Sept 11, Mannar: Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa today stressed that he will not allow any room in the country to promote racism or religious extremism to flourish .
Speaking at an election rally in Mannar in the Northern Province to support the election campaign of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the forthcoming provincial council elections, the President said all the ethnic and religious groups in the country are now able to live in peace and harmony irrespective of their orientations and he will not let separatist elements to promote division and disrupt the harmony to fulfill narrow political gains.
Noting that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people and others, enjoying diversity, he emphasized the need to protect future generations from the separatist elements.
He requested the people not to be swayed by false propaganda dished out by the separatists and commit themselves to respect all religious and ethnic groups and to safeguard the hard won freedom.
At the rally in Mannar, a group of former LTTE cadres met President Rajapaksa on stage and expressing their support joined the ruling alliance.
Addressing a public rally held in Vavuniya town earlier in the day, the President said that the right vested in other provinces has been given to the Northern Province also to enthrone democracy in the country and rule it within a unitary country.
Referring to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) demand for self-determination in a merged North and East, the President said that he specially wanted the public to know that no one would be permitted to divide the country as the LTTE leader Prabhakaran wanted.
He stressed that the present Government is totally against communalism and it respects all religions and communities. The President said that everyone should learn how to live within one country protecting and respecting all religions and communities.
At the rally, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress candidate for Northern Provincial Council M.M. Uvais expressing his support to the President joined the ruling party.
General Secretary of the Freedom Alliance Minister Susil Premajayantha, Ministers Rishad Bathiyutheen, Tissa Karalliyadde and M.L.A.M. Hisbullah also participated in the rallies.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)