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A renewed vision for Sri Lanka

Meeting between the trustees of SMFC and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Canada His Excellency Mr. Ahmed A. Jawad in Ottawa on 2nd November 2015

“A renewed vision for Sri Lanka”

“As the representatives of the Sri Lankan Muslim community in Toronto you have to reach out in the spirit of pluralism and form a forum or be part of an umbrella organization that would be inclusive of all the various Sri Lankan communities in Canada so that we can stand together proudly as united Sri Lankans with a core identity and common destiny.  All of you as part of the diaspora must endeavour to give back to your motherland in some form or another towards making Sri Lanka realize its new vision that the new government has articulated very clearly where all can live and prosper in peace, equality and justice.”

The above statement para-phrasing the words of the new High Commissioner set the tone of the meeting which touched on a number of issues facing the Muslims and how we should live by our history of over a thousand years in Sri Lanka where the Muslims integrated with and were trusted and honoured partners and friends of all other communities in the country.

He emphasized on the need for unity among the Muslims first and a judicious yet sustained effort for the community embracing a pluralistic vision so that we shed parochialism and dogma and our obsession with foreign identities which had largely contributed to the inequities faced by the community in the recent past and be part of a larger vision of patriotic Sri Lankans who identify with the motherland as a holistic community of different ethnicities, faiths and languages.

He requested that SMFC make the first move towards reaching out to all Sri Lankans and work towards making this vision a reality. We were deeply moved and inspired the by the High Commissioners passion to share the vision of the new leaders which was in line with the objectives of SMFC.

The meeting lasted well over three hours as we continued discussions over lunch and are very grateful to the High Commissioner for giving us his valuable time and extending a traditional Sri Lankan gesture of hospitality towards us.

We wish the High Commissioner and the Consul General in Toronto who attended the Islamic History Month in Canada event hosted by SMFC, the very best in their efforts to represent Sri Lanka in its true light and trust that all Canadians and organizations of Sri Lankan origin will support his mission here in Canada.

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