A blanket media blackout had been ordered on the meeting that was held between Muslim organisations and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday, despite media reports that claimed the discussion between the two parties continued cordially.
Colombo Telegraph learns that during the meeting, the representatives of civil and religious Muslim organizations who participated in Friday’s discussion had been explicitly informed by Gotabaya that nothing should be reported in the media until a final solution was reached.
When the representatives shed light on the fact that the majority of the Muslim community holds him responsible for the attacks; that they feel as if the violence instigated by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is being implemented under his orders, Gotabaya had rejected their suspicions while swearing they are baseless.
Sources revealed to Colombo Telegraph that meanwhile, Gotabaya had also informed that the Buddhist clergy has raised some issues with concern to the Muslim community in the country. He had listed out several such ‘concerns’ expressed by Buddhist monks that Muslims would have to address in order to ensure tensions between the two communities do not take a turn for the worse.
The two parties are due to meet once again.
Colombo Telegraph was informed that those who participated at the discussions on Friday are severely disheartened since their hope of obtaining a relief to their plights was not realized. Gotabaya had made it abundantly clear that the Muslim community will have to give into some of the demands in order to prevent recurrences of violence and tensions.
However, the exact specifications of the demands have not been released yet.
The discussion was focused on the recent attacks on Muslims but details of the meeting have not been released to the public.