British High Commissioner John Rankin on Thursday called on all Sri Lankans to respect diversity and to work together to achieve reconciliation.
Mr. Rankin expressed these views upon meeting the Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters in Kandy during his visit in the Central and Uva Provinces from November 3 to 5.
“I discussed the importance of religious harmony and the freedom to practice one’s religion with the Mahanayakes. In recent months, there have been incidents of religious tension, most seriously in Aluthgama. We continue to call on all Sri Lankans to respect diversity and work together to achieve reconciliation,” he said.
He said his visit to the Central and the Uva Provinces had reminded the diversity of Sri Lanka.
“This diversity includes people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, different languages, and different religions and beliefs. Celebrating these differences, as well as recognising the values that are shared by all communities, can only contribute to the stability and prosperity of this beautiful island,” he said.
During his visit, the High Commissioner met the two Venerable Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters , the indigenous Vedda community in Dambana, the MENCAFEP School for children and young people with disabilities, government officials and members of opposition parties.