203-205 Blackburn Road ,Syndal ,Victoria 3150 ,Australia
Care Lanka, an Organisation in Australia represented by expatriate Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of Sri Lanka, is immensely concerned about the recent violence in Ampara and Kandy districts. We learn that the incidents were racially motivated and directed particularly against the Muslim community.
We do not want to see Sri Lanka once again plunged into the old cycle of violence and counter violence among communities, irrespective of who started it first. We like to see such matters dealt with quite methodically and with great sensitivity through proper investigation by the relevant authorities. Maintenance of Law and order must be the responsibility of the security personnel and not of anyone else.
We wish to acknowledge that the government has acted against the perpetrators, but in addition, we request the government to be alert and proactive to prevent such incidents in the future. An urgent inquiry into this matter must be given top priority to protect inter-ethnic and inter-religious peace and harmony in Sri Lanka. Further, the government must be accountable for rehabilitations including making compensations for everyone affected by these incidents and all such incidents that have taken place previously, which haven’t been dealt with so far effectively.
In addition to these measures, we request that civil society be mobilised to harmonise community relations, especially in regions where communities live intermixed. We also like the long-term reconciliation program by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) be strengthened by involving school children, public and private sector workers and religious organisations. We think this is the most important task of the government today. Responsible public discussions on all issues affecting racial and religious harmony must be encouraged.
Dr Noel Nadesan
President, Care Lanka