Sri Lanka was not a Sinhala Buddhist country but a country belonging to all those who had taken Sri Lanka as their motherland, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday.
He said the majority of Sri Lanka, which belongs to Sri Lankans, are Sinhala Buddhists.
“There are also people belonging to Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Islamic and other religions in that country. All of them have the same rights which the Sinhala Buddhists have,” he said.
He said simply because Sinhala Buddhists were in the majority, they can’t impose their opinion on others.
“We should remember this. Most of us have gone abroad or had relatives abroad. If you go to Italy or the UK and if you become a citizen of one of these countries, there are no second-class citizens. The one who became a citizen today and the one became a citizen even thousands of years ago have the same rights,” he said.
The Minister said even he could become a cardboard hero and say to others that this was a Sinhala Buddhist country and therefore, one couldn’t live the way one wanted.
“But Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Buddhist country but a country belonging to all who have taken Sri Lanka as their motherland,” he said.