The Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Canada spearheaded a multi-faith service on August 9th 2009, at the Bronson Center in Ottawa to mark the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka. This event was organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission and the friends of Sri Lanka in Ottawa as an initial step towards its efforts to integrate the communities after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka.
With the attendance of a large crowd representing all ethnic and religious groups, this occasion was graced by religious dignitaries representing, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim prelates. Addressing the gathering, the religious leaders expressed their appreciation for organizing such an event, according to them the event is timely and as a thoughtful gesture. The value of such reconciliation programs and the need to extend similar programs was emphasized in their sermons while thanking the active participation of the community and their support for such an event.
The High Commissioner, Daya Perera paid tribute to the religious dignitaries for their wise counseling and reiterated the importance of working together to sustain the peace that has been achieved. He stated that in Sri Lanka, many lives have been lost due to the conflict and many dreams have been shattered and generations of youth have been lost. In memory of all those who lost their lives, one minute of silence was observed. Ms. Anzul Jhan, Counsellor thanked all those who contributed to make this event a success. Deputy High Commissioner C.A.H.M. Wijeratne was also present.
The High Commission in Ottawa plans to hold similar religious services in other cities in the hope of building bridges between the communities. The ready response of the community in organizing such an event is evidence of their own commitment to peace.
The Multi-Faith service was followed by a successful Pot Luck Food Sale, the proceeds of which is to be utilized to purchase artificial limbs for civilians and soldiers affected by the conflict.
Sri Lanka High Commission
August 11, 2009