‘Everybody’s shaken’: Sri Lankan community reacts to deaths of Ottawa family

A member of the Sri Lankan community in Ottawa says the community is speechless and shaken, following the killings of six people in the suburb of Barrhaven.

“You know, we are a close-knit community, and we are here to live a life here,” Naradha Kodituwakku, past president of the Sri Lanka Canada Association tells CityNews reporter Faiza Amin. “I talked to about 40, 50 people today and they are all shaken by it, you know, they are saying let’s take care of our kids better. We need to figure out how to make sure something like this doesn’t happen (again.)”

Kodituwakku says the family has been in Ottawa since last year.

He says the father and husband injured in the attack is a big helper in the community and has always had a big smile on his face.

“A kind hearted man, very friendly, who’s helped the temple,” he said. “We are worried for him, because it’s only him that’s left behind. We want to be there as a community to help him.”

Kodituwakku says the 40-year-old man also killed in the attack has a wife and two children back in Sri Lanka.

A GoFundMe campaign has been organized.

“Everybody’s shaken. The Sri Lankan community’s shaken, the whole of Ottawa is shaken. I just urge that people come together and help this family in any way we can, and help the family that is in Sri Lanka as well. It’s a very tragic situation. There’s going to be a lot of life that is broken apart because of this,” he said.

A vigil is planned for Thursday at the Palamadeo Park, at the corner of Palmadeo Drive and Rodeo Drive in Ottawa.

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