Colombo Telegraph

Mr. President, Where Is The Hate Speech Bill ?

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Muslim community which voted for President Maithripala Sirisena’s government as a whole is beginning t o feel insulted due to government’s indifference to rising threats and derogatory statements by racist elements.

Muslims in general expect the government to enforce law and deal with those who are hell bent on provoking them to react to justify an Aluthgama type island wide attack.

All what the community is expecting the government to do is to fulfil its election pledges. For example what happened to the much talked about “Hate Speech Bill” and the election pledge to bring lawless elements who threaten communal harmony to task and create a peaceful communal environment.


Hate speech bill is something which needs to be appreciated by followers of all religions and all decent and peace loving people alike in view of its positive impact on the society and the country battered by racist politics.

Perhaps the Bill was abandoned under pressure from the very same groups resorting to hate crimes. Not only Muslims but even Sinhalese and Tamils who voted for the government have become increasingly frustrated due to its failure to fulfil election pledges.

They all expected the government to punish all those who plundered and looted the country, committed various crimes and brought the country to its miserable state today. It is more than a year and half since the government changed, but by and large, nothing has happened to please the voters who brought it to power. Sickening state of affairs is such that those who sucked the blood of the country remain free and even challenge the government.

Though deeply disappointed the people who voted for the government, by and large, do not want a political change, but expect the government to perform and restore their fast fading confidence.

In the case of island’s third largest community Muslims, all voted in one voice, for the Yahapalanaya government not to provide perks and positions to their wheeler dealer politicians, known sell outs, but to free themselves from Rajapaksa regime’s racist persecution which threatened the community’s very political, religious, economic, cultural and social life.

In fact racist hooliganism went underground with the new government assuming office in January 2015. However they have now started raising their ugly heads with slogans of hatred which has all the ingredients to tear apart communities with unpredictable consequences.

Ven Gnanasara Thera’s hate filled public speech at Mahiyanagana, widely circulated in the social media, is in complete violation of Buddhist teachings, law and order, basic human decency and challenges the government. He also distorted an incident at Madawala Madina Maha Vidyalaya to incite communal disharmony.

The fear is that Muslim community, the most peaceful of the three communities, have suffered immense for decades due to Sinhala and Tamil racism. They just had a brief respite since President Maithripala Sirisena was elected to power on 8 January 2015. They did not grumble though their main issues were ignored by the government.

However patience and sufferings too have limit. Ven Gnanasara Thera’s derogatory response to Muslim Council of Sri Lanka’s letter to Inspector General of Police is something which needs to be condemned and dealt with. His statement humiliating Islam’s beloved Prophet Muhammed and the Creator Almighty Allah may incite some Muslims to react. This is what BBS wanted.

Therefore it is the duty of the government, as pledged, to take firm action not only on Ven Gnanasara Thera but also on other short sighted BBS type elements – suspected mercenaries of global anti Muslim forces, before it is too late.

We also should not forget that the world is watching and talking about rising racism against Muslims in Sri Lanka. The mood among the community is that they are no longer going to tolerate another bout of grease yakkas or Aluthgama type attacks.

On the other hand the question is how long the country is going to waste its time and resources on dealing shameless issues such as racism knowing very well the death and destruction it has caused.

Isn’t it time that such issues are dealt with firmly and lift the country from the current sickening and stinking political culture and rescue the economy which, due to racist politics and callous mismanagement by both UNP and SLFP, shamelessly depends sixty eight years after independence on loans from International Monetary Fund- sucker of third world blood.

Almost every country in the region is moving ahead to fit into the changing political and economic scenarios to ensure a better future for their people. Where do we stand in this fast changing environment? Here in Sri Lanka we are still exploiting religion by talking of threats to religion by people who think that, as Ven Dambara Amila Thero once said, the world is part of Sri Lanka.

As pointed out by security sources there are no Muslim extremists in the island. On the other hand the majority Sinhalese community will never find a peaceful minority which pose no threat to anyone as proved during their more than a thousand year presence and contributions in the island.

The so called Muslim extremism is the product of enemies of Islam, Zionist Jews and Jewish lobbies in US and Europe, who have turned many Muslim countries into virtual grave yards, killed millions of Muslims and turned more than 65 million Muslims who lived in peace and prosperity into refugees to suffer in abject poverty. Insulting the island’s Muslims Yahapalanaya government, brought to power by Muslims votes too, has rolled red carpet to these very anti Muslim forces, Zionists, though they were kicked out time and again since independence in 1948 only to enter the country through backdoor.

There was a time and that too in the recent past, politics was the most favourite topic of discussions. However this enthusiasm is fast fading with the common response these days being “Katha karala Vedak Ne. Ung Okkama Ekai”.

I am compelled to endorse this view especially after reports of government proposal to allocate more than a billion rupee to import luxury vehicles to ministers while unfortunate victims of recent flood and landslide were struggling to clean their household items to restart their lives.

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