The article ‘A Matter of Religious Freedom’ affected me on various levels. Being a Sri Lankan and a follower of Buddhism, I, myself, was deeply disturbed by the violence inflicted on a section of society by some Buddhist monks. But here is what the world should understand. It was (and is) merely a group of radical monks which does not represent the majority of the followers of this faith. The Buddhists believe in peace and coexistence and preach these values extensively.
The people belonging to all faiths, including Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists have lived together in Sri Lankan for centuries. In fact, after the riots, many people who belonged to the Christian and Buddhist communities were at the forefront of relief efforts to help the affectees. So it is wrong to form an opinion based on the actions of a few and suggest that the entire Sri Lankan society is embracing extremism
and intolerance. That is clearly not the case. However, it is also essential that the majority of the Sri Lankans, who believe in peaceful coexistence, should come out against the perpetrators of violence and denounce them.
Cyril Fernando Galle, Sri Lanka