place in this world, especially on the holiest of days on the Christian calendar. 

For we Fijians, our nation’s deep ties to Sri Lanka have made these horrific acts all the more devastating. May we pray for the victims, for their loved ones, and for all Sri Lankans. May we pray for the recovery of the injured. And may we extend arms of friendship to our Sri Lankan friends and neighbours living among us here in Fiji. 

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Around the world, there is a violent assault on religious freedom afoot, with no group or faith immune. We Fijians will do our part in fighting these heinous acts by condemning any and all forms of religious intolerance in the strongest of terms. We must actively work to rise above hatred, and fill the world with love.