Religious leaders join hands against lawlessness

by Franklin R Satyapalan

Religious leaders yesterday gathered at the Narahenpita Abeyramaya Temple and expressed condemnation over the prevailing situation. They said that they would protest to President Mahinda Rajapakse and if the present trend of displacements, abductions and murder of innocent civilians continue they would be compelled to resort to an organized form of protest.

All heavyweights of the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic faiths, including Ven.Professor Dr. Bellanwila Wimalaratne Nayka Thero, Sri Ramachandra Kurukkal Babu Sharma, Secretary of Viya Pidam and Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis along with several other religious dignitaries were present at yesterday’s meeting which was termed the Congress of Religions

“The Government should not only accept total responsibility but also take immediate measures to identify and punish perpetrators according to the laws of the land”. The Congress resolved.

“The Congress of Religions is deeply perturbed and disturbed by the displacements, abductions and murder of innocent civilians. We strongly condemn such irreligious and inhuman actions” the dignitaries told a press conference after their meeting. Ven. Brakmanawatte Seevali Thero, head of Nagadipa Viharaya in Jaffna translated the Hindu religious dignitaries’ speech into Sinhala.

“It is a sad turn of events. Even those who are engaged in humanitarian work are not spared as in the case of the two Red Cross volunteers” the Congress said.

The Congress welcomed the statement by the Prime Minister over the forceful eviction of Tamils from the city lodges as well as abduction of Muslim businessmen. The Congress also said that grave crimes cannot be swept under the carpet by a mere apology.

While the Congress acknowledged that the Government is forced to take certain immediate measures to ensure the security of the country, its people and property it urged the Government to act with caution and restraint and act according to the Constitution and accepted legal framework

When journalists asked the Congress what it meant by “more organized form of protest”, Ven . Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero said that it would be a widespread, well organized huge protest that would be held simultaneously held countrywide. []

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