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* Protest rally in Sri Lanka against hate speech proceeds peacefully
Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 12:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 28, Colombo: Thousands of Sri Lankans of all faiths and religions took to the streets of the capital city of Colombo this afternoon to protest against hate speech and racial and religious attacks on the minorities.

The anti-hate "Rally for Unity - Hate Has No Place in Sri Lanka" is being held today to protest against the recent incidents of violence directed at minority communities in the country by extremist nationalistic groups.

The rally is part of a series of non-partisan, non-violent awareness campaigns, organized by a voluntary movement of concerned Sri Lankans from various institutions, professions and industries, the organizers say.

The Rally for Unity comes just two weeks after the police and the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena disrupted and dispersed a rally organized by a group called Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena outside the BBS headquarters in Colombo.

However reports form Colombo say today's rally is peaceful and police are walking alongside the protesters.

Carrying placards which read "Diversity our Strength", and "Hate has no place in Sri Lanka", people from all walks of life including Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhist monks, and Christian priests converged at Nelum Pokuna, Green Path this morning.

The organizers hope that the rally would be a catalyst for similar events and initiatives, and empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka.

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