3 October, 2023


Aren’t Penal Code & ICCPR Act Adequate To Tackle ‘Corona’ Racism?

By Lakmal Harischandra

Lakmal Harischandra

People of Sri Lanka in general and Sinhalese in particular are known to be tolerant and understanding. People attempt to live amicably at the grassroot levels. It is to be however lamented that Sri Lankan politicians appear to be grossly deficient in promoting intercultural understanding, tolerance and mutual respect and adopt divisive political policies for their ulterior motives and survival. Racism has been a political weapon in the armoury of most politicians whether Green or Blue, Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. The communal parties are liabilities to those communities. The disgruntled Sinhala politicians in the same light use racist media like Hiru, Derana and Divaina to ensure that racism, racial discrimination, intolerance and Islamophobia become the new normal, especially in the Post-war period. This worrying level of hate require immediate action.

It is a shame that the government and the law enforcement authorities are turning a blind eye to the well- orchestrated anti-Muslim hate campaign and vilification waged by  Hiru/ Derana and Divaina. TV Anchor Chatura Alwis, during the recent episode of ‘Wadapitiya’ intermission, is playing a special role in this regard and even boasts that he should be paid for allowing open hate to be advocated by a corrupt cum cheap politico Aluthgamage; along the same lines as his political colleagues such Wimal and Gammampila duo as well as other die hard hate peddlers of the likes of Ven Ratana and Gnanassara, who have been strangely silent now, were doing before. 

The latest ruse was the involvement of a PHI in a Derana TVY program once again moderated by Chatura, who stated that the Sinhalese community are being denied the enjoyment of the Sinhala New Year this year due to the carelessness of people in areas like Nattandiya, Akurana and Beruwela (implying the Muslim community). Chatura’s final remarks surely would have left the TV viewers with an impression that ‘Muslims’ were the ultimate spoil sports. This game of referring to the transgressors of the curfew, Quarantine and lockdown guidelines or areas by the ethnicity only if they were Muslims or Muslim areas, continued unabated. Ethnicity was conveniently forgotten when similar incidents involving other communities occur. But, the likes of Chatura and Shudevas still enjoy popularity and acceptance, judging by the favourable comments seen in the social media. This shows the level of mainstreaming of anti-Muslim hate in the social media. There were two  incidents of posting fake news and messages in the social media, which are under investigation and the culprits were reportedly arrested or to be arrested( as the Police say)- one was a person posing as an intelligence officer sharing an audio clip referring to a planned act by the Muslims to spread the virus among the Sinhalese and the second was the malicious posting of a religious ceremony in Beruwela despite the ban on social and religious  gatherings. (Muslim religious body ACJU was the first religious leadership to ban such gatherings (Friday and daily prayers in the mosques. Most followed but there were still stupid few who flouted the guidance)   

It is in this context, that the failure of the application of the ICCPR comes into focus. It is a mystery that the Senior DIG  Ajith Rohana who is doing a great service in the fight against Corona, is not even in the news stating that those culprits including the racist TV Anchors like Chathura and the PHI officer will be tried under the ICCPR Act. Sri Lanka doesn’t need more laws. It needs to use the laws currently on its books responsibly.

Section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act is mainly designed to hold persons who incite violence against national, racial or religious groups accountable. Under ICCPR Article 3.(1), ‘No person shall propagate war or advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence’. “A person found guilty of committing an offence under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section shall on conviction by the High Court, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years,” and “An offence under this section shall be cognisable and non-bailable, and no person suspected or accused of such an offence shall be enlarged on bail, except by the High Court in exceptional circumstances.” 

However, although that this Act should have been used as expected to convict perpetrators of incitement, it was not so; so, the main purpose behind this section of the Act has thus not been achieved to date. Instead, the ICCPR Act became an instrument for abuse when it is supposed to serve as a safeguard to protect and promote human rights. It was a shame that this section was enforced in the past to arrest and incarcerate a Sinhala fiction writer and a Muslim woman wearing a kaftan featuring the helm of a ship, and also has never been used to prosecute those who have incited hatred and communal tensions, not even after riots in Aluthgama, Digana and after Easter Sunday tragedy in Minuwangoda. Strikingly, the ICCPR Act has not been invoked against members of the Buddhist clergy, even after inciting violence against Muslims.

Under Article, 3.6.1, ‘The State has an obligation to protect individuals from incitements to discrimination, hostility or violence by third parties as well as to refrain from engaging in such acts in order to protect rights and ensure equal protection of the law for all. Further, under Article 3.6.2 ‘Where there is reasonable suspicion that a person is committing a Section 3 offence, and public officers with the power to set the procedure under the ICCPR Act in motion fail or omit to enforce the law, such omission shall amount to state inaction which gives rise to a fundamental rights violation (Article 12 (7) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka) as a tacit state approval of hate speech’.

The imperative need to apply the said provisions of the Act in the wake of the Corona crisis, has emerged as never before, especially when the racist anti-Muslim lobby which has been active since the end of the end of the ethnic war in 2009. They are re-emerging using the same demonization and marginalization tactics against the community under threat, they used when some fringe elements within the community were accused of carrying out a terrorist attack on the Christian community last Easter. Coming just weeks or months ahead of the next parliamentary election, these provisions like ICCPR therefore beg the question whether they could be used to target the political opposition as were done before like the PTA either now, or in the future. Sri Lanka need to make a careful distinction between those that put the lives of others in peril through incitement to violence or discrimination and those legitimate forms of expression. 

Sri Lanka has adequate laws to protect its citizens from hate speech and hate crimes, but the issue stems from enforcement of the law. The general impunity that prevails seek to protect these extremists from any type of harm. On most occasions, hate crimes is perpetrated by some of those in power, and their henchmen seek to follow their political gains by committing hate crime. This can be prevented if the Authorities take legitimate action to arrest and produce the perpetrators of hate crimes in courts. It is now established that hate speech and hate crimes are prohibited by international law and Sri Lankan law, it may still be contentious whether extremists who commit such crimes can be arrested. The  problem with Sri Lanka thus is not that of  adequacy of laws to tackle hate speech and hate attacks; but that of will of the government and law enforcement authorities to enforce such laws.

Apart from ICCPR, the Penal Code also makes mention of such crimes and makes it indictable. If one wished to look for the specific provision, you only need look at Section 291A of the Penal Code which reads: Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in the sight of the person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.” Other provisions in the Penal Code under Chapter XV tend to address the offences relating to religion. They prohibit the acts of defiling a place of worship or insulting a religion in a place of worship and even causing a disturbance to a religious assembly. Section 291B of the Penal Code also prohibits deliberate and malicious attempts to outrage the religious feelings of any class of persons with intention to do so. Such insults can be in the form of words, writing or even mere visible representations. It is therefore very clear that the Penal Code too, not only prohibits the act of insulting other religions, but also makes them all convictable.

Recently, Sri Lanka, is also in the news about the non-allowance of the burial option to those preferring that option over cremation when there are COVID-19 deaths, despite there being clear guidelines on this subject by the WHO. As many as 182 countries are following those WHO Guidelines. WHO tweeted recently ‘ it is a common myth that persons who have died of a communicable disease should be cremated, but this is not true. Cremation is a matter of cultural choice and available resources’. Muslim leaders have clearly indicated that the community is prepared to accept the outcome of a panel of scientific experts as suggested by GMOA, if the panel thinks cremation is the only option. Sadly  no such scientific outcome based on WHO guidelines has come and therefore the decision seems to be one taken on political racist grounds. It is the duty of the government to clear this confusion. Arguments like burials adversely affecting the water table in Sri Lanka hold no water scientifically.  

Racism was a common enemy of mankind. Universal Declaration of Human Rights also assures the dignity of all human beings. Nevertheless, many societies suffered from racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, particularly when it came to minorities, leading to ethnic conflicts. In many places those practices were institutionalized as in Sri Lanka.  They should be criminalized by punishing perpetrators. It was the responsibility of the UN Human Rights Council and of the international community too to eliminate racism across the world and have better monitoring mechanisms and hold those governments failing to adhere to UDHR standards, to account. Sri Lanka too has had a long history of de facto and de jure racism. The war was over a decade ago, however the root cause of the problem had not been addressed and no solution had been found for the Tamils. Countless refugees (both Tamils and Muslims) had wasted their lives in refugee camps and in transit countries with no alternatives. The self-centred Tamil and Muslim politicians advocating communal politics have been a liability to those communities. 

The way forward would be for those affected to have recourse to all forms of justice and to put an end to impunity. As a ICJ Report said, there is an impunity crisis in Sri Lanka. However, as the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2013) stated, There is often very low recourse to judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms in alleged cases of incitement to hatred. In many instances, victims are from disadvantaged or vulnerable groups and case law on the prohibition of incitement to hatred is not readily available. This is due to the absence or inadequacy of legislation or lack of judicial assistance for minorities and other vulnerable groups who constitute the majority of victims of incitement to hatred. The weak jurisprudence can also be explained by the absence of accessible archives, but also lack of recourse to courts owing to limited awareness among the general public as well as lack of trust in the judiciary’.

Be it as it may, legislation alone is not adequate, as the above report says, ‘While a legal response is important, legislation is only part of a larger toolbox to respond to the challenges of hate speech. Any related legislation should be complemented by initiatives from various sectors of society geared towards a plurality of policies, practices and measures nurturing social consciousness, tolerance and understanding change and public discussion. This is with a view to creating and strengthening a culture of peace, tolerance and mutual respect among individuals, public officials and members of the judiciary, as well as rendering media organizations and religious/community leaders more ethically aware and socially responsible. States, media and society have a collective responsibility to ensure that acts of incitement to hatred are spoken out against and acted upon with the appropriate measures, in accordance with international human rights law. Political and religious leaders should refrain from using messages of intolerance or expressions which may incite violence, hostility or discrimination; but they also have a crucial role to play in speaking out firmly and promptly against intolerance, discriminatory stereotyping and instances of hate speech. It should be made clear that violence can never be tolerated as a response to incitement to hatred. To tackle the root causes of intolerance, a much broader set of policy measures is necessary, for example in the areas of intercultural dialogue – reciprocal knowledge and interaction – education on pluralism and diversity, and policies empowering minorities and indigenous people to exercise their right to freedom of expression.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Mr. Harischandra:

    What do you think about well established countries throwing accusations at each other ?. How do we identify it it, is it also Racism /
    Then where do you draw the line for freedom of expression to separate racism ?.
    Then the next thing because Asia is developing fast there is a certain political vocabulary that is being thrown at people and at will bu the Journalists and by the Civil Society aka NGOs aka Civic alliance.
    It is very clear Covid-19 and muslims or corona and racism against muslims go hand in hand.
    To support that aforementioned political vocabulary and the activities certain legislation were approved by the respective govts of ASIA. ICCPR is one such legislation (Monetary related acts, Legalizing Money Laundering, Pardon to Drug barons are some others).
    See, even when Ven. Ghanasara is not talking then that is also bothering them.
    It is oppression, subjugation, manipulation all for political ends.

  • 17

    dear writer Lakmal Harischandra, while reading the article itself my heart melted with tears for there are good people who willing to support humanity. till date i have a feeling we were born to be killed tortured humiliated and cornered worldwide, even in sri lanka this getting worse. may god bless you for your effort to bring those acts and rights into light of public. again i praise god for atleast there are people with hearts regardless of religion. god bless you and your family long live.

    • 3

      Lakmal Harischandra,

      RE: Aren’t Penal Code & ICCPR Act Adequate To Tackle ‘Corona’ Racism?

      “Racism has been a political weapon in the armoury of most politicians whether Green or Blue, Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. The communal parties are liabilities to those communities. The disgruntled Sinhala politicians in the same light use racist media like Hiru, Derana and Divaina to ensure that racism, racial discrimination, intolerance and Islamophobia become the new normal, especially in the Post-war period. This worrying level of hate require immediate action.”

      Thanks for your article. It is rather unfortunate that the Wuhan China-9 virus, renamed COVID-19, that is very egalitarian, infects humans without racism, sexism, based on beliefs , age etc, has brought forth the Racism, of the Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhists” , ( who are an insult to the Buddha), exposing them in a very big way for all to see, when the virus was introduced to the land from China directly and by way of Europe.

      The saffron clad Para- monks are chanting Pirith daily. The virus does not care. The politicians should learn from the COVID-19 virus, and completely ignore the monks, who were recruited and received as monks, training in their backs from the senior monks.

      Can the monks in the Temple of the (canine) Tooth do anything? No!

      When will the imbeciles, mean measured IQ 79, get it?

    • 0

      @Ajmal ,
      Please get that negative thing out for good , to be honest there are much more Sinhalese who believe in humanity , this is Sri Lanka but they themselves are struggling and are totally dissapointed with what Ranil and Malik did .
      There is little the common folk can do .
      I do not see any changes in the future , Just being candid , judicious and honest ,

      Not matter who is in power and which party , lot of Muslims had lot of faith in the present government to be fair and just.
      Nothing more .

      So head or tails Muslim loses.

      It’s best when the virus ends, for young people if they have a away just move out , but legally .

      That is one of The Quranic commandment , as you are not allowed to rebel against a leader or government that has been legally elected by a majority .

      That is Islam and not Zaharan’ s way.

      Let the older folks can be around and bear whatever we have to .

      Those who can travel legally God willingly once this dreadful virus is over , please help those who have no means to travel .

      Go away , do not waste to much time and youth on paper qualification , but get yourself skilled trained expertise on anything this world will need desperately in future .

      There is no other hope for now , I apologise to the Muslims, I made to many assurances after elections .
      Yes your votes are not needed .
      If ever things change , bring Along your expertise and your wealth back to Sri Lanka , after all its still home.

      May peace prevail

  • 15

    No doubt Sinhalese are tolerant people.
    It is very clear ,Rajapakses will carry on with the race card for their benefit to be in power. These fake media and fake priests will ruin the country. Recently on social media we heard a woman complaining that Chatura had an affair with her daughter and she never approved it because Chaturas mother had an affair with a Muslim and he is an outcast. One should not play this race card while the economy is crashing. We should learn to live in harmony knowing that future is uncertain, there’s going to be job cuts in the middle east, loss of exports ,loss of tourism ,financial aids etc . Lots of people will be starving, so this racism madness will add more fuel to fire.

  • 1

    May be our Muslim Community does not watch Huru, Derana and Divaina..

    Any way latest I heard was that the NYC dwellers are not tolerated by even the other Boroughs in New Youk State , where the Manhatton People who have taken refuge in their Neighborhoods temporarily of course to protect themselves from the Corona Virus.

    I have heard that the Aussies in Melbourne spit at even their Public Bus Drivers who are Chines or even other a Asians for bringing them the Corona.

    London . is no better either for the Asians or even the Asian looking inhabitants there.

    So I don’t know where this Gentleman get this info about our Sinhala Buddhists and their Monks are Muslim haters.

    I know Muslim Revolutionaries attacked Buddha Statues in the Kandy Area
    Our Government then, did not even arrest them .
    Instead they rounded up the then Opposition MPs in the area who are good Sinhala Buddhists and took them to the CID for hours of interrogation under the watchful eye of the then CID Boss.

    That was before the Muslim Boys blew up Kochikade and several other Churches.

    Even then our Govt didn’t t do much t to arrest the real culprits .

    In fact the Muslim Ministers of the Govt intervened to get some suspects released from Custody.

    The Govt even appointed many Muslims who were Govt Ministers to investigate whether any Muslims are associated with the Muslim terrorists.

    That is how tolerant and peaceful and calm, our great majority of the Inhabitant and their Political leaders are to maintain Racial Harmony..

    • 13

      I live in Melbourne and there is no deliberate spitting or coughing on any one let alone Asian looking people. If you do that you will be fined $5000.00 , especially if you on essential and health workers like Police, Bus Drives . Stop posting lies . Aussies spitting on Asians. The average white Australian is very much less racist , far more polite and tolerant than a Sinhalese. You may get a few bad apples but generally the public are polite. The Australian Public service and other essential services, shop keepers , shop assistants, are trained to work professionally and not discriminate the public or other fellow Australians on the basis of race, ethnicity, language or religion. If a person cannot speak English an interpreter is immediately demanded and an interview or conversation cannot continue without an interpreter and everything that is written has to be translated and signed by the interpreter before the concerned person signs the statement or document. It is the same everywhere , at Police Stations, Courts, Hospitals, Government Offices . Over the phone or in person. In Sri Lanka 25% of the population speak Tamil as their mother tongue and in paper Tamil is another official language in par with Sinhalese , however try using Tamil even in the predominantly Tamil speaking areas like the NE , NuwaraEliya, the city of Colombo, Puttalam.

      • 1

        Siva Sankaran shrama: Are their low caste Brahmins. You look like one.
        If australia is this immigrant friendly, why don’t you support other Tamils to move in .
        Human rights international, civil society, also want IDENTITY POLITICS promoted. So this new world in the PIVOT TO ASIA DIctionary is a good word to do that.
        so, muslims are in the both sides of the equations both as ISIS, ISIL etc., as well as victims of the ISLAMOPHOBIA.
        Muslims make one very interesting argument. when they cut human beings to punish them, when Zaharan blow himself into pieces, when they burn kidnapped women alive in syria and africa, that mutilation is tolerated by the god because it is in the name of the god. but, if the non-believers ask (they also cremated their dead) burn the body, they say our God doe snot like it.
        So now, Lakmal Harischandra is saying that is CORONA-RACISM. Again muslims here in this situation are eternal victims.
        India also has a similar problem. Muslims are in both sides. MODI must neglect and let them play their game on behalf of their handler if not propagandist media go nuts.

        • 2

          What an idiot low caste Brahmins!

      • 0

        Siva Sankaran Sharma,
        That is why I keep on saying that our Sinhala dumb politicians did a blunder by giving citizenship to slaves brought from Hindusthan by colonial parasites. What an ungrateful lot.

        “The average white Australian is very much less racist , far more polite and tolerant than a Sinhalese.”

        • 4

          Slaves from Hindusthan? Oh you mean half the present so called Sinhalese population ? The Karawa, Salagama, Durawa, Berewa, Hunu, Hali , all descended from imported low caste Tamil indentured slave labour from South India. Imported during the Portuguese Dutch era. You must be one of them. Even half the so called Govigamma and 90% of the Kandyan Radala are recent South Indian imports . No wonder the Sinhalese share a 70% DNA with Indian Tamils. You sit in Melbourne Australia , live on the Pension provided by Australian ( largely white) tax payers , without contributing anything to this. Looked after so well and feed by your Tamil wife , that you have reached this ripe old age , that you do not deserve. Arrived in Australia , thanks to your wife’s Tamil relatives, yet you spit out venom against the White Australians and Tamils , thanks to both , you have now have a nice life. Well looked after and not starving now, like most of the population in Sri Lanka. Proves the ungrateful mindset of most Sinhalese.

      • 1

        Siva Sankaran Sharma: Do Moslems in the North and the east get equal rights in Jaffna? Did not Prabhakaran expel them from the North & the East with 24 h notice? Why did you not speak up ffor the Moslems then?

        Why are the low caste Hindus denied equal rights to enter Kovils, or draw water from wells? Why do they have to carry low chairs to gov funded schools ? Don’t the low caste groups have equal rights?

        If there are clusters of COVID among certain religious or ethnic groups, it is the responsibility of the media and the gov to warn the general public, as the gov of Singapore has done.

        Why don’t you guys speak up against Modi”s campaign against Muslims in India?

        • 2

          You are obviously a Sinhalese racist or one of these fake Arab Dravidian South Indian origin Wahaabis. Low caste Hindus have been entering Hindu temples and drawing water from wells for the past 60 years or more . Unlike in India , where the low castes and untouchables are the majority in most states . In Sri Lanka most Sri Lankan Tamils belong to the upper or middle castes. The lower castes , especially the untouchables are a small minority. Why not talk about how Sinhalese low castes like the Rodiya . Berewa and others even the Karawa were illtreated by the Govigamma. Even most Buddhist temples are caste based and lower castes are not welcome into temples run by Govigamma. Certain Buddhist sects will only ordain monks and nuns belonging to the upper castes and the lower castes were forced to create their own order. Now for the Muslims . Muslims were never ethnically cleansed from the east. Muslims and Sinhalese are only recent arrivals to the north and east. The indigenous population of the north and east , are the Eelam Tamils and the Tamilised Vedda. Remember Muslims in the east were given refuge by eastern Tamils a few centuries ago , when they fled Portuguese persecution along the western coast. The Sinhalese did not want them in the Kandyan areas and King Senarath was forced to as the Tamil Vanimmai chiefs in the east to provide them refuge , as they were ethnically Tamil. They obliged and provided them refuge , land and Hindu Tamil Mukkuva women , as brides to start a family , as 99% of the Muslims who arrived in the east were single men, just like in the west , the women., elderly and children perished or were killed by the Portuguese. This is why the eastern Muslims were following the eastern Tamil matriarchal Mukkuva law. As on their maternal sideit is eastern Tamil Mukkuva .

          • 2

            Contd: These ungrateful Tamil Muslims in the east , in the name of Islam were heavily armed by the Sri Lankan STF and the Muslim home guards ethnically cleansed thousands of native Tamil Hindu villages in the east , raped looted and burnt Hindu temples. Especially in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts. The Kattankudi Mosque was their headquarters , It was a hot bed of Salafist/Wahhabi Islamic extremism, then as now. This is why the LTTE attacked it. Many 100% Tamil Hindu villages were converted to 100% Muslim villages and even now its original Tamil Hindu owners are not allowed to return . No one talks about this. The Sri Lankan Armed forces were complicit in this war crime and ethnic cleansing. They stood guard whilst the Muslim home guards went into Tamil Hindu village to murder, rape, loot, ethnically cleanse and burn the Hindu temple down. The LTTE despite all this never did anything to the small Muslim population up north , as they still considered them part of the Tamils , until they were caught spying for the Sri Lankan armed forces and collecting and storing thousands of weapons , provided to them by the Sri Lankan armed forces in their mosques. What was the reason for all this spying and collecting weapons, when the LTTE had treated them well so far and relationships were cordial? The reason was to start attacking the Tamils , just like in the east and start ethnically cleansing them, especially in the Mannar district , where the Muslims made up around 30% of the populations. Their population was small but heavily armed and with the support of the Sri Lankan armed forces , they could have created havoc in the north , just like in the east. Especially in the Mannar area.

      • 2

        Siva Sankaran Sharma

        “The average white Australian is very much less racist , far more polite and tolerant than a Sinhalese.”

        Can you answer the following questions. Just curious about your answers.

        “Did not Prabhakaran expel them from the North & the East with 24 h notice? Why did you not speak up ffor the Moslems then?” – Easwarn Uthungan

        “Why don’t you guys speak up against Modi”s campaign against Muslims in India?”-Easwarn Uthungan

        “Why are the low caste Hindus denied equal rights to enter Kovils, or draw water from wells? Why do they have to carry low chairs to gov funded schools ? Don’t the low caste groups have equal rights?-” Easwarn Uthungan

  • 3

    Derana TVY program once again moderated by Chatura, who stated that the Sinhalese community are being denied the enjoyment of the Sinhala New Year this year due to the carelessness of people in areas like Nattandiya, Akurana and Beruwe.//

    How can one stop the enjoyment of the , The meditations can be still done family enjoyment can be done
    this is the priority and when all houses has family enjoyment what great other things wanted.Other things may Change us, but we start and end with the family.

    • 4

      Looks like Chatura is a troublemaker, who insults Sri Lankans, by thinking his 2nd grade mentality, and the easily disproved statements, will fool the people. Thankfully, he is playing only to a tiny portion of Sinhala Buddhists, who might believe him. That video truly revealed who he really is.

  • 10

    If you observe whats going on in Rajapakshe supported media and in Social media . It looks like some very Intelligent people who kow how to manipulate the masses is working behind this anti Muslim campaign. This is much more organised and high tech than what happen after Easter attack last yesr till August 2019(This is when Rajapaksha’s asked there Media dogs to stop anti muslim campaign).
    Now GR with military background is in power and he is an ace strategist , he know how to controlled the agencies under him to carry on a protracted psyop operation against Muslims. It’s all due to upcoming election. SLPP is already started there campaign for next election. If GR asked Hiru and Derana to stop there anti Muslim campaign they will stop , but they are not.
    People came from Italy and Korea in large number since the last weeks of February . But the authorities started screening them since March 10th in the Airport. We got 60 -70 people from Italy and Korea within a week since the screening.
    On 17th March defense secretory Kamal Gunaratne said there are 170 suspected people who came from Europe and Korea between March 1st and March 15 living with there family and they were not Quarantined . They should report to there nearest authorities and should go under 2 weeks quarantine after 17 days. In this List no one coming from India is mentioned. Because at that time authorities didn’t care about people coming from countries except Europe Korea China Iran and Qatar.
    After the curfew Imposed on 21st March this whole thing started to look like an anti Muslim Islamophobic campaign. Suddenly they were talking about Lock down in attalugama even though Kaluthara district is already under curfew and there are cluster of people identified(These are non Muslims) before that Muslim person is identified.

    • 3

      You are right. Elections are around the corner, and it is time for the Sri Lankan Islamaphobes, to scapegoat the Muslims, and start their hate campaign again. The are also taking their cues from the global anti Muslim campaign going on in other parts in the world. They have conveniently forgotten their teachings about being tolerant, doing no harm, and being compassionate. They are hurting innocent people, to suit their evil agendas, and the present regime, seems to be complicit in this campaign, by being silent.

  • 12

    This writer has shown a true Buddhist teaching of love. affection, and kindness. I read many of his articles. he is promoting humanism among all humanity. Sri Lanka need good people like him

  • 2

    A very well written article, giving us a good perspective of the current situation.

    The division, ethnic tensions, and the flare up of violence against the minority by the majority, is primarily the deliberate actions of politicians. Many aiding and abetting these trouble makers. How can ANY nation progress when consistently there are ethnic tensions, one group pitted against the other? Much of it based on lies?

    Politicians seem to love their powers, over the love for the country. We have gone through hell for decades because of terrorism and endless war, and instead of changing our policies, and working hard to unite the country, so that we can go forward as a nation, our leaders are still dividing the country, encouraging Buddhist monks to act like terrorists, and most of all our leaders do not condemn, the anti Muslim propaganda, by good for nothing, ignorant reporters, in these television channels, who’d rather stir the pot and watch our country go up in flames, than choose to do the decent thing, and be able to differentiate between the majority of good Muslims, and the extremists.

    Sri Lanka loses revenue, and it is always a huge setback for the country, whenever ethnic violence erupts, due to fake news deliberately spread by these haters. Our progress is hampered by these ugly flare ups. Therefore these fake news mongers are unpatriotic, and their hatred trumps over wanting peace and prosperity in the country.

    Enough of the fake news about charmed sweets, gullies, forced sterilizations, and now about Coronavirus, these claims HAVE ALL BEEN PROVEN FALSE EVEN SCIENTIFICALLY. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of ignorant people gullible enough to believe it, and those causing trouble (like Hiru/ Derana and Divaina) take advantage of them. Looks like they have no shame doing it openly either. What arrogance.

    It is time our leadership CONDEMNED this cheap attempt to spread hate, and ethnic tensions, OR DOES THIS SUIT THEIR AGENDA TOO?

  • 0

    These dumbos pick one incident and try to make a mountain out of a molehill.
    [edited out]

  • 2

    I will never call Chatura a pariah dog ,i respect him as a human being who has made mistakes, and I wish him all the best in finding his real dad.

    • 0

      Seems like Chatura does not learn from his “mistakes”. Being a closeted racist is not a mistake, it is a harmful trait, and shows he is one who harbors hatred, while putting on a false front.

  • 0

    Ajmal… you guys were used as pawns to do the same.
    We did not start the Fire ?????????????

    Lakmal Harischandra is attempting to pick a needle in a haystack.
    Writer need to first show what he had had practice what he has preached.

    We always have paper tigers, humanists and what not ……………..

  • 3

    Hiru and Derana convertef the Corona to Islam. Both of them are running the government agenda to try and get 2/3rd majority. And thw government is in deep sleep without even speak out about these racists. Chathura is a pig. He was born to a racist and he will die with racism. Both Derana and Hiru are cancerous to this society

    • 1

      Derana and Hiru, the propaganda arm of the Rajapaksa regime.

  • 1

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