23 July, 2024


Mr. President, Where Is The Hate Speech Bill ?

By Latheef Farook

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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Latest comments

  • 2

    Mr.Latheef Farook, I sympathise with your disappointment but remember, the new government had pledged to serve all Sri Lankans and not a select few who may or may not have voted for them. Drawing up a Hate Bill is not the answer for our current woes. What we need is to criminalise all incitements to hatred, based on religion, race, class or creed, no matter who is doing them. You are wrong to keep harping on the Muslim vote ousting the Rajapakse government. Who else were the Muslims going to vote for? Remember, if they had stayed at home and not voted, Rajapakse would still be in power. Give credit to the new government for applying the laws judiciously and we find several Rajapakse cohorts indicted.

    • 0

      The minorities are part and parcel of Sri Lanka and the Hate Speech Bill is the first step to ensure that there are legal means to prosecute Racists and bigots thus criminalise the lot. Your new government’s performance is increasingly no better than the previous one, and it is a shame people still defend them after 18 months in power with no tangible results in locking up the looters. More than a Billion Rupees to run around in luxury vehicles with public funds, when the interest payment on the debt is a large part of the country’s revenue. Remember the old adage, justice delayed is justice denied.

      A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that CHOOSES and DESERVES the Police State Dictatorship it is going to get.

      • 0

        Ceylonese, I hope you are not suggesting the new government brings back the white vans and the thugs to institute swift justice. Even the Rajapakses, should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and sadly proper judicious process does take time. Remember, it took nearly 4 years to convict the despot Radovic and a few like Pol Pot and Idi Amin etc. never convicted.

  • 0

    Both hate actions and hate speeches should be stopped.

    Mere expression of an idea can’t be taken as hate speech.

    How can the majority keep their mouths shut when their religion allows them to to question every thing and when there’s democracy in the country.

    Muslim people, we want you but you have to understand a lot.

  • 2

    Mr. President, where is the hate speech bill ? –
    A good question but the answer should come from Mr. Sambanthan
    Leader TNA and Mr. Hakeem, leader SLMP, as most hate speeches are directed against the minorities i.e. Tamils & Muslims and their religions and Christians at times and did any one of them, above
    raised this question in the parliament. If I remember right, it was
    the Govt. that wanted to introduce this bill initially and there was
    no backing from the minority parties and none made a plea in the house
    to call for a debate on the subject. If this bill was passed in the
    early stages, Ven. Gnanasara Thera would have gone back to his old job
    what he was supposed to do in temples. Some members of the Buddhist
    clergy and politicians thrive on hate speeches to insult people and religions due to lack of law to prevent such onslaughts.

    Some people have short memories.

  • 0

    Unfortunately hate speeches have become part of elections worldwide which in turn is considered part of democracy.

    Elders say that in 1956 Post and Telecommunications Minster CAS Marikkar thundered in hustings “Skkili Tamils must do only sakkli work”. He called himself Sinhala Marikkar.

    Although Lankan Muslims identified themselves with the ruling government of the time, they have been at the receiving end of hate speeches. The Secretary General of Bodu Bala Sena Gnanasara spills hate speeches against Muslims with ease. His Mahiyangama speech of 21 June is particularly provocative.

    Not many countries have succeeded in bridling hate speeches. There was the British MP Enoch Powell 20 April 1968 “Rivers of blood“ speech. The Gnanasaro of India is Subramanian Swamy who theorised that all non-Hindu Indians must be disenfranchised. It will be difficult to legislate against “Hate Speech”.

    Latheef Farook must not only write but in addition lobby the Muslim Ministers to actively raise the issue in parliament. The Lankan Muslim diaspora must be encouraged to raise the issue with humanitarian agencies and write to papers and magazines. The Lankan Muslim ministers will hate to scratch the Teflon non-stick strategy and will do nothing. Latheef expects us to agitate – we will but Latheef “God helps those who help themselves”.

  • 0

    Let us put it this way….WHY ISIS is not attacking Israel?

    The answer is……:

    Ken OKeefe: ISIS means Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

    “I.S.I.S. Could Stand For… Israeli Secret Intelligence Service”

    ISIS, CIA, Saudi & Israel Connections with Wayne Madsen

    • 1

      ISIS was created by ISRAEL, TURKEY and some other 50 countries including major arab nations.

      ISIS is mostly paid by Saudi Arabia.

      when Saudi Arabia threatned russia, Putin gave order to flatten saudi arabia if that happens.

      • 0

        I don’t know where you get your info from, but they appear made up. You appear to accept Putin as a great power. Even Putin admits, they are no longer a super power (watch on Youtube Fareed Zakariah of CNN asking Putin why he was supporting Trump).
        1) ISIS comprises of the 400,000 Iraqi soldiers of Saddam Hussein’s army, the US foolishly demobbed after Saddam fell. What were they to do, highly trained and heavily armed but no job.
        2) Saddam Hussein was a Sunni and I presume his soldiers were Sunni as well. Saudi Arabia is nearly 90% Sunni and they may be funding ISIS as the only legitimate market for ISIS oil which Saudis could sell while keeping their own stocks untapped and in the ground.

  • 2

    If you suppress hate speech by law intensity of hatred will grow.

    • 2

      Latheef Farook

      There must be a reason for any hate speech (if any) so that reason must be addressed and cured.

      The fault is probably in you

      It’s your duty to adjust and adapt to the environment.

      The environment isn’t ready to sacrifice their freedom of expression for selfish and unacceptable interests of a social segment.

      So the more you suppress the so called hate speech the more will be it’s impact upon you.

  • 2

    Mr Latheef
    The real problem is that our statute books do not have a crime called hate speech or hate crime.
    The main problem is how do you define hate speech?
    I think that any utterance or action that causes to or leads to’ “harm and disaffection”‘ to any ethnic group or religion should be defined as hate speech/crime.

  • 2

    I wish you’d write about the virulent wahabi Saudi radical ISLAM and its hate speech and hateful violence. But you will never do that because deep down you hate everyone who is different. If you’re in an Arab nation you’ll justify the rape and murder of innocents as dictated by the passages of Quran and the Hadiths despite being in the 21st century where there’s no room in secular multi religious nations for religious hate and violence either by so called Buddhist Monk Thugs or by millions of demented sexually repressed MUSLIM RADICAL ISLAMIC JIHADIS WITH EVIL ISLAMIC RADICAL HATRED AND YOUR SICK IDEOLOGY. DENOUNCE THAT AND I’LL RESPECT YOU

    A Hindu priest was hacked to death at his temple in Bangladesh’s southwestern district of Jhenaidah early Friday, police said.

    It is the latest incident in a wave of suspected religious-based murders, despite a nationwide crackdown by the Bangladeshi government, including the arrest of more than 14,000 people.

    • 0

      Yo TinPot….

      All your accusations are debunked long long time ago…
      Saudi is a British creation. It is not the beacon of Islamic rule. It has Ibn Saud’s police state 100% run by the Jews/Rothschilds of US/UK evil corporation.

      So, anything that comes from Zionists has to be deadly and barbaric like the BOLSHEVISM,COMMUNISM,CAPITALISM, ZIONISM, NAZISM,CIA,MOSSAD,MI6, AL QAEDA,ISIS,ALL the Jihadists, Sinhala Racism, Hindu Racism, Christian Fundamentalism, Turkish Kemalism….etc.etc….

      ISLAM do not have Jihadism or anything that harms innocent life. Only the criminals are being punished severely.

      It was the Jewish hatred towards the non-Jews (Goyim) that motivated them to bomb the BUDDHIST JAPAN, VIETNAM ANNIHILATION, WW1, WW2, the Genocide in the Ukraine during the Jewish Stalin’s Soveit…..

      All your nutty hatred towards Islam is nothing but the Jewish propaganda (through Zionist Media – CNN/BBC/CNBC/FOX/RUETERS/AFP..etc) and people of like minded racists are paid by Israeli (again) Rothschilds agents stationed all around the world whom are employed by the Western diplomatic missions.

      A few years time all the hatred towards Islam and the Muslims will come down no sooner the world come to the stark truth of the nearly 500 years of mass murder and outright robbery.

      Until then keep on working for the criminals… One day will be dawn when the every Zionist will be hunted by the mass victims and their families as prophesied in many Islamic and Christian religious books.

      What the Jews have Done Part 1 Bolshevism

      GENTILES WERE CREATED TO SERVE JEWS “Gentiles exist only to serve Jews” says Rabbi Yosef of Israel.

      Brother Nathanael – Proof That Jews Own The Mainstream Media

      Is ISIS Good For The Jews?

  • 6

    Figments of imaginations:

    The irony of the most Sri Lankan Muslims is that they live in a world created by their “Figments of Imaginations”. The writer of this demand is a prime example. They have forgotten where they have chosen to live and conduct their livelihood. The reality is completely obscured as they are being blinded a) by the enormous wealth accumulated, b) due to the promises made by their chauvinist political leadership, and c) adventures of their brethren in other foreign lands. It is sad that their memory of original roots and the magnanimous hospitality accorded to them by Sinhala Buddhists are completely forgotten. What is happening in Sri Lanka with regard to Muslims is a typical and convincing example of “REVERSE DISCRIMINATION.” A Muslim minority has been bullying Sinhala Buddhists for some time and has become cheeky and bold enough to demand authorities to enact laws to facilitate their campaign of denying birth rights of Sinhala Buddhists and alter the social structural components. Naturally, the rulers have to reject this blatant approach of Muslims. However they politicians (Sinhala) have not being forthright with the Muslims leaving average Sinhala Buddhists in a quagmire and it has lead Buddhist monks to come forward again to defend the birth rights of Sinhala people. It is very unfortunate and all politicians of every color are responsible for the situation. Ven. Gnanasara and his activities are not the root cause of the problem, it is just symptom.

    The root cause of the present ethnic strife can be linked to a) Provocative action taken by Muslims,b) Political deals that Sinhala Political leaders have entered into with conniving and chauvinist Muslim Politicians, C) Muslim community’s disrespect for Buddhism d) Politically engineered Muslim encroachment into sacred Buddhist cities e) Muslims have been embolden by the fact that their political leaders occupy very important cabinet positions under which ever the government comes to power.

    This community either due to ignorance or due to arrogance keeps on publicly disputing very essence of the Sinhala Buddhists, the origin, culture and birth rights of Sinhala People. Sri Lankan Muslims must understand the following unambiguous and undisputed verity: Sri Lanka is the country
    a) Sri Lanka is the country Founded by SINHALA People
    b) SINHALA is a fusion between SINHA Clan from VANGA KINGDOM of North Eastern India and HELA original natives Lanka. (This has nothing to do with the BLOOD of Sinha)
    c) It has been a Buddhist country more than 1200 years before ISLAM was introduced to the world by Prophet Mohammed (May peace be upon him)
    d) Sinhala-Buddhist heritage in Sri Lanka is older than the Islamic civilization.
    e) Sri Lanka was entrusted with the task of preserving and protecting the Noble Teachings of Buddha through one of his prophesies
    f) There are twelve sacred cities of Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The Buddhists go on pilgrimage to these places for “SELF PURIFICATION.”
    g) In addition, the one who takes the national responsibility of protecting sacred “Tooth of Relic” in the Daladha Maligawa of Kandy will be the legitimate ruler of Sri Lanka.
    h) Rules and regulations established by the Kings of Sri Lanka must be followed by all rulers including the present President and safeguard Buddhism.
    i) The Buddhists wake-up in the morning and worship “Triple Gem”; Lord Buddha, Dhamma (His Teachings) , Sangha (His Disciples). Muslims must understand that these three entities are inseparable.
    j) Muslims are not native to nation of Sri Lanka; they came some legally mostly illegally either as guest workers, or as merchants from Sothern India (Tamil Nadu or Kerala)
    k) There is an insignificant number of Muslims known as “Marakkala”; they were the Merchants from Morocco, who arrived as traders and as messengers. There are few others who arrived from Malaysia and Indonesia.
    There are many other important factors that the Muslims must acknowledge first rather than making very futile efforts to dispute and deny the birth rights of Sinhala Buddhists. In recent years the truth of some acts of violence initiated by Muslim extremists has been blurred by various groups in Sri Lanka by directing the attention of our nation towards the mannerism and speeches attributed to Ven. Gnanasara Thero. Some Christian extremists too have joined this unholy bandwagon. These non-buddhists have gone into extremes calling anyone who dares to challenge their mistruths half-truths, fabrications and insults to Buddhism and Sinhala Buddhists as FASCISTS, BOGITS or RACISTS. It is pure bullying tactics adapted to silence Majority Sinhala Buddhists, the founders of the nation. It is very surprising to note the level of tolerance shown by Sinhala Buddhists, and it shows they are the true believers of Lord Buddha’s doctrine. But Muslims or any other anti Buddhist camps must be advised not to take undue advantages of passive and docile manner of Sinhala Buddhists.

    In conclusion as a direct reply to this writer, Sinhala Buddhist do not need laws to limit free speech. The existing laws are good enough, BUT we believe the time has come for the government to enact laws to protect and preserve all Buddhist Sacred cities including SOLOSMASTANA (Twelve Sacred places). Non-Buddhists must be banned acquiring land, building any edifice or conducting commercial activities in the vicinity of area properly defined after consulting the Buddhist Mahanayake theros of the country. NO for unnecessary bill on Hate speech but bill to stop Muslim encroachment and anti-Buddhist campaign will definitely enhance the relationship between Vast Majority of Buddhists and Minority Muslims.

  • 2

    the SL govt. has to take these hate speeches seriously unless they also support them covertly for their own political ambitions. why cant’ we learn from history? before 1983 troubles this kind of hate speeches were normal and JR did not do anything about it. in fact it was said at that time that it was he who encouraged cyril mathew and crowd to engage in anti tamil speeches which culminated in the 1983 pogram. if the sirisena-ranil govt. has learned any lesson from the past they will put a stop to it as early as possible.. but as we all know ‘the lesson from history is that people do not learn anything from history’. we cannot blame latiff because he is very much concerned about his community in the light of what happened to the southern tamils in 1983 and the aluthgama catastrophy. he is correct and timely.

    • 2

      Dayal – It’s not just the community that affects HATE, the prosperity and development of the country as well. No investor wants to deal with a country that turns a blind eye to Hate.

  • 3

    Another funny article by Lathif!

    There is no need for a “Hate Speech Bill”, just learn to behave yourself Muslim.

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