There were 30 participants including religious leaders, police officers, high level government officials, Prison Department officials, Matara District Secretariat representatives, Youth Services Council representatives and members of the Human Rights Commission as well as NGOs and the media.
The participants expressed their opposition to religious extremism and discussed some incidents that had happened after the April 21 attacks on churches and hotels. Muslim women, in particular, faced harassment and discrimination for wearing headscarves, although it was not against the law.
The participants decided to visit a Muslim village to hold several activities at a later date. Government departments and NGOs will help to organize the event and agreed to include the names of their institutions and organizations on a banner.
There was strong support for activities to counter extremism by promoting mutual understanding.
The villagers and businessmen will provide meals for 100 participants. The Youth Council Services will send a youth group and the police will send community police for the event.