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Parliamentary Select Committee to promote communal harmony

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  • 18 Parliamentarians submit motion seeking a Parliamentary Select Committee to make recommendations 

 A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) is to be established to study and report to Parliament its recommendations on ensuring communal and religious harmony in Sri Lanka.

MPs Ananda Kumarasiri, Lakshman Kiriella, Gayantha Karunatileka, Thalatha Atukorale, Ruwan Wijewardene, Velu Kumar, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, M.A. Sumanthiran, Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Douglas Devananda, D.M. Swaminathan, Lucky Jayawardana, Rauff Hakeem, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Mano Ganesan, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, Susil Premajayantha and John Amaratunga are among the 18 Parliamentarians who signed the motion seeking to establish the PSC.

The motion highlights the recent communal unrest in the Kandy and Ampara districts this year as well as the incidents in the Beruwala District in 2014 and points out the necessity to “establish a proper mechanism to address such a situation and prevent such misunderstandings among communities in the future.”Accordingly, the motion states: “This Parliament resolves that a Select Committee of Parliament be appointed to study and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure communal and religious harmony in Sri Lanka in several areas including preventing the propagation of defamatory opinions that undermine national harmony or engagement in such activities and the necessity of taking firm legal action against individuals who engage in such activities, to promote the future generation from inheriting the differences that prevailed in the past along with the undue consequences created and to value the direct and frank intervention and contribution of all parties concerned to ensure religious and national reconciliation.”

The motion also included measures to categorise the school system on a non-racial and non-religious basis, for the parliamentary committee to entertain complaints from minorities and for a panel of experts to be established to promote religious and communal harmony. 

The Committee and its Chairman will be nominated by the Speaker and have no more than 25 speakers. It is also expected to submit its report within six days of the first sitting.  (SG)

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