Colombo, March 28 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lankan diplomats, on Wednesday said the island country must re-double its efforts to support national reconciliation in order to prevent anti-communal clashes.
A statement from the office of the European Union to Sri Lanka, said the Ambassador of the European Union, Tung-Laï Margue, the Ambassador of Romania, Dr. Victor Chiujdea, and Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, the Ambassador of Switzerland visited Kandy, in Central Sri Lanka, where recent communal clashes left three dead, scores injured and over 200 homes, shops, mosques and temples burnt or damaged.
The Ambassadors said Sri Lankans know ‘all too well’ the consequences of not addressing religious and ethnic hatred, and reiterated the importance of political, religious and community leaders taking the initiative to counter hate speech and racist stereotypes.
The envoys further emphasised that there must be no impunity for such crimes.
During discussions with the Buddhist clergy, the envoys emphasised the importance of starting a systematic dialogue with other religious leaders to avoid the recurrence of the recent violence.
Anti Muslim clashes erupted in Kandy, earlier this month causing severe damage to businesses, loss of lives and fear to spread across the Central Hills.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena imposed a week long state of emergency whilst the government also temporarily banned social media platforms in order to avoid the spread of hate speech and the escalation of violence.
The state of emergency was lifted on March 18.
Over 300 people were arrested over the clashes, police said.
The latest clashes were triggered after a 41-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a group of people on Feb 22.
Last month, anti Muslim clashes erupted in Ampara, in Eastern Sri Lanka leaving at least five people injured.