“Language is the primary tool in uniting people of all ethnicities. The era we live in today is the best for the use of language where we see many efforts to create division among the people.” said Mr. Milinda Mayadunna of the Department of Official Languages. We spoke with Mr. Mayadunna on how language can be better used as a tool for reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
This is a brief interview with Ms. Juwairiya, Director at Muslim Women Development Trust and Counsellor, Empowerment of Women and Families on the much needed reconciliation efforts that should take place after the recent Easter Sunday Attacks.
In the present Sri Lankan context, bringing about reconciliation and coexistence among the races requires discussion on proposals submitted by us in 2015 regarding transitional justice, amendments to the constitution and reconciliation activities said Dr. Packiyasothy Saravanamuthu, Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives and Secretary, Government Reconciliation Task Force. Dro Saravanamuthu and his initiatives have operated as a voice of conscience to state bodies in Sri Lanka for several years.
Thousands were arrested across Sri Lanka following Easter Sunday’s bombings. One detainee, Ms. Mazahima, a 47 year old from Hasalaka, Mahiyanganaya was not arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, but simply on the basis on her clothes. She was charged with wearing a garment which a purported a Dharma Chakra, a Buddhist religious symbol. She was detained for 17 days and then released on personal bail of Rs. 100,000.
Wanaspathi Uruwarige Wannila Aththo is the present leader of Sri Lanka’s tribe of indigenous people called Veddahs. Wannila Aththo expressed his concern about the present sociopolitical and cultural aspects of the country. Having remained unbiased on national issues, he expressed his opinions relating to the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka in an exclusive interview with Catamaran recently.
“If the Executive President, the Defense Sector and Judiciary of the country function properly, racial harmony is likely to be seen,” says Izzadeen Lathief, Coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Kalmunai Region.
Poor and uneducated young men risk their lives to clear landmines leftover from the war. Proper funding could make the job safer.