Those relegated to dustbin of history exploiting extremism: UNP

June 19, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main ruling party, the United National Party, says political forces relegated to the dustbin of history are the ones who are attempting to exploit extremism and extremists in the hope of returning to power.

Welcoming the decision of the cabinet to use full force of law against those causing religious tensions, the Chairman of United National Party Malik Samarawickrama said UNP has remained a secular political party fostering unity while building a truly Sri Lankan identity.

“Political forces relegated to the dustbin of history are attempting to exploit extremism and extremists in the hope of returning to power,” Samarawickrama said releasing an official statement.

Samarawickrama said no individual or organization causing religious tensions should be allowed to escape prosecution.

“The UNP, with its strong commitment to national unity and harmony, will resist such bankrupt political opportunists and urge the authorities to swiftly bring them to justice.”

Samarawickrama further said the UNP has faith in the vast majority of Sri Lankans to protect the freedoms they enjoy under the new unity government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

At the January 2015 presidential election as well as the August 2015 general election, the UNP and its allies received a mandate for their reconciliation efforts.

Meanwhile, during the weekend, the police arrested four people including a Buddhist monk and a police officer accused of taking part in an attack on a mosque.

Full statement issued by Malik Samarawickrama, Chairman of United National Party.

The United National Party notes with deep concern the recent attempts by subversive elements to sabotage the reconciliation efforts of the national unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Since its founding, the UNP has remained a secular political party fostering unity while building a truly Sri Lankan identity.

The UNP welcomes the statement of the Cabinet of ministers, the Prime Minister and the President to use the full force of the law against those causing religious tensions, racial hatred and undermining the efforts at reconciliation since the new government came to power.

At the January 2015 presidential election as well as the August 2015 general election, the UNP and its allies received a mandate for their reconciliation efforts. The UNP will not waver in ensuring that ethnic peace, religious harmony and rule of law are maintained.

A corner stone of every religion is non-violence and the respect for others. Those who spread hate and instigate violence are only undermining the faiths they claim to protect.

The UNP joins the President and the Prime Minister in urging the law enforcement authorities to bring to justice those responsible for hate crimes. There is no place for religious intolerance and racial hatred in the 21st century Sri Lanka as it emerges a peaceful, stable and a strong economy and a beacon of hope for democracy.

No individual or organization causing religious tensions should be allowed to escape prosecution. Sri Lanka cannot be pulled back to the dark days of war when tens of thousands of lives were lost. The economic stagnation and international isolation are things of the past.

However, political forces relegated to the dustbin of history are attempting to exploit extremism and extremists in the hope of returning to power. The UNP, with its strong commitment to national unity and harmony, will resist such bankrupt political opportunists and urge the authorities to swiftly bring them to justice. They will not prevail.

The UNP has faith in the vast majority of Sri Lankans to protect the freedoms they enjoy under the new unity government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.