Buddhist monks pray for HK victims at Manila memorial service

GMA News, Aug 31, 2010

Hong Kong, China -- Prayers by Buddhist monks from China kicked off a unity memorial service for the victims of last week’s bloody hostage crisis in Manila early Tuesday.

Several Filipinos and Chinese attended the ceremony at the Quirino Grandstand, the site of the Aug. 23 tragedy that killed eight Hong Kong tourists and their hostage-taker.

“[They prayed] for the deceased to be reborn and the survivors to be relieved of their suffering [and to] uplift moral courage so the world will be filled with peace," said an announcer before the prayer started.

The monks also prayed for an end to “cruel behavior" in society and to “move away from the shadow of violence."

A report by radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo said members of the Philippine Chinese-Filipino community attended the memorial service, to be highlighted with a unity Mass.

Catholic and Philippine Independent church officials arrived early for the memorial service, even as Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales prepared a special prayer for the mass.

Several participants also braved early rainy weather to get to the site. Manila police kept guard over the venue.