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A Call for Respect and Harmony amidst Differences
The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
CEYLON 060818-1
August 18, 2006

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] Many Sri Lankans were shocked and dismayed with the ugly scenes at the anti-war front peace rally shown on TV on the 17th.

The manner of intervention by the monks was unfortunate and unacceptable.

The manner in which the monks were visibly man-handled was equally unfortunate and unacceptable.

It is regrettable that such aggressive acts occurred at an anti-war rally at which several well meaning religious dignitaries and peace loving citizens from all religions were present. The TV cameras however prominently focused on certain politicians.

Mistakes have been made on both sides but relationships can and must be restored.

I am confident that the Organisers of this event will initiate a reconciliation in the spirit of peace, and that the monks concerned will reciprocate in the spirit of the dhamma.

Such a reconciliation will be an excellent gesture on how people like us who repeatedly make mistakes can still deal with our differences and live in community without destroying each other.

The momentum for peace initiatives must continue and I urge the authorities to ensure the necessary democratic space and climate for free demonstrations, gatherings and initiatives.

May all Beings live in harmony.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo