The fury of the Indian Ocean was felt particularly hard in Sri Lanka. The country’s President Mahinda Rajapakse oversaw two minutes’ silence and placed a floral wreath at the foot of a cresting wave-shaped memorial for the 35,000 people who died on the island. Those ceremonies took place near the site where the waves swept a passenger train from its tracks, killing nearly 2,000.
Elsewhere in the country, butchers hung up their knives to show respect for life while Buddhist monks chanted through the night.One of the most poignant gatherings was in the village of Seenigama, which was almost entirely destroyed. Many lit oil lamps to commemorate the dead, in a Buddhist ritual going back centuries. The line of lamps was a sad reminder of how many were lost on that fateful day.