Cultural Interaction unites and does not divide - NPC

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 October 2003, 12:01 GMT]
Commending the organisers of the Sinhala-Tamil Arts Circle for organising the cultural interaction events in Colombo this week, the National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo based Sri Lankan peace group, in a media release issued in Colombo today condemned the "attitude of a section of the media who ran, and continue to run, stories claiming that the cultural interaction was an LTTE orchestrated one."

The full text of NPC's media release follows:

The National Peace Council condemns the violent disruption of an inter-ethnic cultural interaction by members of anti peace organisations. The cultural interaction, organised by the Sinhala-Tamil Arts Circle, brought together over two hundred leading artistes, writers and cultural activists from the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities, and also from the north east.

Those who violently attacked the event and caused bloodshed claimed that they were acting to protect the unity of the country and safeguard it from those who wished to divide Sri Lanka. Ironically, this cultural interaction was an effort to bring together the intellectual and cultural leaders of the ethnic communities who had been divided by years of war and ethnic conflict.

We deplore the attitude of a section of the media who ran, and continue to run, stories claiming that the cultural interaction was an LTTE orchestrated one. They have misleadingly termed it "Pongu Thamil" which is an entirely different mobilisation process, focusing on Tamil political demands.

The National Peace Council appeals to the peace loving people of the country, who are the vast majority, to express their abhorrence of the violence which will only serve to maintain the divide between people who want to create a shared future.

Finally, as a peace organisation, we commend the organisers of the cultural interaction and express our solidarity with them, as peace building requires activities at all levels of society, and involving all segments, and is a task that cannot be left only to the leaders of the government and opposition.


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