Sri Lankan family slain in Ottawa remembered at public funeral service

Sri Lankan family slain in Ottawa remembered at public funeral service

More than a hundred tearful mourners filled an Ottawa convention centre on Sunday for the funeral honouring members of a Sri Lankan family who were victims of a mass killing earlier this month.

More than 100 people gathered at the city’s Infinity Convention Centre for a multi-faith service that began at 1 p.m. to remember the six people, including four children, who were found dead on March 6 inside a townhouse in Ottawa’s south-end Barrhaven suburb.

Ajahn Viradhammo, a monk who spoke at the funeral, asked those grieving around the world to focus on supporting each other instead of leaning into despair or anger.

“We in the Ottawa area are in the eye of this storm, but we recognize that its impact is felt all over the world,” he said.

“It is in these dark moments that we must derive strength from compassion and wisdom that lie at the heart of faith. We come together bound by our shared humanity and our unwavering commitment to compassion.”

The victims included 35-year-old Darshani Ekanayake and her four children, who ranged in age from two months to seven years old, as well as a family friend.

Her husband and the kids’ father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, was taken to hospital with injuries to his hands and face.

Funeral organizers said on Friday that he has requested privacy to mourn the loss of his family, but is thankful for the outpouring of public support since his relatives died.

The ceremony included audio recordings from the wife and daughter of Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, a family friend who was also killed. His loved ones in Sri Lanka were unable to travel to Canada for the funeral.

The Wickramasinghe family members were Sri Lankan newcomers to Canada, and one of the victims — a less-than-three-month-old baby — was born in the country.

Police arrested a 19-year-old Sri Lankan man on the evening of the attack and charged him with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Police said Febrio De-Zoysa was an international student who had been living with the family at the time of their deaths.

De-Zoysa’s lawyer, Ewan Lyttle, said his client is being held in protective custody and his family is “obviously very upset” about the allegations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press

Previous Post Next Post
Disclaimer: This news appearing on Yazh News Media has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor. For further clarification contact us on Email.