Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga dispelled rumours earlier today that she would be the common candidate fielded by the opposition alliance at an impending presidential election.
“Others are proposing that I contest but I have no such plans,” Kumaratunga told media personnel at the conclusion of a SAPRI event to unveil recommendations made by an interfaith dialogue forum on building harmony between religious communities earlier Tuesday (28).
Asked if she was likely to change her mind about this, the former President said according to the Buddhist philosophy nothing is permanent in life. “But this is not likely to change,” she said.
SAPRI the think tank chaired by the Former President is spearheading a campaign to promote peace between religious communities and alleviate tensions arising from recent acts of intolerance and violence against Muslims and Christians.
Speaking about why her organisation took the issue head on, President Kumaratunga said while only extremist discourse was reigning in the country, it was no longer possible to remain silent.
“The moderates were shocked about what was taking place, but they feared speaking out against it, because of the atmosphere of intimidation,`she explained to media personnel after the SAPRI event. “Someone said to me that as the only living ex-president and prime minister, I also had a responsibility to do something about this,`Kumaratunga added.