Sri Lanka – ‘One Country, One Law’ raises concerns of excluding minorities in Sri Lanka

38

Location: Colombo – Sri Lanka

Language: Sinhala

Duration: 00:04:07

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Dateline: 20-01-2022

Storyline:

Observers across the Sri Lankan political spectrum, including some Buddhist nationalists, were taken aback after the president appointed a Buddhist monk, who had been sentenced six years in prison for inciting violence against Muslims, to head the presidential task force “One Country, One Law.” A former governor of the Western Province expressed his skepticism about the Law. He explained that, in concept, the Law is fine if it were to be implemented without discrimination against certain minorities. He added that, on the contrary, lawlessness has prevailed in the country just after the new system has taken into effect, expressing doubt in the government’s intentions.

Shot list:

– Soundbite (Chief Monk of the temple Venerable Thangalle Saradha Thero):

“Currently there is an idea of ‘One Country One Law’ being conceptualized. On one hand one might consider it to be a good move, but we have contradictions of the people’s behavior and their mannerism who are being appointed to head this movement, although, they could be of the clergy. We don’t have the right to exercise the law on the concept of always being right. According to the preaching of the Lord Buddha ‘Sabbe Saththa Bawanthu sukithaththa’ which means ‘May all beings be happy’ and it does not discriminate various nationalities. Similarly, Jesus proclaimed to love thy neighbor and all beings. All religions are based on love, affection and care as the foundation. If that is so, we have to gain an understanding of the various cultural differences of different religions.”

– Soundbite (former Governor of the Western Province Mr. Azath Salley):

“We all agree if the ‘One Country One Law’ applies without any discriminations to all the nationalities of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burgers. We should especially mention, although already a fully stabilized legal system is being implemented in the country and only after this suggested concept of ‘One Country One Law’ we find lawlessness prevailing in the country. Having looked into their history and their mannerisms and crimes within last two years’ time can anyone fathom that justice will be delivered by them. The government where all the gazettes have been reversed, can they carry out the implemented concept of one country one law. Although they say ‘One Country One Law’ we did not see any justice being meted out to majority Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Christians at any time.”

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