Indians in Australia pray for India’s terror victims

December 5th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 5 (IANS) Members of the Indian community in Australia have held a series of meetings, attended by prominent Australian lawmakers and officials, to express their anguish at the Mumbai terror attacks as well those in Assam earlier. A multi-faith prayer meeting was organised by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney in remembrance of victims of the Mumbai carnage.

India’s High Commissioner to Australia Sujata Singh, Consul General in Sydney Sujan Chinoy, New South Wales Minister for Community Relations Virginia Judge and leader of Opposition in New South Wales Barry Farrel were present at the occasion.

Several Australian Indian community groups also came together at Sri Om Adishakti Asram in Blacktown area here Nov 30 to pray for the innocent victims of terrorist acts in Assam and in Mumbai.

The prayer meeting was organised by the Federation of Australian Indian Associations (FAIA), an umbrella body of Indian community groups.

The prayer meeting began with a recitation from the Bhagavad Gita by prominent Sydney-based Assamese singer Sujatha Rajkumari.

It also included a Zoroastrian prayer by FAIA vice president Capt. Noshir Sachinwala, a Sikh prayer by Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) president Harmohan Walia, a recital of Vishnu Sahasranamam (the thousand names of Lord Vishnu) and slokas for Sri Om Adishakti Devi. Vishwa Hindu Parishad Nalini Sankar sang hymns.

Kedar Singh from the Indian consulate in Sydney, Bengali Association President Chandan Roy Chaudhry, Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre chairman Lalli Sethuram, Sri Om Foundation president Jayraman, Mahesh Trivedi from Gujarati Samaj and Rangbhir Chauhan from Himachal Pradesh Community were also present along with a large number of community members.

“It was a double shock with the news of the Mumbai tragedy coming while the Australian Indian community was deeply mourning and still coming to terms with the tragedy in Assam where over 18 coordinated attacks resulted in more than 200 dead and injured”, Viswanathan said at the opening address.

He said the victims in Mumbai included high-ranking police officials and other security personnel while the injured included not only Indians but citizens from other countries as well.

“The community needs to support any assistance required in any form for the unfortunate victims of terrorism in India”, he said.

Rekha Bhatta, a prominent member of the Australian Indian community, said: “The Mumbai attack came 26 days after Assam - following a series of terror strikes during the last few months in India. We mourn for the dead in all these terror attacks and send our condolences to the families of two Australians who were victims of this attack”.

She said they mourned the death of senior Times of India journalist Sabina Sakia, recalling that the Saikias had been in Sydney in May on a holiday trip.

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