Hong Kong's chief Buddhist monk used a memorial service yesterday for the victims of the attack to urge President Bush to show restraint. The Venerable Kok Kwong issued his call as Americans in the SAR criticised the Government for failing to sanction an official memorial. It was in an attempt to fill this void that the Hong Kong Buddhist Association held its service - the first sign of organised mourning in Hong Kong. The Jockey Club also held a minute's silence at Sha Tin Racecourse last night as a mark of respect. But the Government has declined to sanction any official remembrance despite a worldwide day of mourning on Friday. Services and events were held across Europe, Asia and Africa to allow people to express their sympathy for the victims of Tuesday's attack. American Chamber of Commerce vice-president Anne Forrest said: 'I find it surprising especially that there was no minute's silence in Hong Kong on Friday. 'There should be a public gathering in Hong Kong. London, Paris and so on managed it, so why not Hong Kong? We certainly talked about this. We don't know whether anything official has been decided yet.' But Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's office defended the lack of an officially sanctioned mark of respect or memorial service. Information Co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung said: 'The first moment he heard about this terrorist attack the Chief Executive contacted the US Consul-General to express his condolences on behalf of Hong Kong. 'He later wrote to President Bush and visited the consulate to sign the book of condolence. Our care and concern has been expressed and understood.' When asked if there would be an official memorial, Mr Lam said: 'If anybody in the community wants to have further acts [of remembrance] we will see.' Venerable Kok Kwong said they had delayed the service to allow further time to comprehend the scale of events. Monks filled the hall with hymns and prayers to an altar set for the victims against the background of solemn Buddhist music. The attendants also observed a minute's silence. Venerable Kok Kwong appealed for the US to show forgiveness, saying a war would sacrifice many more thousands of lives. In his eulogy read out at the association's Causeway Bay centre, he condemned the terrorists as 'extremists void of reason and consciousness', causing 'broken families and innocent loss of life'. After the service he said that although the terrorist attack was atrocious, he would not want to see a vicious cycle of killings. 'I regret that thousands of innocent people have been killed. But I hope people can put aside their anger and avoid further life loss,' he said.