Tongan flag hung on a gate at the Jamia Masjid Al Mustafa in Ōtāhuhu. Photo/Kalino Lātū

Nine days
after the Christchurch massacre, major events are scheduled today to allow
people to show their grief and support for the victims of the racist attack.

Thousands of
people are expected to attend a memorial service, ‘Remember Those Who Lost
Their Lives’, in Christchurch this evening.

The memorial
service will be held in Hagley Park from 5-7pm.

It will be
started by Linwood mosque Imam Alabi Lateef Zirullah.

speakers will include Catholic Bishop of Christchurch Paul Martin. Cashmere
High School, which several of the victims attended, will be represented.

In Auckland,
an anti-Islamophobia rally, ‘Kia Kaha Aotearoa: Stand Against Racism,’ will be
held at Aotea Square from 2pm.

Vigils and
memorial services have been held all over New Zealand in the past week.

A vigil was
held in New Plymouth and a hikoi was held in Hastings. An estimated 15,000
people attended a memorial in Dunedin.

On Friday
hundreds of staff and students at Unitec in Auckland attended a memorial
service that included the planting of an olive tree in the institute’s memorial

Many New
Zealand women covered their heads as a mark of respect on Friday,
including  policewoman  Michelle Evans.

Evans was standing guard outside the Christchurch Memorial Park Cemetery.

On Friday,
people were asked to stay off Facebook for 50 hours from 1.40pm, the time the
alleged gunman started broadcasting live video of the shooting last Friday.

There has
been anger at Facebook for allowing the gunman to broadcast his attack online.
Internet providers in New Zealand have been working to have the footage blocked
or removed.

Pacific response

The effects
of the Christchurch shooting has been felt throughout the Pacific.

As Kaniva Tonga news reported earlier this
week, on Monday Members of Parliament took part in a one minute silence on
Monday morning to pay respects for the victims of Christchurch’s terror attack.

Speaker Lord Tu’ilakepa said the minute was in respect for the memory of those
killed and hurt in the attack on Friday, which left 50 dead and at least 50

Tu’ilakepa said in Tongan: “Oku ou fie ‘oatu ‘a e fie kaungā mamahi ‘a e Fale
Alea ‘o Tongá mo e kakai ‘o Nu’usilá, ‘oku ‘oatu heni ha faka’apa’apa, mo e
fiekaungā mamahi mo’oni ‘a e Fale Alea ‘o Tonga, mo e kakai ‘o Nu’usila koe’uhi
ko e pulonga kuo tō he fonuá, tupu mei he fakapō ta’e’amanekina, ne hoko ‘i
Christchurch, ‘i he ‘aho Falaite 15 ‘o Mā’asi, 2019.”

In Port
Moresby, an editorial in the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier  described New
Zealand as “one of the most peaceful and culturally open countries in the
world, which makes this vicious attack even more disgusting.”

In Fiji,
people were asked to stand in solidarity with New Zealand at a candlelit

The Fiji Times reported that Musa Vali
Suleman Patel, 60, a leader of the Fiji Muslim League, was killed in the racist

According to
Radio New Zealand, two other Fijians, Ashraf Ali Razat and Hafiz Musa Patel,
were also killed.

Messages of
condolence have come from political leaders and regional bodies across the

Cook Islands
Prime Minister Herny Puna said his country’s prayers first and foremost were
with the victims of the shooting, “their families, friends and loved ones
who are now faced with the irreconcilable loss of their loved ones.”

Fijian Prime
Minister Frank Bainimarama said Fijian hearts were breaking.

“An atrocity
of this nature is shocking almost beyond comprehension,” he said.

all religions, our houses of worship are a source of refuge, of prayer, and of
love; to see such a heinous and hate-filled act occur in what should be places
of peace is the darkest of evils.”

President of
French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch described Friday’s attack as a “despicable

However, not
all Pacific leaders have been so altruistic.

In Samoa, a request by MP Tafua Maluelue Tafua for a
minute’s silence to remember the victims of the shooting was knocked back by Speaker
of Parliament on procedural grounds.

Samoan PM Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi criticised Tafua
for making the request, saying he should have known that a minutes’ silence was
only offered for MPs.

Dr. Malielegaoi said his official statement on the shooting,
which was extended on behalf of Parliament and the whole country meant more
than just a moment of silence.

“Message of sympathy and condolences were sent to New
Zealand on that Friday from one leader to another, period,” he said.

He then went on to attack his political opponents and
appeared to claim they and people campaigning for human rights in Samoa were
like the Christchurch gunman.

main points

  • Nine days after the Christchurch
    massacre, major events are scheduled today to allow people to show their grief
    and support for the victims of the racist attack.
  • Thousands of people are expected to
    attend a memorial service in Hagley Park in Christchurch from 5-7pm.
  • In Auckland, an anti-Islamophobia
    rally, Kia Kaha Aotearoa: Stand Against Racism, will be held at Aotea Square
    from 2pm.

more information

Christchurch shooting: Details of
vigil revealed, thousands expected

Tonga Parliament holds minute’s
silence for Christchurch racist murder victims

Christchurch mosque shooting: Fiji
national among victims

‘Heartfelt grief and sorrow’ –
Pacific pledges solidarity after Christchurch mosque attacks

explains why a minute of silence motion was rejected

PNG shares
the pain of the horror shooting of innocent lives in New Zealand


​Os textos, informações e opiniões publicados neste espaço são de total responsabilidade do(a) autor(a). Logo, não correspondem, necessariamente, ao ponto de vista do Central da Pauta.