For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
‘We Are Sri Lankans’ says that a struggle for equal rights for all communities is the only way to gain power, noting that communalistic political games are not a shortcut to power. In a statement, the organization led by Udul Premaratne says officials and the government are sowing seeds of communalism for their existence after making the leftist movement bankrupt.
It has issued the statement in response to a ‘Divaina’ article, which accuses the organization of accepting money from the pro-LTTE Diaspora.
The newspaper alleges ‘We Are Sri Lankans’, formed to safeguard rights of young Tamil detainees of the North and the East, has received considerable foreign aid.
The former IUSF convener, in his response, challenges ‘Divaina’ to prove its allegations if possible, and says he strongly condemns them as baseless and malicious.
He says ‘We Are Sri Lankans’ was formed under the auspices of the university community to promote national unity and had not carried out any major money-spending projects.
The protests staged by the organization in support of political prisoners had the blessings of the people, with university students making progressive contributions and receiving considerable public attention, he says.
It was for the rebuilding of four schools in the East that some financial contributions had to be made, which was done with money collected by university students.
‘We Are Sri Lankans’ urges the people to unite against communalism, asks political parties to desist the use of communalism in politics and the media not to resort to communal-minded reporting.