The walk went through Akaraipattu town and ended at the clock tower where religious leaders representing the four religions made a circle and joined hands in a show of unity. During the walk, participants carried slogans and banners and distributed leaflets and stickers carrying the message about the important of religious coexistence.
The LIRC members, religious leaders, students from different religious schools and universities, youths of all four religions, members of Hindu Kovil Consortium and the NGO consortium and human rights activists were among the marchers.
Participants gathered at the Akaraipattu mosque to listen sermons given by Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic and Islamic religious leaders who pointed out that each religion advocated religious and ethnic coexistence and promoted peace and tolerance while living in a multi ethnic and multi religious community.
A similar peace walk was held at Akurana in the Kandy District organized by Akurana LIRC. The walk was the first event held after anti-Muslim in the Kandy district, where all religious leaders participated to show solidarity and build communal harmony and coexistence.
Also under the CERF project, an awareness programme on community policing was held in Mahiyanganaya for 170 village leaders, government officers and religious leaders to develop understanding on how community policing could be a strategy for conflict resolution and building community resilience.
Participants learnt how community policing could be used to reduce religious tension and the importance of strengthening village level community policing structures.
“There is often mistrust between the police and citizens so this kind of training helps to build trust and understanding between them,” a community leader said.