Friday, May 24, 2019 04:52:02 PM

Opening our Minds to Thrive with our Neighbours

By Lalith Gunaratne - Mon Mar 26, 5:40 am

We can feel diminished by the tragic events that happened in Sri Lanka when our neighbours were targeted in the anti-Muslim riots or we can consider it an opportunity for everyone to take action.

The extremism seen in the Wahabbi movement, and the emergence of extremist Tamil nationalist and Sinhala-Buddhist movements pushed by demagogues are reaching vulnerable and fearful people. In the absence of the correct knowledge, they can be lead to think that their community can be liberated at the expense of another.

People join these movements at the spur of the moment, out of their own need for belonging and a sense of self-importance for what they think is a just cause are met.

Religions, which originated from specific regions of the globe, spread through peaceful means, migration or violent crusades to Sri Lanka, where they have separated people.  Unfortunately, government policies and systems are institutionalising this separation, through language policies, schools, politics, socio-cultural settings, regions, neighbourhoods and communities.

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