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Sri Lankan startup founders condemn communal clashes; call for unity, political action

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:00

Several members of the startup community of Sri Lanka in a statement yesterday condemned the violence which has recently taken place in certain parts of the country. 

“We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese. We may practice Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. But we are all Sri Lankans who believe and promote the idea that by living, playing and working together, we can help make Sri Lanka a peaceful, inspiring and prosperous leader in the global community,” the Sri Lankan startup founders said. 

They said to help achieve this vision, political representatives and the police needed take urgent action to ensure that this organised violence never happened again. 

The following are excerpts of the statement.

We demand our Government officials to urgently undertake the following actions:

nInvestigate the evidence, arrest the perpetrators and make them accountable for the crimes committed. The law in Sri Lanka must be enforced without political interference and justice must be carried out.

nShow strong leadership, ensuring there is zero tolerance for acts of racism and violence against our fellow citizens.

nRemove all restrictions on Internet services immediately. Instead of censoring the Internet, identify individuals and groups that use social media to promote hate and use legal mechanisms to bring them to justice.

The scars of the 30-year-long war are only just beginning to fade away. Men and women from all our diverse communities fought to create a free Sri Lanka. We never want our country to experience war again.

We expect our political leaders to show leadership and do what is necessary and act swiftly to ensure that no individual or group is given the space or the opportunity to create inter-community violence with impunity.

Research shows that organisations that exhibit diversity across ethnicity and gender perform better. By all of us working together, championing diversity and without thinking about colour, race, religion or gender, we can make Sri Lanka an amazing little island that punches well above its weight. 

As entrepreneurs and technology leaders we believe in passion, perseverance, innovation, integrity, creativity and ingenuity. We make a commitment to never discriminate over a person’s race or religion. We will be formulating a diversity and inclusion pledge that Sri Lankan startups can adopt. We will share this broadly for other companies and organisations to also adopt.

Sri Lanka’s startup community is ready to work with the Government, individuals and other groups to ensure a safe environment for all citizens. We are ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure Sri Lanka does not slide back to the dark ages of war and of unaccountable government.

The signatories to the statement are Creately, ELearning.lk, Umbrella Insights, Yohobed, Creately, Mycabz, Twinkling Dreams Wedding Planners, Virtual Tuition Ltd., Loops Solutions, Quantei, gudppl, Effective Solutions Ltd., Strive, Superb Business Solutions, Cropcircle, WEBXPAY, Ocaloka, SW Colombo, StartupX Foundry, Mediajogger, Common Edge, PayMedia, Onsbay Ceylon, PayMedia, Speed IT net, Puppet Animations, Blue lotus 360, MyStore.lk, EnXone technologies, Hostels Lanka, ShopBox, ConscientAI, E-Law Solutions, ShortKast, Yoho Bed, Alakazam, SIXER VIDEO, Rent Club, Welanka Holidays, Workout.lk, Extreme SEO Internet Solutions, iPlayDeal, Cemex HRM and Takas.lk.

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