Original Chinese Language Article By: Melani Manel Perera (30.4.2013)
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Thousands of young people took to the streets to protest about inter-communal, ethnic and religious violence, and the loss of freedom this violence entails. Such a protest is particularly poignant at this present, due to the upsurge in extremist Buddhist violence in Sri Lanka, which has spread fear of persecution throughout the country.
These events in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was covered by AsiaNews on the 24th of April, 2013, and saw thousands of Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims come together in solidarity to reject extremism, intolerance and violence, and to call for peace in every community in the country. This action has followed recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka, believed to have been initiated by extremist Buddhist groups, that has unsettled every community. This protest denounced religious bigotry, intolerance, persecution, and violence, stating that coming together in peace should be the answer. It is believed that this protest was unplanned and spontaneously developed on the streets as people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds came together out of mutual respect.
A Catholic representative named De Silva stated that Sri Lanka has just recently emerged from the shadows of a long civil war, and that he has personally witnessed the growing of hatred – day by day – within society. He said that is the young people who have the burden of expelling hatred from society – it is their shoulders this task has fallen upon. He continued that it was early days for the peace movement, (even with Buddhist monks present) and that he thought the road might be long.
Buddhist monks from the younger generation participated in the protest and acknowledged that certain Buddhist groups had adopted a racist and nationalist agenda that put the Sinhalese people before everyone else. These ‘extremist’ Buddhist groups had been a thorn in the side of the Christian and Muslim communities. This, they said, was incorrect, and added that hatred and racism has no place within genuine Buddhist practice.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.
Original Chinese Language Source Text: