No more ethnic or religious conflicts

Maithripala pledges a united Sri Lanka


President Rajapaksa ran a government bullying his ministers and party leaders in the cabinet. No one dared to cross him fearing the files. Even institutions of good governance and legal bodies were brought under his spell, common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena declared on Christmas day.

Addressing a meeting at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre organized by the National United Front (NUF), Sirisena said "We will however re-establish a country where all are free to perform their duties and equal before the law".

Leader of the NUF former Member of Parliament M.M. Zuhair PC presided over the well- attended meeting where Maithripala Sirisena, Karu Jayasuriya and several other UNP leaders addressed the Muslim community.

Sirisena said "I am fully aware that Muslims the world over are an important and fraternal people. It was regrettable that during recent times in our country certain serious attempts were made, supported by some in the government, to create communal tensions and disunity among the people. We saw several incidents recently in which Muslims as a community came under threat and harassment. We have pledged in our manifesto to eliminate ethnic and religious conflicts. I pledge to ensure a united Sri Lanka. We will make certain that there is no discrimination among the religious ethnic, language or caste groups. Everyone is entitled to his religious beliefs and practices. That is no reason for disunity within one country. Freedom and equality are essential components in a democracy. I will ensure that the rights of everyone are protected.

"The current President is bullying and frightening not only the Ministers but also other party leaders in the cabinet, high ranking officials through others with him and even several in the judiciary are afraid of him. We will ensure all including the judiciary are free to act according to law. We will uphold the dignity of all", he said.

Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council and Member of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya said the country was going through challenging times since the end of the war. The country was crumbling on all fronts. "Our ethnicity is something we inherited at birth. We have no role in that inheritance. We cannot quarrel over such matters. We should respect the differences we had inherited and guarantee a life with dignity for everyone. The Sinhalese and the Muslims had always co-existed peacefully. Muslims have contributed much to the development and progress of our country. The United national Party led by Ranil Wickremesinghe has the support of all the communities. That is because of its non-discriminatory policy all throughout its history. We are certain that Maithripala Sirisena our common candidate will sweep to victory on January 8th".

Colombo District Member of Parliament Sujeewa Senasinghe, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil, Western Provincial Council Member Mujibur Rahman, NUF leader M.M. Zuhair and several others also addressed the gathering.

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