The Secretariat for Muslims has released a compilation of hate incidents where Sri Lankan Muslims have been victimized, during the first five months of 2014 – listing out a total of 80 instances of threats, attacks and harassments etc.
The SFM releasing the compilation and a media release on the list that includes threats, attempts to attack, attacks, harassments, violence, provocations etc against Muslims has stated that an observation of their records, particularly on the incidents prior to the Aluthgama violence indicates clear signs on the fact that what is to come are ‘ominous’.
They have pointed out that it has been two months since the anti-Muslim violence erupted in Aluthgama and Beruwala and although presently media and public attention has moved from the incident, the residents of the areas affected by the conflict await the completion of housing renovations and most Muslims in other areas live in constant awareness of what happened and in fear of what else may happen in the future.
In the release, they have noted the speeches made by the General Secretary of the extremist group Bodu Bala Sena, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara where he has stated that they would ‘take matters into their own hands’ if steps are not taken to address their concerns, with a promise of violence against Muslims.
They have pointed out that the bulk of the information recorded during the time period in which they have monitored for the compilation refers largely to the BBS’ relentless campaign of press statements, interviews and mass meetings that have propagated anti-Muslim sentiments while cultivating a paranoia at the loss of Buddhist numerical supremacy.
The SFM has also expressed concern over the refusal of permitting a mother to enter a school in hijab by the school principal and the manner in which female Muslims students were humiliated by being made to remove their trousers while in schools. They have pointed out that these actions have been tacitly endorsed by the Courts, by asking the parents to consider moving their children to a different school.
Meanwhile, they have noted that these incidents reflect a deterioration of relations and the general acceptance of anti-Muslim sentiments in the public sphere while adding that the monitoring of such victimizations of Muslims will be continued by their organisation.
Read the full report here