Foreign forces destabilising country, says PresidentView(s):
President Mahinda Rajapaksa charged last night that “international forces are engaged in concerted efforts to destabilise the country” and urged all Sri Lankans to be like children of one mother. “I respectfully request all brotherly citizens of this country to understand this grave situation and work towards building friendship and co-existence among communities,” he said in a recorded address to the nation.
The address came hours after he held a meeting in Badulla yesterday with Muslim ministers and parliamentarians of the UPFA. (See P 14 for related story).
The President said it was clear that there were efforts once again to endanger the peace and reconciliation that was gradually established in the country after the defeat of the separatist and communal sentiments heightened by the LTTE.
“I have instructed the Police and the security forces not to allow anyone to take the law into their hands. I have instructed them to strictly enforce the law against anyone who violates the law of this land,” he said. President Rajapaksa said all law enforcement officers must be committed to act against any person or group which attempts to spread racial hatred or religious hatred. “A culture that respects and tolerates each other’s views should be established. Violence is a trait of the uncivilized. The greatness of a race can only be achieved not by attacking one another but by respecting one another,” he said.
He called upon the people not to separate themselves as Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims, but “like we sing in our national anthem, let us join hands like the children of one mother.”