PAROXYSM ON PEACE AND HARMONY. By AGA Barrie P.Eng. Ontario, Canada.

Living in peace and harmony was the norm in Sri Lanka and goes back to ancient days, until the foreign influence cast its shadow on the beautiful island once known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean.  It was a myth that even the first human being Adam (Peace be upon him) had stepped into the serene part of the globe. So why is there a paroxysm on peace and harmony in this beautiful motherland of ours?

People of Sri Lanka today and Ceylon were considered as a monument and exemplary for tolerance and understanding of all religions Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Hinduism was the major religion practiced on the island prior to introduction of Buddhism in the third century, while Islam and Christianity came in later; members of all communities stood hand in hand to obtain freedom from Foreign Occupancy in the year 1948.

With the introduction of Buddhism as state religion and Sinhala as the national language in the mid fifties, the seed of hatred began to grow in the hearts of the Tamil People and was the root cause of the ethnic conflict, resulting migration of minorities and a three decade war in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately the resistance toward the introduction of language changed into a religious war, aided and abetted by some foreign countries calling for separatism and utilizing terrorist tactics. Unique and bold steps taken by the present Government cleared the country of the menace but roots of the original agenda still remains resulting in today’s paroxysm on peace and harmony.

Following the world trend of Islamaphobia; parties of who wish to create chaos in Sri Lanka have embarked on a mission that is very obvious: To set Muslims against Buddhists. Fortunately, both peace loving communities have identified the threat and are taking all precautions to avoid being provoked.

Some of the minor day to day conflicts being escalated into major issues but were nipped in the bud by those in authority. This approach is not welcomed by those who intend on creating problems in the country. These groups with hidden agendas have failed miserably to achieve what they wanted in Sri Lanka. They have now, shamelessly, stooped to social and digital media to inject venom into the emotions of the people. They are utilizing the internet and social media to promote hatred and spread stories based on unfounded truth.

The Sri Lankans appreciate all methods taken to promote peace and harmony by all peace loving people and one of the major steps being taken is creating a dialogue and this was done through the Forum for National Amity and Understanding convened by Islamic Secretariat and attended by Ven.Kamburupitiya Vajira Mahanayake Thero. He who documented the roles played by Buddhism and Islam, how both communities have lived in harmony, how some mischief makers wants to spark hatred and create another conflict in the country. He recalled the unfortunate days of the war on terrorism and urged everyone to be cautious and work toward peace and harmony.

While recognizing the online threat, both Co-Chairmen Mahanayake Thero and Hon. Minister M.H.Mohamed issued the following press release and urged those involved to give it a wide publicity:

“Sri Lankans are perturbed and distressed at the growing hate campaign being promoted by some individuals through their websites. This is being done to provoke the Muslims with a hidden agenda of creating chaos in the country, especially after having just emerged from three decades of a war on terrorism. Therefore we urge both communities Buddhists and Muslims to not be misled and fall into their trap and urge the entire Sri Lankan population to continue to live in harmony. We further, humbly request those in authority to ban such websites immediately and to curb such sites being permitted to operate in our peaceful country, as we need peace and harmony to prevail.”

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