Feb 04, Trincomalee: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said creating communal and religious disharmony in the country is similar to promoting terrorism and vowed not to let communal and religious differences to divide the country again.
Addressing the nation at the 65th Independence Day celebrations in the Eastern port city of Trincomalee, the President said Sri Lanka is a country where all religious and national groups lived in harmony and he will not allow "what terrorism failed to do".
He told the people that those who spread religious hatred are not protecting the religion but promoting the separatism.
Explaining the history of the port city the President said Trincomalee, where all three major ethnic groups -Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims- live, is the best example of communal religious harmony.
The President, reminding that Sri Lanka struggled to gain independence from colonial rule, asked the people to protect that independence from foreign intervention. He stressed that not only the government but also the opposition has to protect the country's independence.
Reading an excerpt from the UN Charter the President said every country should respect the UN Charter which says that no country has the right to intervene in the sovereign affairs of another country.
He urged the international community to respect the UN Charter as Sri Lanka does.
"We respect the UN Charter and urge other countries to respect it too," he said.
He pointed out that development and reconciliation are the best response to allegations from other countries which criticize Sri Lanka.
He urged the international community to visit the country to see for firsthand the truth and advised them not to be misled by false propaganda and media reports.
"The best answer to the critics is development and reconciliation. We invite them to come to this country and see" he said.
Commanders of the tri-forces and Police Chief, ministers, parliamentarians and senior government officials, and a large number of diplomats were in attendance at the celebrations.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)