The Elders this week called on the Sri Lankan government to end impunity for those committing and inciting sectarian violence in the country, following attacks on Muslims in Kandy by Sinhala Buddhist mobs earlier this month.
“I am deeply alarmed by the recent upsurge in sectarian violence in Sri Lanka," Gro Brundtland, the former Norwegian prime minister and Deputy Chair of The Elders said.
"Anti-Muslim attacks are an increasing threat to peace and security across South and South-East Asia, and the authorities in Colombo need to act urgently to restore peace and order before communal relations deteriorate further," he added.
The former UN diplomat and Elder, Lakhdar Brahimi said:
“Sri Lanka has had more than its fair share of strife, violence and gross human rights abuses in recent years. The people of Sri Lanka deserve peace, and their Government fully understands and accepts that it has a responsibility to protect the rights of all its people. All political and civil society leaders must reject the toxic rhetoric of Islamophobia from extremist Buddhist monks, the consequences of which can be seen across the region. All should do more to promote tolerance and reconciliation.”