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* Sri Lanka's law enforcement given full powers to take action against divisions
Mon, Jun 23, 2014, 07:43 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 23, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has given full powers to the country's law enforcement to take maximum legal action against any individual or organization that attempts to disrupt communal or religious amity.

Issuing a special statement from Badulla on the current situation in the country, the President has said that he had ordered Police and Security Forces not to allow any group to take the law into their hands and to strictly enforce the law against anybody who violates the general law of the country.

"All security personnel should be committed to take maximum legal action against any individual or organization that attempts to spread communal or religious hatred among communities," the President was quoted by the Data and Information Unit of the President in its website.

The President observed that a fresh attempt is being made by certain elements with international forces to put Sri Lanka's peace and reconciliation at risk and destabilize the country when the island nation is enjoying the peace achieved after eliminating terrorism and racism of the LTTE.

Deadly clashes broke out between Muslims and hardline Buddhists in two Muslim-dominated towns in southern Sri Lanka on June 15 killed four people and extensively damaged businesses owned by both Sinhalese and Muslims.

The government deployed the army, the police and members of the elite Special Task Force to maintain order in the towns but the country's police came under heavy criticism for not taking prompt action to prevent the clashes.

"We should not forget that certain international forces which conspired to destabilize the country are also attempting to further complicate the situation," the President said.

The President urged all citizens to comprehend this serious situation very well and work towards amity and co-existence of all ethnic groups.

"The sole intention of all of us should be to build a modern Sri Lankan nation by uniting all ethnic and religious communities in the country. For that a cultural environment of respecting and tolerating the opinion of the others must be established. Violence is a symbol of a tribal era."

The President said the greatness of an ethnic group can only be elevated by respecting and not by attacking the other.

He requested the people to "join hands in brotherhood as children of one mother in the same way we do when singing the National Anthem without diving ourselves as Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil."

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