Messages of Condolences and anger express solidarity
Venkat Raman, Auckland, March 16, 2019
As New Zealand in general and Christchurch in particular is coping with the unprecedented tragedy, The British Royal Family and world leaders have expressed their sympathy and solidarity to the Governor General and Prime Minister of this country.
Forty-nine people were killed including men, women and children, when an Australian-born terrorist opened fire at two Mosques in the otherwise quiet ‘Garden City’ in our South Island last afternoon as Muslims gathered to offer their Friday Prayers.
The man, named in the Christchurch District Court this morning as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, is facing one charge of murder and will appear before a High Court next month. He did not seek name suppression.
The Judge allowed him to be photographed but with his face pixelated.
Hundreds of people have written to us condemning the attack, which will appear in a separate story in the next hour.
The Queen’s Sorrow
In a message to Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, Queen Elizabeth II (the Constitutional Monarch of New Zealand) said, “I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.”
Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, said, “Both my wife and I were utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people’s lives. It is beyond all belief that so many should have been killed and injured at their place of worship and our most special and heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.
“This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heart-breaking of times.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Williams and his wife Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said that their hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch.
“We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship. We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today. Kia Kaha.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan said, “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch. We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.”
New Zealand Governor General
Dame Patsy Reddy said, “Today’s tragic events in Christchurch have shocked all New Zealanders. Our hearts go out to the people of Christchurch, especially the people directly affected by this afternoon’s terrible violence. Our thoughts are with them, their families and friends. Now more than ever is the time to affirm the values that we hold dear – compassion, kindness and tolerance. I have no doubt that all New Zealanders join with me in expressing their condolences and support.”
The Pope in the Vatican
Pope Francis said that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life cause by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch.
“I assure all New Zealanders and in particular the Muslim community of my heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.”
Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India which accounts for the third largest Muslim population in the world, expressed “deep shock and sadness,” adding, “Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.”
In a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, he expressed “his deepest condolences to the families bereaved in this dastardly attack, offered heartfelt prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and underscored India’s solidarity with the people of New Zealand at this difficult time.”
Australian Prime Minister
Scott Morrison said, “I’m horrified by the reports I am following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.
British Prime Minister
Theresa May said, “On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”
Donald Trump said, “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
The Prime Minister of Norway, which saw 77 people killed in a far-right attack eight years ago, expressed solidarity with New Zealand.
Erna Solberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK, “Although it is across the globe, this is a strong reminder of how important it is for all of us to help bring down tensions, work against extremism, and that we show solidarity with each other when something like that happens.”
Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau said that Canadians’ thoughts and hearts go out to the victims and their families in the wake of the absolutely appalling attack and they would join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.
Emmanuel Macron said: “All our thoughts for the victims of heinous crimes against the mosques of Christchurch in New Zealand and for their loved ones. France stands against all forms of extremism and acts with its partners against terrorism in the world.”
President, European Council
Donald Tusk said that the “brutal attack” in Christchurch “would never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for.” He vowed that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “can count on our solidarity.”
Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a “deplorable act” and “the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”
Former PM (New Zealand)
Helen Clark said: Very shocked to hear of shooting and many deaths and injuries at Christchurch, New Zealand Mosques, where people were at Friday prayers. My heart goes out to all bereaved families & the Muslim community. This is a heinous hate crime. RIP.”