Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena invited the National Unity Forum (NUF) to share their views on an inclusive Sri Lanka on December 18, 2020.
Through its programs, the NUF promotes one Sri Lanka concept as opposed to multiculturalism. Honourable Yapa said that the country can benefit from professionals, academics and the entrepreneurs of the NUF.
He urged them to develop a think tank that will drive Sri Lanka from a developing country to a developed nation.
“Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and we have to work together to build social harmony, political stability and economic prosperity.” he said.
Formed in May 2019, the NUF advocates the concept of ‘Inclusive Nationalism’. They promote the idea of a common Sri Lankan identity, where everyone is to be included under a secure state where the Government provides a safe environment for all citizens of Sri Lanka through its national security program.
Under such an environment one is free to practice his or her religious and cultural beliefs in a dignified and safe environment while paying due respect to others religious and cultural beliefs. All religious and ethnic divisions and the sense of mistrust prevalent between individuals and communities are shed under this state.
The NUF strongly believes that the concept of ‘Inclusive Nationalism’ is the way forward for harmonious Sri Lanka since all attempts at trying to bring communities to co-habit have miserably failed. The NUF’s four pillars for an inclusive Sri Lanka are the four Ds- DISCIPLINE, DEFENSE, DEVELOPMENT and DEMOCRACY.
NUF Convener Prof. Rizvi Hasan said : “We believe that this is the only way forward to protect all our citizens and preserve our unique position in the world community ushering prosperity to all with no harm to any.”
Hon. Speaker was receptive to the NUF proposal of an action plan to unite all citizens under one Sri Lankan identity. Through an act of Parliament, the NUF plans to move forward with implementing its proposal through community leaders and schools to build a cohesive Sri Lankan society.
The NUF team was headed by Governor Marshall (Retd) Roshan Goonetileke and Minister of Justice Ali Sabry PC, Samantha Ratwatte PC, Prof Susirith Mendis, Prof . Rizvy Hassan (Convener) Dr Kenneth de Zilwa, Dilshan Rajapakse, Arjuna de Silva, Shiraz Latiff (Secretary) Dr. Chameera Yapa Abeywardena and Shanika Sriyananda (Media Secretary ).