Under pressure internationally to address the country’s human rights situation four years after the defeat of the LTTE Secretary to the ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa today warned of new terror threats, the rise of Muslim extremism and said minority insularity was resulting in the emergence of hardline Sinhala groups in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the Defence Seminar 2013 in Colombo, the Secretary MOD said Muslim Fundamentalism was spreading all over the world and in this region. “This is a situation that our Law Enforcement agencies and Security Forces are concerned about, particularly as there have been instances where extremist elements were found in transit in Sri Lanka and were arrested and handed over to appropriate authorities. The possibility that such extremist elements may try to promote Muslim extremism in Sri Lanka is a cause for concern,” Rajapaksa said.
The Secretary MOD said that Tamil and Muslim minority communities were growing increasingly insular, choosing to identify themselves more with Tamils in Tamil Nadu or the global Muslim community, resulting in a lack of integration with the rest of the population in Sri Lanka.
“One of the consequences of the increasing insularity amongst minority ethnic groups is the emergence of hard line groups within the majority community,” Rajapaksa said, referring to several Sinhala hardline groups that have mushroomed in the recent past that have been implicated in rising intolerance and violence against the Muslim population.