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* Sri Lanka continues dialogue to ensure interfaith harmony and understanding
Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 09:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka says in keeping with the social, cultural and historical norms, regular dialogue continues to take place at various levels to ensure interfaith harmony and understanding among the diverse religious groups in the country.

Delivering a statement at the Forum on Minority Issues at the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Wednesday, the Sri Lankan delegation said the country has faced many challenges after the three-decade long conflict that had taken a toll on the people.

The government is seeking to address these challenges in line with the National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the delegation said.

The statement to the Council noted that National Plan of Action contains many recommendations that seek to promote religious tolerance and inter-communal and inter-religious understanding as well as to address grievances and grant redress to those whose rights have been violated on ethnic or religious grounds.

Following the recommendations, the government has granted compensation to places of religious worship and is also rebuilding those places of worship of all religions that were destroyed during the conflict period, the delegation told the UNHRC.

While noting that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, the statement said Sri Lankan Government is committed to protecting and ensuring the rights of all people in Sri Lanka to enjoy freedom of religion.

The government further said that the Sri Lanka has recruited an increasing number of public service officers including women from the Tamil and Muslim communities who are serving in key government institutions and make a commendable contribution to national development.

The delegation said Sri Lanka will continue to foster the rights of minorities, as an integral part of the ongoing national reconciliation process.

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