Memorials were held across South Asia Monday to mark last year’s tsunami that killed over 200,000 people and left nearly 2 million homeless. It was one of the world’s worst-ever natural disasters. Indonesia alone lost nearly 170,000 people.
- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: “Ladies and gentlemen, let us now bow our heads in silence to pray for the souls of hundreds of thousands who lost their lives as a result of the tsunami of the December 26th last year. May they rest in peace by God’s side. The moment of silence begins.”
On Monday in Aceh, sirens from the region’s new early warning system were sounded at 8:16 in the morning to mark the exact time the tsunami hit the coast. A minute of silence was then observed. Hundreds of white-clad Acehnese held a morning memorial at the Grand Mosque which was one of the area’s only structures to remain standing after the tsunami. Memorials were also held in Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
- Indrani Rajdurai director of Help Age India: “We are taking this candle-light vigil to develop a sort of a feeling that we are part of their (victim’s) grievance, their problems as well as their struggle of life. So today, we are taking out this march just to make them feel, that we are with them. We are there to think about them and we pray that the departed soul should rest in peace.”