Colombo Telegraph

“Ban Hate Speech” Muslim Council Tells Gota

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has today written to the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa urging the prohibition of hate speech to mainstream media and public gatherings.

“We also kindly request you to inquire in to the violence in Alutgama and Beruwela on the 15th and 16th of June 2014 and bring the instigators and perpetrators of violence to justice and ensure that the rule of law prevails equally for all.” the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said in the letter.

We publish below the letter in full;

June 29th 2014

Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,

Secretary,

Ministry of Defense and Urban Development, 15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha,
Colombo.

Dear Sir,

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is thankful to you and welcomes your clear statement explicitly affirming that the government and law enforcement authorities would not tolerate hate speech or hate campaigns through social media. This is a long overdue and important action that needs to be strictly enforced with immediate effect. Your timely action will send a clear message to all Sri Lankans and the international community that you will not tolerate targeting of minorities in the country.

We also kindly urge you, Sir, to extend the prohibition of hate speech to mainstream media and public gatherings, so that all Sri Lankans of different ethnicities and religious beliefs can live as equal citizens of Sri Lanka. We also kindly request you to inquire in to the violence in Alutgama and Beruwela on the 15th and 16th of June 2014 and bring the instigators and perpetrators of violence to justice and ensure that the rule of law prevails equally for all.

This important statement of yours confirms your commitment to ensure that Sri Lanka does not slide back to the violent past that gripped the country during the 30 years of ethnic conflict and terrorism. This also sends a clear message to the peace loving Buddhists who are the silent majority that you do not condone racism and have no role in the hate campaign. It will encourage all peace loving citizens to condemn intolerance and violence.

In the two days of violence that occurred in Aluthgama and Beruwela, the stability and investor confidence that was established was destroyed. We, as Sri Lankans need to work together to ensure that violence of any form will never be repeated, and support rebuilding the image of Sri Lanka as a peaceful, stable, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation.

We affirm our commitment to work with you and the government of Sri Lanka towards peace, stability and prosperity for all.

Thanking you, Yours sincerely,

Hilmy Ahamed

Vice President

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