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Cabinet calls for action against instigators of violence, hate speech

14 June 2017 02:05 pm - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday directed the law enforcement authorities and the Attorney General to take immediate action against instigators and perpetrators of violence and hate speech against religious and ethnic groups.

Issuing a statement, the Cabinet of Ministers said the National Unity Government, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena reaffirm commitment, in accordance with the mandates received from the people at the Presidential elections in January and Parliamentary elections of August 2015, to ensure that the nation never again returns to a conflict-ridden past.

“The government reaffirms commitment to guide our nation towards reconciliation, sustainable peace, and economic progress. Communal, ethnic and religious hatred and violence, and impunity have no place in the society that we strive to build,” it said.

The statement by the Cabinet of Ministers

The National Unity Government, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena reaffirm commitment, in accordance with the mandates received from the people at the Presidential elections in January and Parliamentary elections of August 2015, to ensure that our nation never again returns to a conflict-ridden past, and instead resolve to guide our nation towards reconciliation, sustainable peace, and economic progress. Communal, ethnic and religious hatred and violence, and impunity have no place in the society that we strive to build.

In this context, we are deeply concerned by the recent incidents of violence targeting places of religious worship, shops and business enterprises, and houses. We denounce in the strongest terms, these acts of violence and hatred, including incidents of hate speech by certain individuals and groups aimed at inciting violence against the different ethnic and religious communities in our country.

We are deeply saddened by the destruction of property and loss of livelihoods as a result of recent incidents, and the pain of mind and fear caused to individuals.

We affirm that hate filled expressions and actions by individuals and groups with vested interests, resulting in demeaning, denigrating and inciting violence against fellow citizens of various ethnic, religious backgrounds has no place in Sri Lankan society.  

While reaffirming the Government’s commitment to reconciliation, peace building, peaceful co-existence, and the rule of law, we direct the law enforcement authorities to immediately take all necessary steps in accordance with the law of the land, against instigators and perpetrators of violence and hate speech targeting any religious and ethnic groups in the country.

The strictest action must be taken without delay, in accordance with the law, against all persons or groups who act to incite violence, and engage in acts of violence. The law must be applied to all regardless of social status, ethnic or religious background or political affiliations of perpetrators of such acts.

We also direct the law enforcement authorities and the Hon. Attorney General to expedite action against those responsible for all atrocities committed, as impunity holds the dangerous possibility of our country receding into conflict.  

We express our deep appreciation to civil society and religious leaders who have stepped up to counter the attempts of a few to spread hate in our country, and who have called for calm and peaceful co-existence at this time.

We take this opportunity to urge the active participation and leadership of all Sri Lankans in efforts aimed at reconciliation and fostering peaceful co-existence in our country, without which, the stability and economic growth and progress that our nation so richly deserves will continue to elude us.

Gautama Buddha’s Teachings emphasize the importance of co-existence, tolerance, respect and compassion. This nation is blessed by the teachings of the four great religious traditions in the world– Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam – which provide us the guidance required for peaceful co-existence, upholding human values, and honest and hard work required to rebuild our nation as one of the most progressive in the region.

We urge all the citizens of this nation, young and old, to contribute their best to our country as patriotic citizens to build a nation that is stable, peaceful, and progressive; a society where the dignity of each individual is upheld; where diversity is respected; and where every individual has the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that are the rights of equal citizenship.

We must all stand united to strive to eliminate this dangerous affliction of hatred towards each other, and resolve that we will never allow ourselves in the present or in the future, to once again be dragged into conflict as in the past.

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  Comments - 23

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  • Sunil Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:05 PM

    "Strictest action must be taken". What nonsense, perpetrators are still at large.

    Raz Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:06 PM

    Pus vedillak. duma vitharak via DM Android App

    Srilankan Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:11 PM

    making statements is not very difficult but actioning is challenging. Of late everyone including the president is making statements but seems little or no action been taken. Ultimately, everything and everyone is POLITICS!

    Waste of Time Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:42 PM

    its a waste of time and minorities are being cheated every time. Nothing will happen. All will control by a telephone with AG office as it happened in MR's regime

    Justica USA... Wednesday, 14 June 2017 04:45 PM

    minorities are patiently waiting...there will come a time they would rejoice...imagine.. IF a few shops n properties of Sinhalese were set on fire n a few temples were stoned what would have happened. will the President n PM maintain this silence. So its legal for ministers to harbor felons who are evading the courts while having arrest warrants...the world is watching....they will not have faith in the judiciary n police of SL not even the parliamentarians...hybrid courts might come into play...withdrawal of GSP plus too. . via DM Android App

    mnsmart Wednesday, 14 June 2017 05:25 PM

    Just statements to please the international community,

    Citizen Ash Wednesday, 14 June 2017 05:53 PM

    First get the politicians to adhere and take an oath to resign if proven guilty via DM Android App

    Ranjith A Wednesday, 14 June 2017 06:01 PM

    Let us hope meaningful steps would be taken by the Law enforcement authorities, without blaming the Government all the time.

    DING DONG. Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:27 PM

    DOES IT INCLUDE THOSE WHO GIVE SAFE HOUSE TO CULPRITS via DM Android App

    SL Wednesday, 14 June 2017 07:24 PM

    yes,Majority has to look away when their temples are destroyed and let minorities to play what ever they want.remember,It's the majority who let you stay in this country,try to follow christianity,hinduism or Buddhism in an Islamic country and see the reaction !

    sam Wednesday, 14 June 2017 07:27 PM

    Not only Hakeem to be arrested. There are so many people who spread hate have to be arrested. Why special treatment for priest who is safely guarded by two of the present government ministers. First arrest those ministers. via DM iOS App

    Kadiya Wednesday, 14 June 2017 08:24 PM

    But they still haven'y taken action on the architect of hate speech, Gnanasara. Why?????

    victor Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:43 PM

    Hi Ceylon ,you are wright Laws is money if you have money even the big guys will bow this the country today

    ceylon Wednesday, 14 June 2017 11:09 PM

    some thugs are discriminating wedda peoole too as minoroty.weddas are the original owners of this country.all others came from foreign countries. via DM Android App

    squash88 Wednesday, 14 June 2017 11:22 PM

    arrest the venerable monk who needs education on religious harmony.... He has caused nothing but false propaganda..... via DM Android App

    Ane Manda Thursday, 15 June 2017 05:30 AM

    A person who shelters a fugitive can be prosecuted, just in case you guys didn't know this.

    ceylon Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:09 PM

    again another stupid statement.all these everybody knows.sirisena led government dont do.disgusting statement.only talk no action.pupets. via DM Android App

    lOKKA Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:29 PM

    First arrest Hakeem. His false allegations against the Sinhalese nearly sparked violence.

    INTELLIGENCE Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:35 PM

    How about the presidents proposal of getting the Military Intelligence to track down the culprits. Cabinet just making noises for public satisfaction is just a farce.

    Lima Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:36 PM

    WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS , WHERE THE BBS TERORIST ROBED ONE GNANA , CHAMPIKA KEEP IN HIDING HIM IN HIS HOUSE , WHOLE WORLD KNOWS, WHERE THE POLICE LOOKING OTHER WAY , FIRST ARREST THAT ROBED TERRORIST AND THEN GO FOR THE NEXT MOVE

    khalef Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:37 PM

    So much has happened up to now. Still no action taken !Sad !

    sachith Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:41 PM

    great, first take actions against cabinet member who said Nawalapitiya factory fire was due to ethnic violence. Its already in international media (mostly Gulf based).

    Bala Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:44 PM

    Why not start with Cabinet Miniter Hakeem who said Nawalaitiya fire communal attack while Muslim owners say nothing of tthe sort but by accidental cause.


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