Sri Lankans celebrate unity as communities join together for Ramadan


Colombo – Over the weekend, thousands of Sri Lankans from various groups gathered for iftar, which they claim represented optimism and unity in a nation that had recently experienced both economic collapse and political upheaval.

Less than 10% of Sri Lanka’s 22 million inhabitants, the majority of whom are Sinhalese Buddhists, are Muslims.

Around 3,000 Sri Lankans congregated in the capital city of Colombo on Sunday for the fast-breaking evening meals known as iftar as the minority community observed the holy month of Ramadan, which entails fasting during daylight hours.

“We planned this to foster harmony between all groups. We’ve always thought that humanity transcends faith. Chief among the event’s organisers is Rizan Nazeer.

He stated that the event’s goal is to “show the unity in this country” and that it was organised by the Sri Lanka Muslim Civil Society, the Soup Kitchen Sri Lanka, and the Torrington Walkers’ Team.

The iftar gathering, according to participant and former president of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, “will significantly strengthen intercommunal amity.”

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims, but today we appreciate the company of members of all communities working towards a common objective, Sirisena said.This coordinated effort by all groups is encouraging evidence that the nation will move forward in the future.

The majority of the island nation of Sri Lanka, which is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis, has returned to calm. Only last year, the country experienced months-long mass demonstrations that led to the ouster of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The iftar gathering on Sunday was a celebration of diversity, according to Poj Harnpol, the Thai ambassador to Colombo.

People from all backgrounds and walks of life are coming together, and Harnpol said, “It’s a blessing that we live in a pluralistic society.” I’m so happy to support national solidarity.
Buddhist Sinhalese convert Y.M. Jayaratne found hope in seeing the broader Sri Lankan community come together.

“I can see that all the communities are engaged here, it’s encouraging to see how this country is overcoming its challenges,” Jayaratne.
We as a nation “had our ups and downs, but we have to come out and look forward,” he said. “I’m happy to participate in this evening with the neighbourhood and my friends.”

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