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Government unequivocally condemns racial violence

The Government while condemning the recent incidents of violence and misinformation campaign targeting the Muslim community and others, yesterday urged every citizen of the country to desist from falling prey to such hate campaigns.

President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the Security Forces and the Police to enforce Law and Order and to take immediate action to counter any acts of violence affecting any community in liaison with District and Divisional Secretaries and other administrative officials, a statement issued by the Government Information Department under the hand of Director General of Information Department Sudharshana Gunawardhana said.

The full statement:

“The Government of Sri Lanka strongly and unequivocally condemns the recent sporadic incidents of violence that had sparked” off in Ampara and Digana, creating communal disharmony, where some places of worship, residences and businesses have been damaged.

The Government also condemns the hate and mischievous misinformation campaigns carried out by some, especially via social media targeting the Muslim community in particular and others as well, with the clear objective of creating disharmony among communities and inciting violence.

“The Government urges every citizen of Sri Lanka to desist from falling prey to such hate and misinformation campaigns. As a country that had suffered by acts of violence for nearly three decades, we as a nation should desist from repetition of such.

“At the National Security Council Meeting held today His Excellency the President has ordered the Security Forces and the Police to enforce Law and Order and to take immediate action to counter any acts of violence affecting any community, in liaison with the Government Agents / Divisional Secretaries and other District Administrative Authorities. Already they are working to ensure the full and impartial enforcement of law to protect all communities against any attacks that create communal/religious disharmony.

“The Government will not hesitate to take firm and stern action against the perpetrators of crimes,and those who violate law and order. The Government urges for total co-operation from all citizens irrespective of any communal, religious differences to build a Nation that is stable, peaceful and progressive, where diversity is respected; and, -- where every individual has the opportunity to enjoy ail freedoms that are the rights of equal citizenship.

“Every Sri Lankan citizen inclusive of the clergy, politicians, social leaders, civil societies and media should and must deplore any violence and must co-operate to bring peace and harmony to achieve reconciliation,” the statement added.