KCC Chairman Mike Angell represented the county council at an inter-faith gathering in Gravesend on Friday (26th), paying respects and remembering those who lost their lives in in recent Sri Lankan terror attack.
The event on Community Square was organised by the Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Gravesham Borough Council and was attended by about 100 people.
Speakers from different faith and community organisations spoke to condemn the attacks and urged the community to stand together and not to be divided by the terrorists. The speakers included Gurvinder Sandher from the Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Reverend Richard Martin from the North Kent Interfaith Forum, Senior Pastor Tom Griffiths and Father Innocent.
The Mayor of Gravesham Cllr David Hurley, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr. Vasudaven, Adam Holloway MP also spoke, strongly condemning the attack and offering their condolences and support to anyone affected in the violence.
They were joined by Mr Angell and Chief Inspector Neil Louden of Kent Police, as well as representatives from the Guru Nanak Dabar Gurdwara, Gravesend Hindu Mandir, Gravesend and Dartford Muslim Association and the Buddhist faith. After the speeches, the Christian flag was raised as a symbol of solidarity on Community Square.
Gurvinder Sandher, CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council, said: “I was shocked by the attacks that took place in Sri Lankan on Churches and Hotels on one of the holiest days of the year. Attacks like this are tragically becoming commonplace and it is up to us as a community to come together and condemn the violence in the strongest way. We must come together and unite where terrorists of whatever persuasion are seeking to divide us. I was pleased that faith groups from across the borough came and stood united to condemn these atrocities.”
Mayor of Gravesham Cllr David Hurley said: “Thank you to everyone who came together on Friday at the interfaith event to stand together shoulder-to shoulder once again against these terrible violent acts of terrorism. It was heart-warming to hear and see people from many faiths and none join us on community square to show solidarity and hear speeches from those representing religions from Gravesham.”
Mr Angell said: “We know from recent atrocities that no community is immune to this kind of tragic event, and it is important for us to show solidarity with members of all faiths who want to live together in peace and harmony.”