Not ex­trem­ists

Southasia - - EDITOR'S MAIL -

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

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