Text and pix by P.D. De Silva
IN contrast to gory scenes a few miles away in Aluthgama, the Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in and around Dickwella led by Dickwella Shasana Bala Mandalaya President Ven. Godellewela Rathananda in an exemplary move spent two hours on Monday night at the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella.
The act of solidarity was to strengthen communal ties and avert any fears of an extremist uprising in the area as an aftermath of the unfortunate incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala.
Clergy from Buddhist temples in Dickwella and Islamic devotees of the main mosque
from the area in a sincere act of harmony during their engagement on Monday
The decision to visit the mosque was made on Monday morning at an emergency meeting held at the Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha on the instructions of Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma.
The delegation of Buddhist monks accompanied by all the members of the Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha led by Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana, Officer-in-Charge of the Dickwella Police Station Lasantha Dadallage and other Government officials were warmly welcomed by the Moulavi of the Muhiyideen Jumma Mosque Mohamed Akbar Mohamed Shamil and the Muslim community.
Addressing those gathered, the venerable clergy said that the root cause of the incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala were due to ill-informed and misguided masses and that the people of Dickwella should be vigilant of persons who would try to instigate communal disharmony in their town.
The people of Dickwella and its surroundings are known to each other and have lived in harmony by respecting each other’s beliefs and customs. They assured that there had been no animosity between the communities in the past and nor would animosity arise in the future.
Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana said that all the members of the PS irrespective of their political affiliations would ensure that no communal hatred was instigated among the constituents of the area.