23 October, 2019

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CBK Concerned Over Continuing Rise Of Hate Speech

The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga has today urged relevant authorities to take appropriate action against all hate speech incidents regardless of the social status, ethnic/religious background or political affiliations of the perpetrators.

Chandrika Kumaratunga

Chandrika Kumaratunga

“The strictest action must be taken without delay, against persons or groups who act to provoke disharmony by creating divisions among citizens along ethnic and religious lines.” the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation said in a statement.

We publish below the statement in full:

Statement by ONUR on the Rise of Hate Speech in the Recent Past

The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) notes with concern, the rise of hate speech in Sri Lanka in the recent past, which challenges the initiatives being taken by the government to heal our country after decades of bloodshed and destruction.

Hate filled expressions and actions by groups with vested interests, resulting in demeaning, denigrating and inciting violence against fellow citizens of various ethnic, religious backgrounds has no place in Sri Lankan society.

For the first time in contemporary Sri Lanka, the Government has a stated vision to build One United Nation by promoting Reconciliation and a lasting Peace. The Government is working towards bringing about reconciliation among all communities, making it the highest priority.

This is in contrast to the years before 2015 where power brokers in the state fomented communal and ethnic hatred, shielded by a culture of impunity, thereby inciting racism and violence against fellow Sri Lankans.

The Government and the people of Sri Lanka are presently engaged in the noble task of rebuilding a society in which Good Governance prevails. The challenges faced in realising this are immense. Yet, the new opportunities that have opened up and the favourable socio-political context created since January 2015 must be seized.

The active participation and leadership of ALL patriotic Sri Lankans is essential for the achievement of Reconciliation, Peace and honest, effective, people friendly Governance if we are to attain political stability, economic growth and progress we so richly deserve as a Nation. We must work towards acknowledging the differences and celebrating the richness of diversity in our multi-ethnic, multi-religious country.

Short, medium and long term efforts are underway to address the grievances of all communities and to build a sense of respect, equality and pride in every citizen, living in an inclusive Sri Lanka where each person has the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that are the right of all citizens.

The strictest action must be taken without delay, against persons or groups who act to provoke disharmony by creating divisions among citizens along ethnic and religious lines. President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the entire government have categorically reiterated that hate speech will not be tolerated.

We welcome the proactive actions by civil society and religious leaders in countering the attempts to spread hate by very small yet vocal groups.

ONUR, while appreciating the arrest of two individuals from two different communities, accused of hate speech and for inciting racism, urges the relevant authorities to take appropriate action against all such incidents regardless of the social status, ethnic / religious background or political affiliations of the perpetrators.

We note that there are numerous complaints against hate speech and incitement to racism where strong evidence is available yet investigations and prosecutions are pending for some time. We urge the law enforcement authorities to take early action on all these incidents.

We welcome His Excellency the President and the Hon. Prime Minister’s unequivocal statements that we cannot permit racist or extremist elements from any community to challenge or imperil our chosen path to a stable, prosperous and plural Sri Lanka.

We appeal to all Sri Lankan’s to engage with the Government to realise this goal.

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
Chairperson, Office for National Unity and Reconciliation

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Latest comments

  • 8
    9

    CBK is dishonest.

    What People saying is true. Read below. This is only part of the story;

    Minister Rajapakshe said that extremist foreigners had entered Sri Lanka under the guise of teachers.

    Minister Rajapakshe warned that the government would take appropriate measures in accordance with the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) though a section of the international community was opposed to the implementation of the existing law.
    Participating in the second reading stage debate on Budget 2017, he revealed that foreign intelligence services had reported that 32 Sri Lankans belonging to four families joining the ISIS.

    Describing those who had joined the ISIS as members of well-to-do families of the Muslim community, the minister said that foreign extremists teaching at Muslim international schools in Beruwala, Kalmunai, Kaleliya and Kurunegala propagated hate.
    The minister alleged that there had been a spate of serious incidents including killings due to continuing violence among followers of four main chapters known as Thowfique Jamath, Jamaath-e-Islam, Thabilique Jamath and Sunnathival Jamath.

    • 8
      9

      Rajapakse and BBS terrorists are the honest people?

      • 3
        11

        AJ/Ajit:

        Dalit Leader wigneswaran is fighting for the mono-ethnic eelam.

        CBK is just making the life easier for her child living in the Tamil ghetto in London and the anti-sinhala child who wants to be the leader for Dumb rural sinhala – villagers.

        • 9
          3

          jim softy Dimwit

          “Dalit Leader wigneswaran is fighting for the mono-ethnic eelam.”

          With his Aryan suit wrapped around his waist, pottu on his forhead, sporting a beard, beaming smile, …….. ?

          I haven’t seen him pulling a field gun, carrying an AK 47, grenade launcher on shoulder, side arm hanging from his belt, or a military beret on his head, ..

          Have you seen him armed to the teeth?

          Please let me see his photo.

          • 5
            0

            CBK should have Wijedasa Rajapaksa sacked!

        • 9
          2

          ignoranance at its best again:

          http://idsn.org/countries/sri-lanka/

          As you can see from the Dalit Solidarity Network, there is no identity as Dalits in Sri Lanka. This simply goes on to show, once again, how much you are misinformed and to what extent your perspectives are one sided. We live in an era where people can cross check your claim and reference.

          Next time get your story straight. If you hear something from somebody, check the validity of the claim before you post it. Otherwise , you will always remain a Dimwit, as Native expresses it.

          Ps : if you want to share a conspiracy theory, which often you do, make it clear this is just an unverified conspiracy theory.

        • 9
          2

          Earlier you said CBK lives in exckusice neighbourhood in London. Now you say ‘ghetto’. You obviously manipulate the facts to your advantage. When you are misinformed, imagining or lying, your create inconsitency in your writings. Due to your consistent inconsistency, the readers know you are lying or imagining.

        • 1
          6

          CBK should be concerned about her own hate speeches towards Mahinda Rajapakse first . What a great humbug she is . Her only asset is to fabricate stories and pull wool over peoples eyes. She does not realise that people are tired of all her loose talk .

    • 4
      5

      jim softy

      “CBK is dishonest” ?

      Do you think Monk Mahanama of Mahawamsa is honest?

      What about Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Wijedasa Rajapaksa and their cronies?

      What about Turncoat, Traitor, Gona, Mala-Perathaya?

      Do you think the Para-Sinhala are honest? Ask the Native Veddah Aethho.

      What About the Sinhala “Buddhist” Monks? Do they follow Buddha or Mara?

      When the average IQ is 79, that gives many options for dishonest people.

      • 2
        3

        ˂b˃ Mahavamsa and Kalavedivamsa ˂/b˃

        Amarasiri, you asked “Do you think Monk Mahanama of Mahawamsa is honest”? My response is a big ‘Yes’, Monk Mahanama was an honest monk. I know that you hate him because you are extremely jealous. Not jealous of Mahanama, per se, but jealous of ‘Mahavamsa’ that he wrote. No other nation has a chronicle that can even come close to Mahavamsa. And no one will ever have, because we have a head start of more than 1,000 years over anyone else. It is a perfect and complete record of the history of the people known as the Sinhalese. You cannot be a Sinhalese unless you are proud of Mahavamsa. May I suggest a way out of your problem?

        First get rid of your inferiority complex. I know it is not easy for a Veddah, who some anthropologists consider as the missing link between Kalaveddahs and humans. The brain neurons of a Veddah are used mainly for hunting and gathering leaving little for other things. When you are hunting and gathering, there is hardly any time for intellectual pursuits. Your brain is fully engaged in planning where to find the next meal, in which cave are you going to shelter for the night, what if that strong looking young Veddah sleeping next to you creeps up to your woman in the night and so on. So how can one start writing a Vedivamsa with those distractions, even if one wanted to?

        Actually, you are handicapped right from the start. You don’t have a script. I know you can scratch lines, curves etc. But just think how many square meters of cave walls you need to record your history with such scratches? Come to think of it, you do not have much of a history do you? I know you have a long history starting with the time you started evolving away from Kalavddahs. But there is hardly any variety in it.

        A Veddah history may look like this: Today Veddah Amarasiri killed a Kalaveddah and ate it. Next day Veddah Amarasiri killed a Meeminna and ate it. The day after next Veddah Amarasiri dug some yams left over by wild boards and ate it. You getthe gist? The same drudgery everyday. The Samsara of a Veddah must one so uninteresting but tough and miserable. Even you Amarasiri, the author, (the Vedi Mahanama if you like) would find it boring to read it. May be it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But it would be so…… boring.

        • 5
          1

          Edwin,
          I RESPECT your comments but I really dont think it is right to say

          “You cannot be a Sinhalese unless you are proud of Mahavamsa. “

          I think you cant be above anyone else. We as sinhalase would stay saying that, we can only widen the gaps between folks. Why should we be feeling supeior above the other ?

          This mentality should go – this has destroyed us all.. caused a 30 year long war by which all inocient were killed than violent ones.

          We have to see it let alone today right.

          Then only we can rebuild up this nation more suitably for future generations.

          WE ARE ALL SRILANKENS – REGARDELSS OF OUR RACE, RELIGION OR OTHER FACTORS.
          We should all be treated equally.
          Extremist thought bearers should be locked up for ever. So that they realize it.

          I am against BBS lead – so as Mangalaramaya idiotic criminal monk. so as I do being against Meeharaka Rajaakshe and his bunch of thieves.

          • 1
            0

            Yes I agree. It was too strong and it was meant to be strong.

            I don’t think Amarasiri is offended though. He is a tough opponent and has his own style. We have been having these verbal duels for the past so many years but we are friends. This is a way we hone our writing skills.

            Anyway I apologize to all who were offended by that sentence.

    • 3
      3

      MR is the most honest srilanken president we ever earned in this country.

      Let alone, shortly before his election defeat on 07th January 2015 – he had trasfered 4000 million for the Ginganga project as current president revealed yesterday. Not even anything has been done for the project, but to have issued that much of funds – proves his honestly.

      This is just 1 of the 1000 or more case sofar revealed:

      Former President s secreatry cant face PRESS today…. all because of his head was very honest and though deals were beyond out of control..:

      Kirimati – cLAy eating crocodile only would shed tears for the Mahinda Rajaakshe.

    • 7
      2

      Jim Shitty calls CBK dishonest……………hahahahahaha. A racist low life sakiliya like Jim Shitty calls CBK names. Good stuff pariah.

    • 1
      0

      Last month a Sinhalese teacher taking part in a panel discussion in the Wings Festival of Arts for Reconciliation showed the audience a school textbook with distorted History instigating hatred towards ethnic minorities. This has been going on for decades: https://www.scribd.com/document/331258589/Why-Does-Sri-Lanka-Continue-to-Have-Hate-mongering-School-Curriculum-for-Decades

      So ONUR should address root causes too.

      When I went to the ONUR office 3 days ago I was told that when ONUR tried to contact the Ministry of Education on this issue there was no response.

      Who is resonsible for what in this government?

  • 2
    0

    __ Continue the war for peace under the darkness, under the surface, against the unarmed non state Tamils.

  • 5
    1

    what is the definition of hate speech.if one religion defame or insult all other religions five times a day in public. people of other faiths have every rights to oppose it and express their anger in public. if one ethnic group want exclusive areas for them but want others to facilitate them in others areas but law says every citizen of the country have every rights to live wherever they feel good for them.if same races want to remove historical sites of other races in their areas. people have every rights to work against it.if one religion group believe people of other religions are wild animals and teach their children from kindergarten how to kill animals as per their religion’s rituals and teach them how to appease themselves at agony of those animals and be happy seen gush of bloods. is it incorrect other people to criticize such a religions and their practices. those are the causes of generation of hate speeches. first of all those religions and other movements should be banned.then can start working against hate speeches. this lady is an idiot. waste over more than ten years of people time not doing anything constructive but [Edited out]

  • 8
    2

    What about all the hate speech in the Quran? Are we to ban it too?

    • 3
      0

      Sam;

      Would You and Most of those commenting on CT about Hate speech, Please Read today’s Article, by Hafeel Farisz.
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/on-the-need-for-introspection-the-rise-of-intolerance-warped-narratives/

      He understands ‘What the Buddha Taught’, better than all the so-called Buddhists, who spread Dissension, not Maithree!

      As for the Formation of a Bhikkhu Party to support the SLFP; it is totally against the Buddha’s Dhamma.

      The Sangha, should be the Only Organisation that Ordained Monks need, not Ego Enhancing Political Parties!

  • 4
    1

    “For the first time in contemporary Sri Lanka, the Government has a stated vision to build One United Nation by promoting Reconciliation and a lasting Peace. The Government is working towards bringing about reconciliation among all communities, making it the highest priority.”

    Well this is news to me. I am bemused that this government’s highest priority is to promote reconciliation between races and to bring lasting peace. What this government has really engaged in is anything but.

    Chandrika is joking of course. CB as the leader of this nation achieved nothing remarkable. In the area of reconciliation and racial harmony the Sri Lankan polity can expect that CB will achieve nothing remarkable either.

  • 3
    0

    Failure to curb hate speech could result in severe economic and social setback ie. tourism and investment into the Island.

  • 2
    0

    On December 3rd, the KKK in one of the Southern States will have a rally celebrating Trump’s win. The US Constitution’s amendment reads like this.
    Text
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    KKK, Alt-Right groups who are all excited about Trump’s win in the world’s most powerful Constitutional republic are elated. They have Nazi like views on people who are not white.

    And now Trump by damning our cherished First Amendment is acting like Fascist or a Communist dictator by saying people who burn the American flag should be jailed and stripped of their citizenship. Citizenship is NOT stripped even of a convicted felon. This is the sort of drastic rightwing dictatorial policies that are coming soon to the USA. The US supreme court twice declared that burning the flag(it is repugnant to most Americans and I oppose it too but i will never try to ban an expression of political freedoms) is legal and covered by the First Amendment.

    President Emeritus Kumaratunge, what standard are you using ? In Europe it is illegal to deny the Holocaust and it is a jailable offence because their sordid history of mistreating Jews in Christian nations span centuries. But in the US denying the Holocaust or as Trump’s campaign now does questioning if they are a people is all legal.

    What standards do you want? Are there laws that can be used to jail people if they incite rioting and violence already in the statutes? Do you use the US standards where now under Trump KKK and ALt-right are cool but if a Black Lives matter guy burns the flag he may lose his citizenship? Do you need extra laws or an implementation of existing laws? Hate speech? is that not free speech? What did Amirtalingam and his wife say long ago about Sinhala blood? What about the BBS ghouls? Do we want selective free speech? The entire world is heading towards a very nationalistic inward looking anti outsider outlook. You cite France often: Do not be shocked if Marie LePen wins next year.

    I appreciate your standard and once you told me when I asked you if you hated Tamils for what they did to you. You said “No, why should I hate an entire people for what a few did?”. That is remarkable because even some English speaking Royalist Tamils were excited about how “our boys got her” when the Tamil tiger suicide bomber almost killed you.

    Aren’t the BBS and Wahabi Salafists all a small minority engaging in ludicrous albeit free speech? Once we go down a slippery slope where will we end ?In a Trumpistan? I finally see a lifting of the curtain of fear in SL under the My3-RW regime than now freedoms are taken to the extreme; but once you open Pandora’s box there is no closing it on the demons and angels who both flew away.

    I am just playing Devil’s advocate. Wait for more repressive measures under Trump in the USA and assaults on our rights to free speech.

    • 0
      0

      Mano R,
      “……..lifting of the curtain of fear……………………”

      Are you sure?
      Minorities are living in fear, being intimidated by the military and thuggish monks daily.
      University students are assaulted and shot dead, but no production of the miscreants in courts.
      Police assault citizens and are not arrested.
      Torture in custody is rampant and confirmed by UN and human rights activists & groups.
      Citizens are living in fear of misappropriation of their lands by the military.
      Refugee – “IDP” – camps still exist, seven years after the war ended.
      You are relatively safer in USA.
      Be content.

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