“No individual or organisation causing religious tensions should be allowed to escape prosecution. Sri Lanka cannot be pulled back to the dark days of war when tens of thousands of lives were lost. The economic stagnation and international isolation are things of the past,” a statement issued by United National Party (UNP) Chairman Malik Samarawickrama says. “The UNP notes with deep concern the recent attempts by subversive elements to sabotage the reconciliation efforts of the national unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” the statement says
“Since its founding, the UNP has remained a secular political party fostering unity while building a truly Sri Lankan identity, the statement continues.
“The UNP welcomes the statement of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Prime Minister and the President to use the full force of the law against those causing religious tensions, racial hatred and undermining the efforts at reconciliation since the new government came to power. “At the January 2015 presidential election as well as the August 2015 general election, the UNP and its allies received a mandate for their reconciliation efforts. The UNP will not waver in ensuring that ethnic peace, religious harmony and rule of law are maintained, the statement says.
“A corner stone of every religion is non-violence and the respect for others. Those who spread hate and instigate violence are only undermining the faiths they claim to protect.
“The UNP joins the President and the Prime Minister in urging the law enforcement authorities to bring to justice those responsible for hate crimes.
There is no place for religious intolerance and racial hatred in the 21st century Sri Lanka as it emerges a peaceful, stable and a strong economy and a beacon of hope for democracy.
“Political forces relegated to the dustbin of history are attempting to exploit extremism and extremists in the hope of returning to power.
The UNP, with its strong commitment to national unity and harmony, will resist such bankrupt political opportunists and urge the authorities to swiftly bring them to justice. They will not prevail.
“The UNP has faith in the vast majority of Sri Lankans to protect the freedoms they enjoy under the new unity government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe,” the statement stressed.