'We Are A Nation Familiar With Co-Existence' MR

Sri Lanka, a nation inspired by Buddhism for well over 2,500 years, have co-existed peacefully with communities of other faiths despite attempts to create communal tensions from time to time, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said.

"There are various groups who try to create differences in order to undermine our Buddhist values," he said.

"We are a nation familiar with co-existence," Rajapaksa said, while addressing a Buddhist gathering in the southern province.

His comments coincided with the interrogation of a hardline Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara of the extremist Bodu Bala Sena group.

"Properties owned by Muslim were subject to arson attacks. There was a campaign to tarnish the good image of the Buddhists. No one will benefit from discriminating against other religions," Rajapaksa said, adding that there are elements who want to see the country burning with communal flames.

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