National Vision for Sri Lanka
statement by Kataragama-based journalist and educator Nelson Piyaratne
"Kataragama is only the place in Sri Lanka--perhaps in the world--where all the people worship one God together peacefully. I believe that peace in Sri Lanka should begin here in Kataragama. This year (2003) half a million pilgrims visited Kataragama during the festival alone. At perahera time one sees all different people moving together in a congenial atmosphere. It shows that all can live as brothers and sisters. This is the best place to start to do something for lasting peace.
I believe that the cause of the conflict was people's lack of understanding. Religion also plays an important role. People including adults must be educated properly if we are to avoid conflict in the future. Dhamma education is also important; it teaches people to tolerate others and their religion. Likewise, respect for tradition is a must for people's unity and for avoiding unnecessary conflict."
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Examples of articles by M. Nelson Piyaratne: