The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka issued a strong rebuttal to a keynote speech by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying his remarks had been viewed as an endorsement by extremist elements in their stand against the Muslim community. The Muslim Council expressed the deep disappointment and concern of the Muslim community regarding the address in an open letter to the Defence Secretary. The Bodu Bala Sena issued a media release on Tuesday soon after the keynote address by the Defence Secretary, claiming he had made courageous remarks about Muslim extremism and acknowledging it as a major victory in their ideological struggle.
Following is the full text of the Muslim Council letter to Gotabaya Rajapaksa:
September 4th 2013
Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Ministry of Defense and Urban Development
15/ 5, Baladaksha Mawatha,
We, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) wish to bring to your kind attention the Muslim community’s deep disappointment and concern at media reports of your speech at the Defense seminar on September 3rd 2013. As you are well aware, the Muslim community has without any hesitation stood by the Sri Lankan State throughout the 30 year conflict and has never resorted to any form of armed resistance.
The extremist elements that have been propagating hatred against the minority communities have taken your statement as an endorsement of the State’s approval of their stand on extremism amongst the Muslim community.
We wish to bring to your kind attention that there exists no form of armed or other forms of extremism amongst the Muslim community. Your concerns about extremists using Sri Lanka as a transit point may be valid, but we would like to assure you that the Muslim community would never allow extremists from other countries to operate under cover of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.
The intelligence units under your command have performed remarkably well during and after the war to ensure that Sri Lanka continues to maintain the hard earned peace. We welcome any investigation by the law enforcement agencies and take appropriate action against any persons who may violate the laws of the land or support any form of armed extremism irrespective of their religious beliefs.
We would like to assure you of the Muslim community’s unstinted commitment to the peace and prosperity of our beloved motherland and would greatly appreciate your kind clarification of your statement.
N.M. Ameen – President