British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, John Rankin, has said that yesterday’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marked an “opportunity for all of us to re-commit to defending and promoting fundamental equality.”
“We live in an age of diversity, where societies grow ever more complex each day. Diversity is not a choice – it is a reality that we live; a reality that makes it imperative that the prejudice and injustice of racial discrimination is purged from society,” Rankin said.
“Tolerance and passive acceptance of others is not enough. Racial discrimination is a breeding ground for tension and mistrust that can lead to conflict – a phenomenon we have witnessed, time and again, in history. Overcoming racism will lead to the evolution of a strong, dynamic and healthy society – the foundation for sustainable peace and development in the twenty-first century.”
He added that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.”