No room for ethno-nationalism

The government says there is no room for demands for ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka and the aim of every citizen is to live in harmony throughout the country.
A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said that efforts by interested parties to create communal discord in Sri Lanka will not succeed, despite their potential to vitiate the atmosphere that is currently required to conclude efforts at reconciliation.
It also said that the Government of Sri Lanka is willing to conduct inquiries into any allegations, if duly presented to authorities in Sri Lanka, through the judiciary and military tribunals, in line with practice followed by all other democratic nations.
Meanwhile on ties between India and Sri Lanka, the statement said that it is regrettable that sections of the Tamil communities living abroad have resorted to sustained protests and calls for unfriendly measures against Sri Lanka, ostensibly to obtain political rights for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
“These groups and parties have recommended solutions and demands that have no relevance to the ground realities in Sri Lanka but can militate against the efforts taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to provide justice and to arrive at arrangements for reconciliation,” the External Affairs Ministry said.
It said that strident demands to stop calling Sri Lanka a friendly country by some are disturbing and do not relate at all to the continuing friendship and cooperation between India and Sri Lanka that has stood the test of time and finds expression today in a multifaceted relationship encompassing all regions of India and all aspects of modern life including substantive economic interaction.
“ Allegations levelled against the Sri Lankan State, its leaders and Security Forces are based on hearsay, misinformation, misperceptions and ethno-nationalistic ideologies.  They have not taken into account that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country with communities well spread out in all parts of the country, at present living peacefully throughout the Island and that efforts are being made to enable all communities and citizens to exercise political power in their own geographical regions and at the centre as well,” the statement added.
It also said that the persistent allegations against the Sri Lanka Navy with regard to alleged killing and harassment of Indian fishermen are erroneous and without any factual basis.
“The Government of Sri Lanka is keen to move forward with its efforts at equity and justice, notwithstanding the innumerable crimes and acts of terrorism committed by the LTTE, mostly against Tamil Sri Lankans.  Sri Lanka needs time and space to move forward on the course already charted in order to provide justice and dignity for all Sri Lankans,” the External Affairs Ministry said. (Colombo Gazette)