Statement on the Sri Lankan terror attacks

"It’s vitally important that we collectively restate our commitment to peace, inclusion and diversity."

The Leader of Harrow Council, Cllr Graham Henson and Chief Executive, Sean Harriss, have issued a statement following the Sri Lankan terror attacks. It reads: 

It is with deep sadness that we find ourselves writing to you, on this day of national mourning in Sri Lanka, in the wake of another terrorist atrocity that has sent shockwaves around the globe. Following the bomb attacks on Sunday, our flag flies at half mast as we are again left to reflect on acts of inhuman savagery, which have cost the lives of hundreds of innocent people. The pain of these events will be felt by many families, in Sri Lanka, around the world and close to home.

Harrow is proud to be home to one of the largest Sri Lankan communities in Europe and our hearts go out to them in particular at this time. I know many will have been left reeling by the scale of these devastating attacks and may be fearful about what they may mean for the future. It is the cohesive nature of Harrow’s diverse communities that make our borough the great place that it is. Our neighbours will need all our support and prayers as they try to come to terms with these terrible events.

Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Kareema Marikar, was born and raised in Sri Lanka before making Harrow her home. She says:
“My heart bleeds for the people of Sri Lanka who have already suffered too much through years of conflict. The people of Sri Lanka and of the world deserve peace, and we in Harrow must continue to do our part to show the world how everyone, from any background and belief, can live together in harmony and prosperity.”

Cllr Krishna Suresh, Harrow’s Portfolio Holder for Community Cohesion, was also born in Sri Lanka. He says:
“We in Harrow stand together, as we have always stood together, to condemn and reject the terrorists who murder innocent people in a pointless attempt to divide us. Hatred will never tear us apart – and all our diverse communities in Harrow will keep on working tirelessly to hold together.”

It’s vitally important at these times, whatever our background, that we join together to collectively restate our commitment to peace, inclusion and diversity, and go on record as utterly rejecting and condemning violence and extremism of any kind. Our record for cohesion and integration in Harrow is a good one, but it is not something about which we should be complacent.

Earlier in the year, we set up a regular meeting between the police, council and our communities to offer reassurance and work on practical measures to improve safety. As a council, we will keep on working collectively to show members of all Harrow’s religious and cultural communities that they are valued and respected here.