Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday (08) called on leaders of all religious faiths to raise their voice and condemn the actions by certain elements to divide the nation along communal lines.
Speaker told Parliament that some organized sections spread hatred and promoted violence to achieve their political objectives and some of them made use of places of worship to do so. It was the duty of religious leaders to prevent the places of worship being abused to spread enmity against other religions and races.
The Speaker in a statement said those recent communal riots in Kandy and several other areas that targeted Muslims did not erupt from grassroots level of society.
“According to the common law in the country each and every citizen has equal rights irrespective of his or her ethnicity. They have been living in peace and harmony in this country for centuries. Therefore, these riots are not created by them but those who want to fulfill their political agendas by spreading hatred and violence aimed at particular communities in the country. We saw the same thing happen in 2014 in Beruwala as well. As responsible citizens we should raise our voices together against such people,” Jayasuriya said.
Moreover, the Speaker said that it was very important to ensure fundamental rights of all citizens. “We should also ensure the protection of everyone who was affected by violence. The Judiciary should focus its attention on those who try to drag the country towards a disaster,” he added.
He said: “Therefore, I request the government, the parliament and the Judiciary to take necessary actions to protect fundamental rights of every citizen granted by the Constitution. Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev stated that the peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences. We cannot allow violence occurring in our country.”