NPC: Mangala upheld right to dissent and to be different

The untimely demise of Mangala Samaraweera is a grievous cause for sorrow to those who knew him and a great loss to those who shared his belief in a country in which there are equal rights to all, the National Peace Council said.

 The following is the full text of the NOC statement: “The late Minister passionately believed in a Sri Lanka that was united and belonged to all in equal measure irrespective of ethnicity, religion, caste or gender.

We at the National Peace Council remember Minister Mangala Samaraweera for championing a political solution to the ethnic conflict like we do.  He believed in obtaining the people’s support for the peace process and sought to share his vision with them and on a large scale through the Sudu Nelum (white Lotus) movement that he led.

 In these trying times we especially remember the late Minister for upholding the right to be different and to dissent.  Ultimately, it is the ability to tolerate and accept dissent, and safeguard the space for it, which marks a democratic society and leadership.  It is through difference and dissent that all aspects of the truth may emerge to provide for a better solution to be found.

 During his political career, Mangala changed political parties but stood true to the same set of values and principles in each one of them.   He worked with all major leaders across the Sri Lankan political spectrum throughout his 30 year political career making his own contributions to the many positive and significant changes that took place under his watch.  He also maintained lasting relationships with a wide range of decision makers in the international community who recognised his values and what he stood for.

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