Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena made a special statement to the nation yesterday regarding the communal clashes erupting in the island nation and pledged to do everything in his power to restore a free and a peaceful environment in the country everybody to live a happy life.
Full statement made by the President:
I decided the make this special address today, as a tense situation has occurred during the last few days owing to several very unfortunate incidents in several parts of the country, causing disharmony and tensions among ethnic groups.
From the past, our country has experienced internal as well as external struggles. However, ours is a country where Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and all other communities have lived with peace, unity and harmony together. If we look at the decade of 1940, we know how we Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim people worked together like brethren to free our country from the grip of colonial masters. It was unfortunate that peace and unity among ethnic groups deteriorated, leaving the country in a situation of protracted war that brought about many a crisis.
You all know that we are a government that is dedicated to bring about national harmony and reconciliation. During the last few days, losses of lives and destruction of property in the areas of Ampara and Kandy, have given rise to a situation where the normalcy of everyday life of people in the country. I express my profound condolences to the families of the deceased and to those who lost their property. I strongly condemn all criminal activities. I have instructed the Police to take stern legal actions against those people, groups or organizations related in any way to these incidents.
I have also instructed the Police, Special Task Force, Army and public officers as well as regional politicians to act in a manner promoting peace and to contain tensions in order to create an environment where all people can live in harmony. In a moment like this, it is important that we all work together.
I want to mention here that the government is dedicated to take all actions necessary to strengthen national reconciliation, peace, trust and friendship among ethnic groups, taking cognizance of situations like this. All respectfully request from all Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian religious leaders to advice regional political leadership to promote and foster peace and harmony as well as to intervene to restore concord and amity whenever tensions arise in their areas. I emphasize the fact the Police, Special Task Force as well as the Army has been deployed round the clock from yesterday to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
These steps were taken in a special meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the prevailing situation and a formal programme has been prepared for future actions after a meeting with Prime Minister and the Cabinet. As such, I request every citizen of this country to act peacefully in this situation.
Na hi verena verani
averena ca sammanti
esa dhammo sanantano
(Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an eternal law).
We know as Buddhists that Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred. Therefore, as a Buddhist country, whatever hatred or violence perpetrated brings shame to our country. At the same time, I request from everybody, including Hindu, Islam and Christian devotees to find peace and harmony within their religious philosophy and to work together to strengthen our freedom and to achieve economic prosperity, in a peaceful manner.
In order to strengthen political stability in the country as well as to restore peace, amity and concord among all ethnic groups in the country, I must mention that the government is committed to take all necessary actions, while taking the strictest legal actions against whatever party perpetrating violence.
At the same time, we observe that some are trying to disturb peace and unleash misinformation and hatred via social media, rumours and telephone calls. We will take stern actions against them.
I consider this an important opportunity to emphasize that I will do everything it takes to restore a free and a peaceful environment in this motherland, which is yours and mine, in order to everybody to live a happy life.
Thank you all!
May Triple Gems Bless You