Religious leaders play pivotal role in maintaining peace and harmony- President

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a special meeting with religious and political leaders, government officials and security authorities at President’s House in Kandy yesterday. Picture by Chandana Perera

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a special meeting with religious and political leaders, government officials and security authorities at President’s House in Kandy yesterday. Picture by Chandana Perera

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested religious leaders of all faiths to play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and harmony among all communities in areas affected by the recent unrest.

The President had made this request during a special meeting with religious and political leaders, government officials and security authorities at President’s House in Kandy yesterday.

The President during the meeting had requested religious leaders of all faiths to help maintain peace in addition to efforts undertaken by security authorities to maintain law and order.

President Sirisena drew the attention of those present to the predominant role religious leaders could play in alleviating misunderstandings among various groups and establishing peace, according to a media communiqué issued by the President’s media unit.

Religious leaders meanwhile had pointed out that certain media including social media had contributed in aggravating the unrest by carrying false and fabricated news and blowing out of proportion some minor incidents.

The President in response emphasised on the importance of making the public aware about the truth and correct details.

He advised state officials present to take necessary steps to make people aware about the true situation through religious leaders using the media.

President Sirisena stressed on the importance of taking all steps necessary by religious leaders to consolidate peace and harmony among all ethnic groups without any racial or religious differences and create an environment which ensures a non-recurrence of any violent incidents in future. He instructed the Inspector General of Police and Security forces Commanders to take all necessary measures to further strengthen security for the people in the affected areas and help establish peace.

President Sirisena also instructed security officials to apprehend those responsible for violent acts and take necessary action against them in accordance with the law, irrespective of status or differences.

Anunayake of the Malwatte chapter Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera, Anunayake of the Malwatte Chapter Ven.Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera, Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Ven.Wedaruwe Upali Thera, Ven.Elle Gunawansa Thera, Ven. Dr.Medagoda Abayatissa Thera, Ven. Prof.Induragare Dhammananda Thera, and other leading Buddhist Monks, the Chief Moulavi of Kandy Fazler Ranman and other leading Moulavi’s in the area, Rev.Fr.Ivan Jayasundera, Parish Priest of St.Anthonys’ Church, Kandy and other Christian priests in the area,Kandy Shri Vinayagar Kovil Chief Trustee Krishna Murthi Govinda Swami and other Hindu priests, Ministers, the President’s Secretary Austin Fernando and other state officials and Police and Military leaders were present