By Latheef Farook –
Killing of Muslims, Looting Their Belongings And The Destruction Of Their Properties
The unwanted and unnecessary attack was mayhem of an unprecedented scale in and around Aluthgama which later spread to Dharga town and Beruwala following the highly inflammatory speech by Sinhala racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena’s General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, the Buddhist Zionist who is hell bent on shedding Muslim blood.
These unfortunate killings, injury, indiscriminate burning of residential and commercial properties, looting of personal belongings and arson on the Muslim population were not something unexpected when Gnanasara Thero, was allowed to address a gathering of his extremist supporters.
Allowing him to address such a gathering in this communally tense environment was catastrophic.
Muslims in the area spent sleepless nights ever since they came to know that Gnanasara Thero, who does not represent mainstream Sinhalese Buddhists, was to address a public meeting as they were aware of his ability to incite innocent Sinhalese.
As expected he addressed the gathering, incited the Sinhalese, went on a provocative procession in the Muslim area and triggered the attack on Muslims leading to death and destruction for no rhyme or reason.
These senseless slaughter of innocent Muslims were part of BBS’ ongoing anti Muslim campaign to destroy their economic base, deprive them of their livelihood and make them paupers.
This has nothing to do with the Sinhalese community as a whole, but the work of few hundred BBS racists who are hell bent on causing havoc in the country, destroying communal harmony with the overt and covert state patronage.
As everyone knows there has been tension in Aluthgama ever since 27 April 2014 when Ahmad Khan’s shop, built by brick since his early days of pavement business, was burnt and his life time earnings reduced to ashes in the early hours, around 3.30, on 29 April 2014 allegedly by his business rivals.
How would have been his feelings to see his building and business going up in flames?
In its wake on June 12 there was a minor incident involving the driver of a Buddhist monk and a Muslim. The monk is said to have interfered and the matter ended there. However, later the monk, perhaps under pressure from some people, lodged a complaint with the police accusing the Muslim man. Police had failed to record the statement of any Muslim in the area.
In another incident a stone was believed to have been thrown at the house of a well known lady doctor in Aluthgama.A group of people pressurized her to complain to the police as this is work of Muslims. Lady doctor refused. In an earlier incident a Sinhala lady had slapped a Buddhist monk at a police station .But the BBS did nothing about it.
Thus telling blatant lies about Muslims is part of the BBS agenda.
In keeping with this low down methods there was a protest over this incident to provoke the Sinhalese. They created a volatile atmosphere. They even attacked the vehicle of Minister Kumara Welgama who rushed to the scene to diffuse the situation.
The police had to use tear gas to bring the situation under control.
It is under such tense and volatile atmosphere that the BBS extremists were allowed to hold a rally addressed by Gnanasara Thero. As rightly asked by journalist Darishta Bastian “What kind of Government that permits Buddhist hardliners to rally in a town where ethnic tension raged only two days ago?”
After the inciting speech, BBS went on a procession in a vehicle convoy to Dharga Town apparently to provoke the Muslims.
With the situation deteriorating a police curfew was imposed around 6.45 PM on Sunday 15 June 2014 in and around Aluthgama. The curfew trapped Muslims wherever they were .They could not move out. However it was during the curfew hours that the BBS thugs who entered the area from inner roads and appeared to have had a free hand , attacked and set ablaze residential and commercial buildings.
When the Muslim men tried to get out and save these properties they were prevented from doing so as curfew was enforced. However Sinhala mob was seen around the streets and they were also seen going around in vehicles.
Around 9 PM six houses, four belonging to one family and one of them owned by a retired principal, were set on fire at Adikarrigoda.
In panic they repeatedly contacted the emergency 119. No response.
They contacted the police-No response-
They contacted the fire brigade .No response.
Now whom to complain? None
“There is no law or protection for the Muslims in this country” said weeping owner of one of these buildings.
There was fear and panic all over.
It was during curfew hours attacking Muslim owned houses and business establishments continued throughout the night, and by morning, people informed that around 20 houses and business establishments were burnt and destroyed. They also included Buddhist monks burnt and destroyed a Muslim owned shopping complex also.
In Aluthgama all Muslim business establishments in Muslim owned buildings were gutted down while Muslim owned businesses in Sinhalese owned buildings remained intact. A shopping complex belonging to a Muslim businessman in Dharga Town Aluthgama was torched early morning by a mob of around 200 people which includes Buddhist monks.
According to reports the injured stood at 80. Later the police sources have claimed that three people were killed and the 55 Muslims injured were admitted to various hospitals.
Injured in Walapitiya could not get to hospital. They began calling people in Colombo begging for help, especially medicine, and transport. Around six in the morning there were desperate calls asking for medicine to treat the injured in the mob and the STF shootings. Medicines and ambulances were ready but were not allowed to enter due to curfew which continued.
Muslims complained that the STF is strictly keeping them indoors and prevents them from coming even to their gates while the mobs were allowed to freely move and even drive vehicles. They also complained that the mob attacked Muslims when the STF leave an area. The STF was often seen returning after the destruction was done.
However Muslims in the area were depressed that their livelihood was destroyed for no reason.”They attacked our shops and hit our stomachs. They finished the Muslims of Aluthgama last night” said a trader.
In one voice they also said those who attacked them were not from the area but people brought outside. It is worthy to note that attacks on other places too were done by outsiders and not by the people from the area.
This pauses a question whether the BBS is having a trained force to implement its evil agenda against Muslims. There were even speculations that Israel’s Mossad trained Sinhala extremists thugs are here to do this dirty job.
Even early in the morning on Monday 16 April a resident in Mahagoda, Beruwala, complained that mobs continue to attack and vandalize shops. They decided to remain indoors with their families with the lights off.
Families who came under attacks found shelter in mosques and with relatives .In the melee a lady died at Naleemia Institute died. She tried to escape with her husband and three children. In the process her husband was cut .On seeing that she collapsed and died leaving her husband and three children in lurch.
Exploiting the chaos the mob looted all belongings including jewellery and emptied Muslim owned houses vacated by people who fled to for safety.
In short the area is burning since last night and the frightened people continue to live in mosques and other such places. Generous Muslims in Colombo continue to rush emergency aids for the victims.
This carnage did not occur at the spur of the moment. It was very meticulously planned and executed to military precision.
Condemning the attack the United States Embassy in Colombo said in a statement that; “We urge the government to ensure that order is preserved and the lives of all citizens, places of worship, and property are protected. We urge the authorities to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice. We also urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law.”