Ravi Shankar appeals for peace in Orissa

October 15th, 2008 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, Oct 15 (IANS) Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has urged people in Orissa to maintain India’s long history of peaceful coexistence, with anti-Christian violence claiming 36 lives and leaving thousands homeless in the state since late August.”India has a long history of peaceful coexistence among different communities and faiths. This tradition has to be maintained at all cost,” Sri Sri, the founder of the NGO Art of Living, said Tuesday through a videoconference with different community leaders.

He also appealed against politicisation of the issue. “It becomes difficult to resolve issues of this nature if they get politicised,” he said.

Communal tension flared up in Orissa’s Kandhamal district in late August after the killing of a Hindu leader and attacks on Christians and their property have continued. The latest casualty was reported Tuesday, the day Sri Sri held the videoconference.

District collector Krishan Kumar told IANS that Sri Sri discussed measures to restore normalcy and rebuild trust among people from different communities.

Sri Sri urged all leaders to cooperate with civil society in uniting people so that those taking refuge in relief camps feel safe enough to return home.

The videoconference was attended by district collector Krishan Kumar, Kui Samaj Coordination Committee chairman Lambodhar Kahar, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ajit Patnaik and local Schedule Caste leader Bramhanand Dhera and Pramod Mandal, president of the Oriya Baptist Church.

They also adopted a resolution to appeal for peace and urged the government to stop arrests without proper evidence.

Art of Living which has a presence in over 140 countries.

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