25 September, 2020

Blog

From Weliweriya To Grandpass

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Fanatics are picturesque; mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason…” Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)

For the regime, Weliweriya was an unexpected, unwelcome and an ominous digression. With the mob-attack on the Grandpass mosque,Sri Lankais back in the familiar Rajapaksa-groove.

In Weliweriya, the police felt unable to deal with a group of peaceful demonstrators. The army stepped into the breach, ready for war, and led by a Brigadier, no less. The peaceful demonstrators were shot at and assaulted.

Grandpass Muslim Prayer Centre attack

In Grandpass, a violent mob reportedly attacked a mosque and some (presumably Muslim) houses. Several people, including two policemen, were injured in the resulting melee. But the saffron-thugs, as always, got away scot-free.

The peaceful demonstrators in Weliweriya were led by the Buddhist monks in the area. Today they are under threat, from powers that be.

The mob in Grandpass was also led by some monks. They were allowed to depart in freedom.

The differential treatments accorded to the peaceful, legal and democratic demonstration in Weliweriya and the illegal, violent saffron-mob in Grandpass send a potent message.

In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka, it is right and proper for Sinhala-Buddhists to attack the minorities. Anti-minority mobs will be treated with kid-gloves by the police. But woe-betide those Sinhala-Buddhists who protest against a political injustice or an economic wrong. They will be treated like traitors and a blood-thirsty army will be unleashed on them.

In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka it is right and proper for monks to incite racial/religious hatred and violence[i]. Such monks will be saluted by the police, befriended by the military and entertained by the President himself. But woe-betide those Buddhist monks, who, motivated by compassion and a sense of justice, try to help Sinhala-Buddhists whose basic rights are violated by the Rajapaksas or their kith and kin.

Weliweriya was an indication of what is in store for the Rajapaksas in aSri Lankauncontaminated by ethnic/religious overdetermination.

The Rajapaksa project is politically repressive and economically exploitative. The Rajapaksas not only dominate the state and its economic organs. Through their stooges, they have made deep inroads into the private sector economy as well. Therefore many employees protesting against unjust working conditions and many communities demonstrating against socio-economic exploitation and environmental degradation will find themselves confronting Rajapaksa interests, directly or indirectly. If this situation is allowed to continue, the political space can become dominated by conflicts between the people (of all ethnicities, religions/or none) and the Ruling Family. The realisation of the existence of common interests and a common enemy can lead to ethno-religious solidarity and perhaps even create conditions for the coalescence of a ‘Lankan nation’ in opposition to the Rajapaksas.

That is a nightmare the Rajapaksas would want to avoid at all costs.

Blood-and-faith nationalism is their weapon of choice, as is obvious from the Grandpass attack, just a week after Weliweriya.

Useful Fundamentalisms

According to American psychologist Dr. Bryant Welch, “religious fundamentalism plays three psychological roles which reinforce one another to fundamentalist religion very appealing to millions…. First, it fills in important gaps in our reality sense….and eases the perplexity that the mind feels from uncertainty. Second, religion provides support for the mind as it struggles with the three battleground emotional states – envy, sexual perplexity and paranoia. Finally…..it provides an esoteric experience that is a powerful antidote to the fears and stresses of modernity”[ii].

Little wonder that despots, across the world and over time, see in extreme-religion an invaluable ‘Emperor’s Coat’.

When religion is married to ethnicity and turned into blood-and-faith nationalism, it becomes a particularly noxious brew which can drive entire communities out of their good senses.

Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism,Sri Lanka’s blood-and-faith nationalism, created a language issue, prevented its resolution and enabled its metamorphosis into an ethnic problem. It is a fundamental law of politics that the manifestation of one type of fundamentalism encourages and fosters fanatics of every other sort. Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism created Tiger fascism and helped it to defeat moderate/progressive strands of Tamil nationalism. In its turn, Tiger fascism blocked a negotiated settlement of the war and murdered many Sinhala and Tamil moderates who stood for a devolution-based political solution to the ethnic problem. Together, these two extremisms rendered reason and moderation obsolete and pushedSri Lankainto a morass of violent disunity, irreconcilable enmity and brutal war.

And eventually installed the Rajapaksas at the helm of the Lankan state.

Tiger fascism is no more, but Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism reigns supreme, as the premier façade of the Rajapaksa dynastic project. It has become a cloak to hide the naked power-hunger of the Ruling Siblings, a soporific to keep the South quiescent and an intoxicant to incite the South against this or that minority, whenever necessary.

The Rajapaksa response to Weliweriya was threefold. They lied about the protest and the protestors. President Mahinda Rajapaksa undertook a meet-and-greet-the-people-blitz in several Sinhala-majority provinces[iii].

And the Grandpass mosque was attacked, no sooner than Ramazan was over.

The marriage of convenience between Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism and the Rajapaksa dynastic project is creating a fertile breeding ground for fundamentalisms of every variety. What happened with Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism and Tiger fascism might become replicated with Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism and Islamic fundamentalism. That might suit the Rajapaksas quite well, because it will give them an enemy to replace the Tiger, a justification for every crime and excess, misdeed and error.

Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism, like all political-religions, advocates government of, by and for the ‘chosen people’, chosen on the basis of primordial identities – ethnicity and religion. It advocates the creation of a hierarchical society, in which the minorities can survive only by accepting their (majority-allocated) subordinate place. This way, even the poorest, most powerless Sinhalese can feel that he/she is superior to even the richest Tamil/Muslim/Christian. This illusive sense of superiority – and the fear of losing it – can keep the Sinhala South in thrall to the Rajapaksas, despite growing economic hardships. It can also prevent the Sinhalese from looking reality in the face and asking some necessary questions – including the real role of the military (especially post-Weliweriya) and the connection between military expenditure and economic hardships (for instance, did post-war Sri Lanka need to buy 14 Mi-171 helicopters from Russia at the cost of US$11.5 million each?[iv]).

A new anti-minority phobia can take the Sinhala-Buddhist mind away from really existing problems. When one is blinded by the fear of the ‘Other’ one has little time or inclination to care about prices or pollution, bad governance or despotism. One is too obsessed with halal or conversions, Sharia or the 13th Amendment to care about real problems.

And any issue/horror which cannot be blamed on some minority or the other can be shoved out of our collective-mind, easily.

A five-month old baby-girl had been raped, in our Sri Lanka[v] – a horror symbolic and symbiotic of the moral-ethical malaise affecting our society. That is a non-political issue, one which should concern all of us, irrespective of every difference. The fact that it has not engaged the attention of political and civil society and the religious leaders of all faiths (who seem obsessed with morals in general) is indicative of how far we have fallen, as individuals and as a country.


[i] http://bodubalasena.org/sinhala/

[ii] State ofConfusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind.

[iii] According to the ITN news telecast of 10th Saturday, the ‘Proud Father’ (Adambarakara thaththa) gave students some handy hints about studying for exams, a week after his troops murdered twoAL students in cold blood.

[iv] http://www.defence.pk/forums/world-affairs/125423-sri-lanka-get-14-mi-171-helicopters-russia.html

[v] http://www.srilankamirror.lk/news/9539-baby-molesters-remanded-again

 

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  • 1
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    “Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism, like all political-religions, advocates government of, by and for the ‘chosen people’, chosen on the basis of primordial identities – ethnicity and religion. It advocates the creation of a hierarchical society, in which the minorities can survive only by accepting their (majority-allocated) subordinate place. This way, even the poorest, most powerless Sinhalese can feel that he/she is superior to even the richest Tamil/Muslim/Christian.”

    Ms. TG:

    Buddhism explains everything and says that everything is in your mind. It is the same for you.

    The minorities of you – Tamils, christians and muslims – are the Majorities for us, sinhala buddhists. Sinhala – buddhists are a minority in every way in this world.

    This Supremacist thing that you are talking about, how do you define it. then we can understand it better. for us, it i more about INSECURITY. Buddhist never Think or assert that we are superior to all others. It is the christianity that considers the ONLY TRUE FAITH which is SUPREMACIST IN THEIR THINKING. IT is the ISLAM that think their ALMIGHTY is the ONLY TRUE ALMIGHTY (There also there are different versions, Sunnis thinking their almighty is greater than the that of the Shia or any other version; which is the Christian thinking too. Remember how Popw invited all anglican to their Church and made Anglicans really pi$$ed off).

    Lord buddha was very humble, born as a Prince but, As Buddha lived the whole life begging for food – Is that the supremacist way ?

    So, don’t you think you misrepresent the facts ?

    Insecurity is defined as the Supremacism and Mahinda rajapakse is at fault all of the aggression of Christians, Tamils etc., etc.

    I think, christians are behind influencing even the monks against Muslims. Because, what is happening is not the buddhist way. Lord Buddha, challenged the Brahmin India – an India far stronger than the Christian or the Islamic political religions based on faith and not based on investigation of the facts.

    These military expenditure of $11.5 million and infant rapina re all unrelated stories.

    That is rajapakse’s fault or sinhala – Buddhist’s fault.

    All the countries that you respect and consider as Greater and respectable than Sri Lanka live on Weapon – trade. So, military helicopters are just one of those. That is also needed because, USA wanted to bully Sri Lanka.

    • 0
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      What a load of tosh!

    • 1
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      Jim Nutty:
      Since someone has stolen the rock from under which you emerged, may I donate one for the purpose, though I think it could be better utilised (if large enough) if dropped on that head of yours that obviously contains what the other end of you should!
      Appropriate behaviour for someone like you would be a lifetime licking the boots of a Tisaranee Gunasekera. But then, even that might improve the quality of your tongue’s surface which obviously spends its time in even less healthy places.

    • 0
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      Jin Softy,

      Muslim sects Sunni and Shia is worshiping the same GOD and follow the same Prophet and the same Quran. I feel sorry for you. Because basically you have no knowledge about any religion or history unless the RACISM you talk about. If you are Buddhist you have Nikaya issues….If christians they have many sects, Hidus have different GODS to worship. But muslim worship only one GOD doesn’t matter sunni or Shia.

      You write always rubbish here………learn something and make good comments to read it.

      • 0
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        Allan:

        Read the following, if they believe in the same god, why Sunni destroy Shite Mosques.

        “A Shia Mosque in the town of Al-Ehsa’a in the east of Saudi Arabia attacked and damaged on Friday. A clip of attacked Mosque and the amount of damage to it is published on social media. When worshippers went for the Friday prayers they faced with a Mosque where everything in it was broken or damaged. According to Akhbar24 news network Shia Mosques in Al-Ehsa’a province are attacked regularly. Last month two Mosques were attacked in a similar manner by the unknown attackers in the province. So far no one has been arrested for attacking Shia Mosques. “

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          Cold war between Therawada and Mahayana Buddhism today. Seems like Mahayana will takeover even Sri lanka.( Not to forget Mahabodhi).

          Just because there is a fight between two schools of thought or politicized versions that does not mean the original religion is at fault.

    • 0
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      “Lord buddha was very humble, born as a Prince but, As Buddha lived the whole life begging for food – Is that the supremacist way ?”

      But the followers born poor want live like kings that is where TG is right on Supremacist and you are a part and parcel of it. For example dont you see how many are living like more than a king out of nowhere.

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      “Lord Buddha, challenged the Brahmin India – an India far stronger than the Christian or the Islamic political religions based on faith and not based on investigation of the facts.”

      When the next Buddha is born today and starts preaching, who will be the first to criticize him. It was Brahmin Indian then, now it will be the Sinhala Buddhists.
      Why, because Buddhism is been hijacked by today’s Brahmins. The so called Sinhala Buddhists..

  • 0
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    Hey Leela, Jim, and Sinhala Man, Your time is ticking, trying to invite the worst people in the world like Al Qaeda and Tahliban. I think when they come, you all will piss like you were pissing while Praba was alive.. another 50 years of chaos soon by monks… lets wait and see.. its a self distruction of Budhism

    • 0
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      So, you mean muslims are bad people.

      • 0
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        Not necessarily JimNutty. Take your prescribed medications??

  • 0
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    CT what a waste to even continue to publish this idiot’s comments on your respected forum- he is an idiot of the worst caliber by all standards..

    Right minded readers please ignore this idiot & do not respond & give him prominence which he is begging for, save your money &time from Idiots like him..

    • 0
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      Please give JimNutty a wide margin. He appears to have a mental aberration and needs specialised medical care and attention! We can’t stop him from writing to these columns.

    • 0
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      CT, a “respected forum”??? What a load of bull.

    • 0
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      Qassim:

      Instead of uttering gibberish, write something that is worthwhile reading.

  • 0
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    Muslims cannot put up mosques/prayer centers everywhere buying people and ministries with their money to do so… and then expect to talk ethics

  • 0
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    This exactly how it started and the massacre followed to our tamil brothers/sisters from 1958. The fanatical buddhism has not ended wait until the muslims first then the christian singhalese {now they worship both .sangha and the Christ} are finished,Dangerous times ahead I believe.Only the real Lord Buddha can save this island from venom.

  • 0
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    Accordhing to Ms T, Buddhist Monks lead the poor rural Sinhala Buddhists in Welivweriya to fight the Forces to ask for potable water.

    After the things got nasty, the ‘poor” Cardinal of the Catholic Church had to come and give last rights and Christian burials to the poor victims.

    And inform the Vatican and the Diaspora IC that the Sinhala Buddhist Army and the Rajapaksa Regime have committed sacrilage.

    Is something missing here?

    • 0
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      oi Leela stop your bull and come to the point?
      is the grandpass attack the way of buddhist life that you like?

  • 0
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    Tisaranee Gunasekara,

    It is a sad state of affairs in Sri Lanka that 65 years since independence we are still arguing about Sinhala Buddhist supremacy, genocidal war on Tamils, attacks on Mosques and Churches, while Singapore which got independence much later has developed to become a first world country.

    They were lucky to have Lee Kwan Yew, a leader with vision who united the majority Chinese with the Malay and Tamil minorities to progress steadily to their present enviable state. Whereas, we had a series of opportunist and selfish leaders, who took the short cut of majoritarian ethno-religious fanaticism to grab power and ruined the country.

    Now this rotten politics has reached a virtual dictatorship with heightened persecution of ethnic and religious minority groups. It is very hard to imagine any progress without an upheaval or revolution taking place.

  • 0
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    The attack carried out by a few monks and stone throwing vandals is a sad portrayal of Buddhism. The inability or heistation of the Police to arrest the miscreants granting them ‘holy’ status is a disgrace to civilised society. Can monks who behave in such a manner be ‘holy’ and represent Buddhism? Criminals in robes.

  • 0
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    Those criminals who threw stones to Sinhala houses must be arrested and punished.

    Everywhere in the world where these people are too many has problems.

    We are just after London attack and now this.

  • 0
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    The culprits are the same as in 9/11, 7/7, 11/26, etc.

    Or the recent London gruesome terrorist attack.

    • 0
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      The culprits are MaRa, Gota, Champika, Rathana, GnanaGandhasara and few like you. The rest are peace loving people.
      Once you are eliminated from your posts everything woll be over.
      We are working hard for it.

  • 0
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    Tisaranee, are you funded by a Muslim or a NGO? However, u must remember that Sinhalese Buddhist are the majority and they are superior to all other minorities live in this country

    • 0
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      Superior in what way ? You guys have horns and a tail ?

  • 0
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    News item: When Muslim Youths start to fight back, the Sinhala mobs start to run.
    ________

    Muslims are not like Tamils. When Tamils were attacked in 58/77/83, they ran to north-east, their homeland.

    But Muslims have no other place, so they have no choice but to fight back.
    :-)

    • 0
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      You don’t need any brain washing or convincing when it comes to Muslims. They are ready to sacrifice for a cause. Not sure about the others.

  • 0
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    Tissaranee,
    You have portrayed the mind-set of the Rajapakses accurately.
    Unfortuhately they have the support of these extreemist monks who have forsaken Buddha’s teachings,and the political fringe who support them in turn,merely for their own welfare.
    The tamils have been “taught a bitter lesson” and now it appears to be the muslims’ turn to be taught similarly.
    As mentioned,it may be the sinhala-christians’ turn next.
    Meanwhile,the largest Idle Army in the world is pampered at the expense of education,health care,social services and sustenance of the poorest of the poor.
    The people appear to have come to terms with the largest electricty tariffs in the world,whch help the Rajapakses’ megalomanic projects floating, but are ignored by other countries.
    We are in for a tough time.
    But we deserve it as we voted for the Rajapakses,beleiving their lies.

    • 0
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      justice

      you are absolutely correct as you people voted MR and absolutely you deserve this. have a great future

  • 0
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    I am wondering as to who is incharge of our country. In this case is it the Ministry of Religious affairs or these criminal gangs. Isn’t there a constitution and Law that everybody should follow.

    I think this may be the same Criminal Gang that attacked police and armed forces with molotov coaktail, iron rods and poles at Weliweriya. There’s ample photos and video clips that could be used to arrest them.

    This could be also the same criminal gang that were occoupying the roads near Hulsdorf during CJ’s impeachment trial.

    It’s time for every citizen to unite and chase out all the criminals as well as bring those who encourage them to justice.

    Meanwhile Muslim brothers should not respond to this with violance, but act patiently. These can be someone from top paying these assasin criminal Gangs, and life is more worth than property. But please take sufficient photos and send them to Internet, International community and to reporters and lawyers.

    Thank you CT for publishing the video clip.

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    Muslims of Sri Lanka,

    Your time is up. Pack up and leave or convert to Budhism.

    You will not be allowed to live a peaceful life in Sri Lanka practicing your religion or your trades or eat your habitual foods.

    Bhudda had a universal message of peace to the world at large and a descreet message to its ardent monks. To the monks he decreed, kill every man who will not follow Bhudism, convert them forcefully, plunder their hard earned property, rape their women, and spread the word of peace through hatred, violence and finally though genocide. Only then will the blessing of the ‘Triple Gem’ fall upon you.

    Another bloodbath like ‘Black July’ is only a few more provocations acts away. All political parties since independence have benefited from racial violence. The tacit approval given by MR for these attacks comes as no surprise. Attention from the public towards the plunder of the treasury takes backstage when racial turmoil takes center stage.

    The Muslims better get prepared. The state do not protect you. The judiciary will not either. The police are against you. You have to prepare to protect yourselves as the authorities will not do so. Do not die a dogs death like the hapless Tamils during ‘Black July”.

    • 0
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      Please Read gonbella’s comments in other artciles.

      Gonbella is a Tamil.

      • 0
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        The same gonbella predicted this happenings to tamils in 1950s

    • 0
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      MUSLIMS DO NOT RUN.

      IT IS BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES.

      WE BELIEVE IN A GOD WHO CREATED US AND WILL TAKE OUR SOUL

      WHEN THE TIME COMES IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED. WE ARE

      ALWAYS PREPARED TO DIE.

      WE PLACE OUR TRUST IN ALLAH.

      IF YOU TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DID TO THE TAMILS YOU ARE NOT HUMAN.

      WHAT ELSE CAN WE EXPECT FROM A “GONBELLA” ?

  • 0
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    Incisive and cutting as usual, Tissaranee. One needs to hit hard at evil.Long-held Buddhist values in Lanka are being systematically undermined by the regime acting as role model.Monks have joined the ranks to destroy a great culture idealized by the song:’Danno Budunge.”
    When monks join to selfdestruct the game is getting over.The JHU is the worst of all. Why don’t we have another Sir John Kotelawla to tell the truth about political monks: “Sivuru wela thaara ganna ohne?.”

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      “Sivuru wela thaara ganna ohne?.”

      i think it was

      ” Thatte thaara ganna ohne “

      • 0
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        AT GRAND PASS YOU COULD SEE “BALD HEADS” WITH THE POLICE
        I ALWAYS SAID THESE SAFFRON THUGS ARE GOTA’S UNDERWORLD
        CHAPS WHO WERE ALLOWED TO ESCAPE FROM WELIKADE.

        Buddhist extremists attack 30 year old Grandpass mosque and neighboring Muslim house: 8 victims hospitalized: 1 serious: Police curfew impose
        (Lanka-e-News-10.Aug.2013, 11.00PM) Following an attack launched by a Buddhist extremist group include monks who came from outside and iron rods wielding armed groups on a Muslim mosque situated at Swarna Chaitya road , Grandpass , and neighboring Muslim houses , 8 persons have been hospitalized . Among them are two police officers. Of those hospitalized , one victim is in a critical condition.

        This attack had been launched today (9), the day following the day (8) of the Muslim festival when a special religious ceremony was in progress in the mosque. As always , the police had given security to the attackers and not taken any action to avert the attack . These attackers have even dragged the Muslim women from their homes and assaulted them with iron rods. One of the victims who is admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) has been struck on the head by an iron rod . Several buildings and few vehicles were also damaged

        This mosque that came under attack is about 30 years old , and while it was being constructed in a new building in the vicinity after closing the old one , these Buddhist extremists have opposed this , and launched this lethal attack. It is significant to note that the permission of the Buddha Sasana Ministry, the Ministry of Muslim affairs and the Municipal council had been obtained for this construction at the new site.

        Though tension had been taut for the last one month in regard to this issue the officials have taken no notice of it ; and when large suspicious groups from outside congregated at this venue today , the police were informed , yet no pre emptive action had been been taken by the police to prevent this attack.

        Finally even after these hooligans started attacking fiercely , the police instead of taking appropriate action to quell the violence launched had only given protection to them , it is reported.

        By now the army had been summoned. Police curfew has been imposed in the Grandpass police area till 7 am tomorrow

      • 0
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        Srilal, what Sir John said was ‘Siwura ussala Pukey Thara Ganna Oney’. What a fuss. Believe me in another hundred or two hundred years there will not be a Sinhala race as the whole society will be a mixed race, like what happened to the Red Indians. See the number of Koreans and Chinese in the country now. Wait till they mix and multiply. This is the reality what Buddha preached on Impermanence.

  • 0
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    Men in saffron robes appear to be involved both in the Weliweriya and Grandpass incidents, but are the facts giving rise to the two incidents identical or similar? The “Prayer Center” or “Mosque” in Grandpass, when was it started and by whom? Is there a deeper problem that is being glossed over?

  • 0
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    In Grandpass, in this particular neighbourhood this is the second mosque.

    What is their intention ?

    Is that Sinhala – buddhist Supremacy ?

  • 0
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    “For if we are all connected, we will be united in grief, and when justice comes, united in victory.” — Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

  • 0
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    The article by DBSJ in his blog gives a detailed account of the incidents on Saturday and again on Sunday. What is interesting is the infiltration of a group of skin heads into the area who play the lead role in attacking Muslim owned properties. This group had also attacked trishaws in the Maligawatte area. It seems that this group is known to and protected by the Police and STF.

    In the Grandpass incidents on Sunday these skinheads had gone to great pains to say that they did not belong to BBS, RB or SR. Judging from the group coordination and singularity of purpose they seem to be members of the forces in civvies. The attire is t-shirt and slacks. Such use of thugs by the regime is common in other situations as well. Most probably from MOD. Similiar to the Grease Yakkas. Not surprising with a phsychopath at the helm.

  • 0
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    One good thing LTTE did was to get rid of this terrorist group from Jaffna in 1990. When will the Singhala slow learners learn the truth and follow VP?

  • 0
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    Thisaranee,
    You do not know what’s going on here. You live afar and write one sided bull shit for [Edited out]. Get a catcher to visit the temple, the mosque, the local people and the police to learn the truth behind the mosque drama.

    I for one have learned the truth and written the entire story as a comment under “Attacked Mosque Released The Original Letter Of Permission For Relocation” here. To tell you the truth, lies and Punditry of traitors like you makes me sick.

    Then again the more you write, less the chances of a UNP win.

    • 0
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      Patriot since when have you become a UNP supporter???

  • 0
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    Religion is the opium of the masses-Karl Marx

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