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PAFTA STATEMENT – DRAFT

PAFTA expresses its shock at the recent spate of violent incidents that have engulfed parts of the
central province and unequivocally condemns all acts of violence, stoking the fires of ethnic division,
disharmony and downright hate and hostility. In the latest incidence of ethnic violence, which
erupted over a violent dispute, a local event nevertheless, the violence has spilled over into the
larger community, threatening to turn the situation into a conflagration of national proportions.
This is not an isolated event, but is a part of a series of incidents, targeting the Muslim community.

It is our considered view that there should be no place for violence in governance or in any act of the
everyday, whether it be on the basis of gender, ethnicity, race, class, region or any other difference.
Violence of any order is inadmissible and is designed in the first place to dismantle the democratic
functioning of a country. It behoves upon the government which is entrusted with the responsibility
of providing security to all its citizens to act upon these current infringements speedily and
impartially. While curfews and a state of emergency have been declared, minority communities
continue to live in a state of great anxiety, fearing for their lives; and the peace of the public sphere
is severely threatened.

We appeal to the government to act in a principled manner, conduct impartial inquiries and take
decisive action. We appeal to all political parties and politicians to work toward reinstating peace
and calm in the region and the country at large and also work toward instilling an atmosphere of
inter-ethnic amity. We shall not have a repeat of the many ethnic riots of the historical past, and of
recent years. We appeal to heads of religious orders, and other community organizations, people
who have provided leadership to various communities, who have reposed in them their trust, to rise
to the occasion and express their condemnation of the continued incidence of meaningless violence
in the name of religion and ethnicity. In this we particularly call upon the Buddhist Order to express
its concern over the participation of the clergy in acts of violence targeting various different
communities. We also appeal to all peace-loving persons in this country to act in a reasoned manner
and to not indulge in rumour mongering, adding panic to an already tense situation. Ultimately, it is
the people of this country who can ensure the safety of their families, friends and neighbours and
their own-selves.

While we demand that normalcy be brought on speedily and all communities, particularly the
Muslim community in this instance, assured of their safety, we also appeal to all concerned to
actively work toward ensuring long lasting peace in the country.