Around 1,000 Maltese and foreigners, including asylum seekers, this evening took part in a silent candle-lit vigil for the more than 800 migrants who died while crossing the Mediterranean last weekend.

Many held candles and some white flowers and banners saying #AllLivesMatter.

The walk along the sea from the ITS campus in Pembroke and Spinola Bay in St Julians to Exiles in Sliema, was also intended as a stand for the all the lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea. It was organised by four activists.

Participants included President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil and US ambassador Gina Abercombie-Wistanley.

President Coleiro Preca said she wanted to make a statement that she was in favour of peace.

“If there is peace there will not be these tragedies as people will not run away from their countries. It was not my choice to be born here where there is stability so I cannot turn my back to these people.”

Dr Busuttil said it was unacceptable for him, not just as a politician but also as a person, to see tragedies where people died and it was like nothing happened. These tragedies had to stop once and for all and the Mediterranean sea could not be allowed to become a cemetery.

“Maltese people who migrated decades ago made great sacrifices. Today, in 2015, people not only make similar sacrifices, they even risk losing their life in their search for a better world and this should not be allowed to happen,” he said.

Migrants who were taking part said the turnout was uplifting for them as they would never forget their trip to Malta and the tragedies of the past few days.

"This is a ray of hope, all the world is watching," an Eritrean said with refence to the international media covering the walk.

Once the participants arrived at Exiles, they throw the flowers in the sea as a sign of respect.


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