Dalai Lama leads interfaith call for peace in Ceylon

The Dalai Lama has added his voice to the call made by Anglican leaders of the Church of Ceylon for an end to Buddhist attacks on the country’s Muslim minority. In an address delivered on his 79th birthday before a crowd of several thousand supporters in the Indian town of Leh, the Dalai Lama urged Buddhists in Sri Lanka to “imagine an image of Buddha before they commit such a crime.” He added that “Buddha preaches love and compassion. If the Buddha is there, he will protect the Muslims whom the Buddhists are attacking.” On 18 June 2014 the Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey released a statement condemning attacks on Muslims led by militant Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The bishop noted that “Sri Lanka is home to different communities who have co-existed for centuries, all of whom have partnered in the country’s development and must be allowed to enjoy the right to security and dignity as equal citizens of a united Sri Lanka.” Bishop Canagasabey said it was a “cornerstone of genuine democracy and the right of every citizen not to suffer attacks on the basis of religious affiliation,” he said adding that he had called upon the leaders of the country’s Buddhist community to “unequivocally demand that the extremist perpetrators of the attacks face due justice and that meaningful and effective steps be taken to prevent the recurrence and facilitation of such atrocities in the name of religion.”

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