We are deeply concerned about the escalation of civil unrest in our nation and condemn the actions of this small group of people propagating violence and spreading hatred across communities. We strongly and urgently request those in authority to intervene and address the ground situation without allowing this situation to continue further. The IT/BPM industry has consistently operated with one common denominator – technical proficiency. We have excelled in positioning Sri Lanka as a compelling destination for innovation and ingenuity. This credibility was earned by individuals from every community, race and religion collaborating as creative, highly-productive teams.
As heads of companies, business units or team members, I would request you to do the following;

1. Communicate the importance of diversity, respect and tolerance to your colleagues. This can be done as a town-hall meeting or within smaller business units, depending on the size of your organization
2. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for any incident involving racial or religious discrimination and disrespect
3. In discussions with our international stakeholders, reinforce the message that we are a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society with deep-rooted respect for each other and these recent incidents are not a reflection of the majority sentiment

We have established our global brand through hard work and effort over many years. Let’s come together at this time to protect and nurture both our nation and our industry’s reputation.Please find a note below on the current national unrest shared by the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure.
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Message from Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister for Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment (shared on 07 March 2018)

Today, extraordinary measures were taken to restrict access to certain social media websites and phone messaging applications. These measures have been taken by the TRC as an extraordinary but temporary response to limit the increasing spread of hate speech and violence through social media websites and phone messaging applications. The last few days have seen technology created to bring people together being used to pull people apart. Social media websites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Viber - which were created to bring us closer to our friends and family and make communication free and convenient, have been used to destroy families, lives and private property. I don’t need to remind the young people of this country that hate, violence, and discrimination robbed you of a life full of opportunity and a country full of prosperity.Do not make the mistakes of our past generations. You have today an opportunity to create a Sri Lanka where everyone can live in peace and prosperity. You have in your hands, the technology that our forefathers didn’t even imagine was possible. These technologies are the fruits of peace and their purpose is the pursuance of peace and unity amongst all people, no matter their race, religion, caste or gender.

When you spread hate and violence against anyone, you will not only sow the seeds of suffering towards others but be suffering towards yourself. You will secure this land of ours as one of eternal pain and lost an opportunity. Don’t be a part of making that history because you can be a part of making something better. A Sri Lanka that is better for everyone. A Sri Lanka that shines as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. A Sri Lanka that has used the fruits of peace to create a garden of unity, strength, and opportunity for all our people. Be a part of that history.Put down your smartphones, let go of your hate and help make a new Sri Lanka that is good for everyone.

Harin Fernando
Minister for Telecommunications,
Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment