Voices of reason can make a world of difference in such times – not just in Sri Lanka, because of course Sri Lanka is not alone in battling attempts to violently disrupt the harmonious coexistence of diverse communities. And this is not just about politicians.
Public figures from different spheres like business, sport and entertainment can also make important contributions. Kumar Sangakkara has been a Sri Lankan hero on the cricket field. But having retired from the game he has not retired from batting for the right thing.
After this week’s rioting he tweeted, “STOP. BREATHE. THINK. OPEN YOUR EYES. If we lose ourselves in violence, racism, thuggery and hatred we lose our country. Unite as Sri Lankans, be peaceful, keep each other safe. Do not give into shameful, divisive political agendas. WE HEAL AND RISE TOGETHER AS ONE NATION.”
The message is being widely disseminated. It will make a difference. If you have the pulpit, use it to speak sense.