I am pleased to mention at first that during last year, as the minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, I had the opportunity to closely study and have a comprehensive understanding of the subject of official languages as well as the subjects of coexistence and dialogue. I am entrusted with the duty of uniting all people such as those belonging to different ethnic communities, speaking different languages and those belonging to different religions – all living under the Sri Lankan identity. This unity itself is called national coexistence. Mainly, there are three languages in use among the people of this country and there exist four religions and around twenty ethnic groups. This is diversity. Therefore, this diversity is not our weakness but our strength. We have founded our vision on this ideology. Meanwhile, the dialogue is an equally important element. In the past, the means of our relationship were the gun, the pistol or the violence. In this period, we have left no room for such means and have swept them away, under the guidance of HE the president and Hon. Prime Minister. Thus, the dialogue means arriving at a solution, through the means of discussion, for any issue currently existing under this sun and the moon.

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This country is home for nineteen ethnic groups speaking different languages. This diversity in the people’s languages is beautiful and colourful. Our strength is this diversity.

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I am pleased to mention at first that during last year, as the minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official...