The main opposition UNP today condemned violence against places of religious worship saying it is deeply wounding the sentiments of entire communities of people in Sri Lanka.
UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that the recent escalation of religious tensions in the country has given rise to a deep sense of foreboding and a profound sadness for him, and others in the United National Party.
He said that for too long, Sri Lanka had been a society divided and people from every community and walk of life, were crying out for healing and reconciliation and in the new Sri Lanka, after the end of the conflict, the only identity that should have mattered was the Sri Lankan one.
However he says Sri Lanka is staring once more down the abyss of communal and religious strife and perceived differences are threatening to tear the country apart as religion threatens to become the great divide.
“Our regret is shared by the vast majority of moderates who reside in our society, to whom the actions of a few misguided, malicious elements have been both distasteful and of very serious concern. Any Buddhist citizen of this country would empathise with this sadness and despair, having lived through the violent desecration of this country’s most sacred Buddhist shrine, the Dalada Maligawa by brutal terrorists in 1998. I am a Buddhist by birth and upbringing. Throughout my life, I have strived to live the teachings of the Great Master. I find great dissonance in the rhetoric of hate, intolerance and anger that is currently being perpetuated in the name of Buddhism. I cannot comprehend this sense of deep insecurity that causes elements of our society to act out this way, when it was the Buddha himself who taught that the Dhamma is best protected by practicing it,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)