1 March, 2021

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Maithripala Owes Apology To Muslims For His Atrocities

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Former President Maithripala Sirisena owes apology to Muslims for the killings and atrocities unleashed and damages to Muslim owned properties besides poisoning Sinhalese minds against Muslims in the wake of Easter Sunday massacre on 21 April 2019.

The Presidential Commission inquired into Easter Sunday killings did not accuse the Muslim community but recommended criminal charges against Maithri, Ranil and top officials.It is common knowledge that few belonging to National Thowheed Jamat, NTJ, were accused of bombing churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.  

Muslim community had nothing to do with this carnage. Instead several Muslim organizations informed the police way back in 2014 and urged to arrest Zahran and his team. 

Indian intelligence, according to reports, informed about the bombings on April 4. Now the BBC Sinhala service reported that Indian intelligence was behind the Easter Sunday bombings.   

In an article in The Island on 18 May 2019 Prof Tissa Vitarana said; “It is clear that the jihadists were allowed to build itself into a sophisticated terrorist unit that could carry out the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks. Some expert guidance and direction from abroad is likely. But it is clear that the intention was to engineer an anti-Muslim backlash from among the Sinhala and Tamil Catholic communities. This objective has been checked by the leadership provided by Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. It is clear now that the UNP tried to repeat what they did in 1983, but this time against the Muslims”.

There was also reports that Zahran and 26 NTJ members were paid by the army intelligence under previous government and perhaps groomed to use as scape goats by forces which were responsible for the Easter Sunday massacre.

Many senior ministers pointed out that the government had sufficient information and time to stop this carnage. However, instead of preventing the carnage, President Maithri went on pilgrimage to Tirupathi from where he went with his family on a three day holiday to Singapore while Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was holidaying in Bentota.  

Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, suffered immense during the three decades of ethnic conflict and save the country, was subjected to senseless violence by the government in the wake of Easter Sunday bombings.   

To begin with the government imposed emergency laws and declared a campaign demonizing Islam, projecting every Muslim a terror suspect. Maithri promptly deployed forces to search Muslim owned properties from mosques, houses, business establishments and took to custody Muslim men and women on ridiculous allegations and produced before courts after keeping in custody.

Using emergency regulations, Muslim houses and business establishments were emptied even of their kitchen knives under search operations. 

Dismissing the religious sentiments, troops entered mosques with boots accompanied by sniper dogs during the Holy Month of Ramadan fast. To Muslims worldwide there is nothing more sacred than the holy Quran. Muslims always read the Quran with ablution. Therefore tearing and throwing copies of Holy Quran was deliberate provocations by the forces. 

Maithri Government banned Muslim women wearing face cover, burqa, niqab and refused to stop atrocities to Muslim women. Not only hospital security even shops and super markets forced Muslim women to remove traditional shawls. Every Muslim man, woman and even children, were treated with suspicion, hatred and bitterness.

In the rush Prime Minister Wickremesinghe announced that madrasas will be brought under Education Ministry, Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act will be amended to increase the age of marriage to 18 and Sharia University will not be allowed. The government ordered mosques to submit copies of sermons given within their premises. This is usually done in countries ruled by ruthless dictatorships.

He allowed United States led European, Israeli and India’s RSS led BJP government’s on going global Islamophobia to enter Sri Lanka.

Under such frightening atmosphere, Maithri left to China to attend a ridiculous conference leaving Muslims at the mercy of organized murderous thugs, supported by a racist political party, and awaiting to attack Muslims.

Mob of around 500 with iron rods, swords and other such items began their killing and burning spree under the watchful eyes of the police and the army which became irrelevant. Mobs were free when they started to burn houses, shops, business establishments and mosques. They burnt and destroyed around 30 Muslim villages, according to reports.

Multi million rupee businessmen were made paupers overnight.

A fasting Muslim was chopped to death and another battered Muslim man was dragged in the street to hospital where he died. Most of the attackers were freed on bail and a notorious thug known for his violence against Muslims in Digana was garlanded and taken in procession

M.S. Fouzul Ameen 49, well-to-do furniture shop owner from Kottaramulla who came home to end day’s Ramadan fast with the family, was killed when his neck and face were slashed in front of his 16 year old son.

Fasting Muslim women grabbing their children ran to Sinhalese neighbors for safety. Some accommodated and even provided food while others chased them out. Sinhala three wheel drivers refused to take a severely battered Muslim being dragged on the street to hospital. In the process he died.  

Maithri-Ranil government made no moves to stop the violence. Former Minister Navin Dissanayake said that the anti-Muslim violence were organised and systematically cariied out .     

Supporting violence against Muslims, the mainstream media unleashed a full scale well organized campaign demonizing Islam and describing the entire Muslim community as terrorists. They cooked up reports after reports justifying their evil campaign.

Perhaps the forces behind the carnage wanted to put the Christians against Muslims. However this conspiracy miserably failed as Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith urged Christians not to attack Muslims.  

Sinhala lawyers refused to appear for Muslims taken into custody, doctors refused to treat Muslim women insisting that they remove their head scarves, Muslim shops were boycotted, a pradeshiya sabah chairman prevented Muslim from trading in the market and some temples began advising Buddhists not to deal with Muslims.

One columnist pointed out that “Life has become a nightmare in their ordinary day to day living and virtually changed every aspect of life. Harassment, discrimination and a well-orchestrated hate campaign has been taking shape in the public domain, demonizing, alienating and fostering a besieged mentality towards Muslims. Racism has found a new meaning in Sri Lanka. And everything Muslim are being targeted. There is total harassment of Muslims in public places, buses and trains, taxis and even in work places

Muslims have lost all faith in the police, security forces and the government to protect them.

In the midst insulting Muslims further, President Maithri visited lawless monk

Ven Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero at his prison cell, released him and entertained for tea. In doing so what message he sent to Muslims?

They have forgotten that Sri Lanka remains one country due to the great sacrifices by Muslims as stated by then Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne who pointed out that “we are alive today because of their brave fellow Muslim officers”.

He said the LTTE attacked and chased the Muslims away from areas which were under its control in the North and East because they did not support their cause. Sinhalese have a duty to protect the Muslims.”  

When 95 percent of the Muslims voted and made Sirisena the President they only expected peace. However their hopes were dashed.

In the midst Ven Athuraliye Rathna Thero, better known for preaching hatred towards Muslims than preaching the peaceful message of Buddhism, started calling Tamils to join Sinhalese to fight Muslims. Demonizing of Muslims continued until the election of Sinhala Buddhist only government dismissing all minorities in August 2019.

However there was one silver line in his dark hour as several Buddhist monks and other Sinhalese who came on television and reiterated that Muslims are integral part of the island’s population and made tremendous contribution throughout their more than 1000 year long history. They said in one voice that Muslim community should not be associated with the crimes of handful of Muslim mercenaries.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    4

    The Muslims in South India considers themselves as TAMILS FIRST. Muslims should have aligned with Tamils from the time of Independence.
    When the Tamils were attacked periodically since 1950’s, the Muslims benefited from the Tamil minorities sufferings.They purchased their properties and businesses cheaply. Their help to terrorism by Government forces against Tamils resulted in death and destruction in the North and East of the country. GoSL has not ceased it activities against Tamils and had included the Muslims as well.

    • 9
      8

      Muslims also occupied houses in Colombo after July 1983 where the occupants were killed by rioters. They stayed there for 10 years to get legal title and sold them off.

      Tamils occupy houses and properties of Sinhalese evicted from Jaffna in Black August 1977 and Muslim evicted in Black August 1990. Handing them back is essential for reconciliation.

      • 3
        4

        Lying again. There were hardly any Sinhalese in Jaffna and 99% of these Sinhalese never owned any land or property, as now falsely claimed. Most of them were bakers and were renting out their homes and business premises from Tamil landlords. Tamils never evicted any Sinhalese , they just packed up and left , when troubles started. Most Muslims in the north were also very dirt poor and very few owned homes and lands , especially in Jaffna. Only in Mannar they owned their homes , huts to be precise and some land in certain villages and Tamils, never occupied these villages or lands . Stop posting lies and misinformation

        • 2
          5

          Rohan25,
          There were Sinhalayo in Yapanaya. There was a school for Sinhala children. They did not pack their bags and left, they were beaten by Tamil thugs and chased out.
          You may be right when you say Sinhalayo did not own land and property. The reason why Sinhalayo could not own land and property in Yapanaya was Vellala Demalu who came from Malabar in Hindusthan used a Malabar customary law called ‘Thesawalamei’ to prevent non-Vellala people owning land. Therefore, Sinhalayo could not buy land or property in Yapanaya. Even now that is the situation. Isn’t this discrimination?
          Sinhalayo might not have owned land because of Malabar law ‘Thesawalamei’ that discriminated against Sinhalayo. But Malabar Vellala Demalu are occupying Sinhala land in Yapanaya. At the time Portuguese occupied Yapanaya, land in Yapanaya was under the King of Sinhale and Sinhalayo were the majority in Yapanaya. Portuguese grabbed Sinhala land at gun point and used for tobacco plantations. After Dutch chased out Portuguese, they used the land for tobacco cultivation. After British came, Malabar Vellala Demalu claimed ownership of land in Yapanaya and applied ‘Thesawalamei’. So, Demalu in Yapanaya who came from Hindusthan are occupying land belonged to Sinhalayo before Portuguese took them by force.
          Malabar Vellala Demala landlordism in Yapanaya is a creation of colonial rule.

  • 21
    4

    It is sad that Muslim community still do not understand the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. None of the political leaders whether it is Gotabaya or Mahinda or Sirisena or Ranil can’t make a move without the approval of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. It is true not only Muslims but also Tamils and even Sinhala hoped for a lot from Sirisena and Ranil in 2015. Similarly, all the communities and International community hoped for a lot from Mahinda in 2009. Instead of peace they took this country into darkness with dictatorship, brutality, corruption, lawlessness, poverty and now we are almost sold our nation part by part to Super powers.
    Apology from Sirisena is not going to give Muslims anything. Sirisena is a powerless individual who is not worthy for a penny who surrendered to the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism.

    • 5
      13

      Ajith,
      There are no Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalists and Sinhala Buddhists are not the trouble makers. But there is a group, well- funded trying to project a negative picture to the world about Sinhala Buddhists. They are the people who keep on repeating ‘Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalists’, ‘Sinhala Buddhist Racists’, Sinhala Chauvinists’, ‘Buddhist Terrorists’, ‘Buddhist Extremists’ etc.
      The real trouble makers who do not allow Demala, Sinhala and Muslim communities to live in harmony are the racist separatist Vellala Tamil politicians and Muslim politicians who are on the lap of Wahhabi extremists. These guys are also puppets. Like in a puppet show, people do not see the puppet masters who are pulling the strings. The audience can see puppets dancing according to the way puppet masters pull the strings. I leave it to the readers to guess who are the ‘Puppet Masters’.

  • 8
    17

    Latheef Farook,
    “Sinhalese have a duty to protect the Muslims”
    —-
    No, it is the other way around. Muslims have a duty to protect Sinhala Buddhists because Muslims live in Sinhale (aka Sri Lanka) as a result of kind hearted Sinhala Buddhists saving Demala Muslim refugees from Hindusthan when they faced persecution by Portuguese, allowing them to settle down in interior parts of the country, marry Sinhala women and convert them to Islam.
    During the LTTE Tamil terrorist campaign, Muslims had no choice other than to stick with Sinhalayo after Tamils started persecuting them. At that time also Muslims were saved by Sri Lanka (mainly Sinhala) Armed Forces.
    Do not forget that there were instances where Muslims turned against Sinhalayo who saved them. That is the reason why Sinhalayo came out with the story about ‘Rotating Hat’.

  • 8
    2

    Where is justice for the 300 persons killed in the Easter Sunday terrorist attack?

    This will be a major election issue at the next election. If Rajapaksas want to keep their votes they must punish the 950 suspects arrested over the terrorist attack.

    • 2
      0

      GATAM,
      Rajapakse’s punishing Rajapakse’s?
      You don’t punish suspects without a genuine unbiased investigation and judiciary. Will Sri Lanka investigate and find Why Easter Bombing took place? Who funded Easter Bombers? What role played by Rajapakse’s in this bombing?

  • 11
    9

    Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism ?

    When the majority of a country want to live as they wish to, it is fundamentalism ! But if they follow halal food, don’t eat pork, get converted to Islam ( or some evangelical movement), allow sound pollution, allow religious dictates to overrule the law of the land , including on hygiene issues, it is good !

    Show me one Muslim country like this ! They are the most intolerant !

    Even US, France, Australia say if you come there to follow the mainstream !

    Can you be rational and also religious Mr Farook ? When you are religious, you are automatically bias.

    In every other religion you are a citizen first and then if you foolish enough, a follower of a religion.

    In Islam you are Muslim first and then a citizen.

    Is that rational? Is that good ?

    • 3
      7

      D.S,
      “Show me one Muslim country like this ! They are the most intolerant !”
      I can assure you from personal experience that both pork and alcohol are available in Saudi Arabia. Whether they are Halal, I have no idea.
      On the other hand, maybe you don’t know that meat and alcohol are prohibited on Poya days in this tolerant paradise, and Buddhist women with Buddha tattoos are jailed?

  • 2
    0

    But Cardinal is demanding life term imprisonment.

  • 7
    2

    Well said Deepthi. There is no compromise with people like this, it is their way or nothing.

  • 3
    4

    deepthi silva,
    It is not about majority or minority, it is about people. The rule of law should be equal to all. Sri Lanka is not belong to one group of people. When I say one group you don’t divide people by religion, language, race or gender. All the so called religions in Sri Lanka introduced by not Sri Lankan. Languages we speak are not pure origins languages. But the reality is that the people (citizens) living traditionally within Sri Lanka speak different languages, follow different faiths and cultures and so on. It is also important to realise that the external powers who ruled this country converted some people with the faiths they followed. For example, most of the Sri Lankan political leaders or families were willingly converted their faith to their religion and some converted back to their former religion primarily for keep their ruling power. This includes Buddhist Sinhala and Hindu Tamils. Right or Wrong of the each religions should be decided those followers but the religion should not have a role in politics and rule of law. Muslims did not come as refugees to this island. So they have similar rights as Buddhists anD Hindus in this country.

  • 3
    0

    Its not only the Muslims who Sirisena needs to apologise to but to all those who lost their loved ones in the Easter bombing, as well as, to the entire nation for his utter failing as the President. If at all, he & his family should be investigated, being a self serving blatantly corrupt yob. A shameless man with no principals, who stabbed MR in the back & even accused him of attempted murder, now sucking up to him for political survival.

  • 4
    0

    All those of the Islamic faith (Latheef Farook and all like-minded Muslims) who advocated and encouraged the advent of the Yahapalanaya Government in 2015 as being the saviours of the Muslim Community MUST tender an apology to their fellow Muslims first for doing so and leading the Community from the frying pan to the fire.
    .
    The situation at that time demanded that the Muslims collectively act in a manner that would serve to nullify and neutralize the threats against the Community by addressing the perceived concerns, apprehensions and fears of the majority community. Instead of doing so, most Muslims like Farook believed that inter-ethnic ‘peace and harmony’ could be established by merely changing Governments.
    .
    The Muslims are currently experiencing yet another highly traumatic nightmare – that of their Covid dead being cremated in lieu of burial. Their knee-jerk ( adoh!-come-for-a-fight) response has been to exert internal and external pressure on the GOSL to revoke this order. After nearly 12 months of implementing this thoughtless strategy, the Muslim community has not moved one inch towards it’s goal. It has only succeeded in strengthening the GOSL’s resolve to continue with the cremation-only policy.
    .
    Will Farook et al promote yet another change of Government ?

  • 3
    0

    All the politicians owe an apology to all the Sri Lankans
    Its time to move on as one country

    • 1
      0

      Rajesh

      Agreed but its wishful thinking. We are, by large, a nation of selfish, shameless, racist hypocrites, as a result, SL is now a failed state, just like Afghanistan & most African countries. Maybe the gullible masses are partly responsible for this plight by appointing the same corrupt politicians but now the political club has high entry barriers for outsiders, therefore, a public uprising as in Myanmar, Thailand, Belarus, Hong Kong, is probably the only solution but unlikely to succeed without a honest & capable leadership,perticulerly, with a heavy military presence to squash any .

  • 2
    0

    I am so so sorry. Not even a day had passed since I wrote my comment, as expected Ranjith made a U TURN after a meeting with Rajapaksa family. The guy who threatened to take the case to Hague, is now ready to accept mere apology and no more life term. Cardinal Flip Flop, it is up to the victims and their family members to decide , not you.

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