|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
| IVU News|
Vegetarian Society of Sri
Lanka formally relaunched in Colombo
Originally founded in 1982 by the outstanding philosopher and humanitarian Dr.E.W.Adikaram, the Sri Lanka Vegetarian Society had become inactive in the capital although the vision of its founder was kept alive elsewhere in the country, particularly by the branch in Matara thanks to its dynamic secretary Mr.D.C.Pieris. On June 1st, however, the society was relaunched at a meeting in Colombo attended by more than 100 individuals and representatives of vegetarian and animal welfare interests, including the well known Humanitarian Society of Kandy which has long been affiliated to IVU and is a powerful force in Sri Lanka on behalf of the animals.
Among other societies represented were Gal Gava Mituro (Friends of the Cart Bull) and Sattva Mitra (Friends of Animals). Those who attended were drawn from all walks of life and from the two main ethnic/religious communities, Sinhala Buddhist and Hindu Tamil, as well as probably some Christians. Due to the wide cross-section of people, it was necessary to conduct the meeting in Sinhala, Tamil and English, which most of those present understood.
At the meeting the following statement of aims was adopted: "We are appalled by the cruelty and inhumanity that are fast taking root in our society. We value life in all its forms and realise the tremendous societal, ethical and ecological harm that has resulted from the barbarities that we have adopted in our new ways of living. We wish to do all that is in our power to turn this tide. We feel that vegetarianism is a practical response to our deep-seated religious and ecological impulses, which have been cruelly thwarted by the nature of the society in which we are compelled by circumstances to live our lives. Furthermore, vegetarianism is a way of life that satisfies many of our ethical, spiritual, aesthetic and environmental values. Our main aim is to spread these essential values, most particularly among our children and young people, through the promotion of vegetarianism and the dissemination of information about issues related to health, animal rights, the cruelties of killing and its effects on our own inner character.
We also wish to promote solidarity among vegetarians and create facilities for them which are severely lacking in our society. We want vegetarians to stand up against the "freak" image that non-vegetarians harbour of us and often try to foist upon us. We are not only for animal rights but also most emphatically for vegetarians' rights."
In furtherance of those aims, the following practical possibilities are to be explored:
A resolution was adopted to issue an appeal to the people of Sri Lanka to consider the glaring incompatibility between the country's religious traditions and meat-eating. The appeal is to be advertised in those newspapers with the largest circulation in the island. It was also decided to revive the society's newsletter under its original name of Mituru Lova (Friendly World). Letters expressing interest in joining the society and enthusiasm for its purposes have continued unabated since the announcement of the relaunch.
For further information, contact: SLVS, c/o 136 High Level Road, Maharagama, Sri Lanka, tel./fax 94-1-851739