Sri Lanka Unites, a youth movement for Hope and Reconciliation strongly condemns the attacks that were carried out on Civilians and properties in Aluthgama and its periphery. We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate action against the perpetrators and bring them to justice. In addition, we urge the organizations openly and overtly promoting communal hate speech and violence to be banned as they as a direct threat to the peace and security of Sri Lanka.
The freedom to practice ones religion and the freedom of expression are universally accepted human rights and an essential component of individual freedom.
The deprivation of the practice of these rights and similar oppression had resulted in a three decade ethnic war which destroyed peace and development of this country while killing many of its citizens and leaving many differently abled along with property and livelihood damages. It is the strong desire and yearning for all the citizens of this country to co-exist in peace and to experience resilience from inherent hatred through genuine rebuilding of trust, through authentic reconciliation and understanding.
The recent communal violence isn’t an immediate outbreak, but a systemically evolved practice of hatred by fringe extremist factions against minorities. The concerned perpetrators have started attracting youth, the stakeholders of tomorrow through attractive false propagandas and explicit hate speech which successively resulted in attacking the worship places, businesses and properties of minorities through organized mobs using blasphemy. These events have successfully evolved into a communal clash incited through false notions. In addition to harming the existing peace and resilience, these practices of hate is a clear violation of law and order and indication of further threats against the existing law and order and divinity of country’s name. Recent religious and ethnic intolerances and internal chaos have created an international image that Sri Lanka is a vulnerable place for the minorities.
Sri Lanka Unites as a multi-religious, multi-cultural, non-partisan youth movement working among the grassroots firmly believes that youth are the stakeholders of tomorrow. We believe that through impacting and empowering youth, a nation built upon equality and meritocracy through authentic reconciliation and inclusive participation could be created when elder generations have failed to find a common ground and hope for peace. Unfortunately, the concurrent practice of hatred and violence strongly suggest possibilities for the recurrence of yet another ethnic turmoil and loss of peace of the country unless the issue is addressed and the perpetrators are brought to justice. Immediate action would sustain the hope among grassroots while develop a trust on the power holders that Sri Lanka is a rainbow nation where diversity is accepted and appreciated. As youth, we are not ready for yet another war because of the ignorance and sustaining impunity.