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All must extend support in the effort to restore peace and harmony: Dhammananda Thera (Video)


Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera of the Walpola Rahula Institute of Sri Lanka has appealed that at this moment community leaders must come forward to restore peace and harmony. It is the duty of leaders, school headmasters to get together and join with the security forces in their efforts to bring peace to the villages and towns and protect your village, residents of your area as well as private properties.

In his appeal, Most respected Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera sates: "Once again as a nation we have approached a juncture. Now Muslim people live in fear. So do Sinhalese people who have to pass through Muslim inhabited villages. Therefore no one is feeling safe at this moment. Now we need to think about how we face this situation. Are we going to make the same mistakes we made in the past and create an era where multiple generations will end up suffering? Or are we going to manage this wisely. I think the responsibility of our generation is to get involved in managing this wisely.

At this moment, I urge community leaders to come forward. The Buddhist monks, Muslim religious leaders, school headmasters, village leaders and everyone should get together. Join with the security forces and intervene to protect your village, residents of your area as well as private properties.

I have a request for our younger generation. It may seem entertaining and heroic to join various ideological groups that emerge. I lovingly request you to fully understand the devastating nature of what you are getting involved in. It is very easy to start a fire, but very difficult to put it out.

I ask the adult community who experienced the violence of 1983 to make our youth aware of what you saw and how many years did it take to overcome the effects of the hatred that was spread very freely? How many human resources and material resources were destroyed? Please pass on that message to the new generations.

Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Eight years later the first community tension started. From then on in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1983, 1987 to 1991 and then from around 1981-2009, Sri Lanka witnessed bloodshed and many people died. If you divided the number of years Sri Lanka existed in peace by these incidents of bloodshed we see that the average duration that the country has lived in peace is less than 7 years.

It is our responsibility to stop this bloodshed happening over and over again. I would also like to request our youth to abstain from sharing messages that spread hatred, anger and division among different ethnic groups across the internet.

I would also like to address officers in service with the national armed forces and police. Each one of you may have a personal religion or belong to a certain ethnic group. But since you became a member of the public security forces you are the security personnel responsible for protecting citizens. Your duty is to ensure the safety of vulnerable people in front of you and protect them from the group's intent on harming them. The ethnicity or religion of the perpetrators should not affect your duties, so please carry out your responsibility diligently. We can prevent this country from moving towards destruction only if you act this way.

I would like to request from the educated groups and intellectuals, there is no use of your education or intellect if you cannot assist in resolving problems like these. Therefore, your role now is to prove your credibility as an educated individual or intellect. So please intervene.

The responsibility of not managing situations like this effectively in the past falls on the people who lived then. But the responsibility of resolving the issue now belongs to all of us who live in this day and age. Therefore, I urge everyone to get involved in managing this situation wisely."

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