Whither mu­tual co­ex­is­tence?

Southasia - - EDITORS MAIL -

I have read with grow­ing sad­ness news sto­ries com­ing out of Sri Lanka about the in­creas­ing num­ber of cases of at­tacks on re­li­gious mi­nori­ties liv­ing in the coun­try. Having spent a long time in Sri Lanka due to my pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, I had wit­nessed first­hand the har­mony that ex­isted between the Bud­dhists, Mus­lims, Christians and Hin­dus who lived there. Even though the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces was be­ing fought at that time, it was more of an eth­nic con­flict. But what is hap­pen­ing now has ob­vi­ous re­li­gious over­tones and is wor­ri­some.

If you go to Sri Lanka, you will find the wor­ship places of Hin­dus, Mus­lims, Christians and Bud­dhists lo­cated a few me­ters away from each other. There are stat­ues of Je­sus, Mary and Bud­dha at al­most ev­ery cor­ner. Never were th­ese van­dal­ized – not that I know of at least. At­tacks on re­li­gious mi­nori­ties were un­heard of. So what has hap­pened to the coun­try now? The gov­ern­ment of Sri Lanka should take no­tice of the alarm­ing sit­u­a­tion. If it fails to act swiftly, it may have an­other con­flict on its hands soon.

Sabeeh Ab­basi

Rawalpindi, Pak­istan

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