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Faiths get together to promote harmony

If church and temple unite, Sri Lankans 'could build religious and ethnic togetherness'

Children performing a cultural dance on inter ethical unity Children performing a cultural dance on inter ethical unity
  • ucanews.com reporter, Thlhiriya
  • Sri Lanka
  • May 2, 2011
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More than 2,000 people, including 20 Muslim, Christian Buddhist clergy and large number of Tamil estate workers gathered on April 30 for a celebration to promote ethnic and religious harmony.

The meeting at a temple yard at Mangedara, Tulhiriya, a Buddhist majority hilly village in the diocese of Ratnapura.

Addressing the different faiths, Anglican Bishop Shantha Francis of Kurunegala diocese said: “If church and temple unite we could build religious and ethnic harmony.”

The thirty year long ethnic war “is the result of the failure on part of the church and temple to conduct constructive programs between communities,” he said.

The Inter-religious Alliance for National Unity (IANU) organized traditional games, folk dances, inter religious hymns and songs of different communities as well as a poster campaign.

Professor Kumburugamuwe Wajira Thero, chairman of IANU told that “Sri Lankans contributed to tarnish the image of the country by forming disharmony among Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians.”

“Today we saw religious and ethnic harmony. We need this unity every day,” said Seyed Hassan Moulana, the Muslim priest addressing the gathering.

Bishop Francis said Sri Lanka needs a multifaith and multi-ethnic society where there is respect for each other to build a non-conflict country.

Buddhists make up 74 percent of the 20 million population of the country, Hindus 12 percent, Muslims eight percent and Christians six percent.

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