By Latheef Farook –
Has the collapsing Maithri-Ranil government joined the anti-Muslim United States, Israeli and Indian war mongers axis to implement their evil designs on innocent Muslims in the island?
This is the question arises in view of the refusal of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to take timely precautionary measures to protect Muslims from the senseless attacks and the damage to the country by racist elements.
These well planned and executed carnage on the Muslims have all the hallmarks of Rastriya Seva Sangh (RSS) attacks in India since partition in 1947.
Time and again RSS gangs unleash violence on Indian Muslims especially in the north. They desecrate mosques, burn Holy Quran, residential, commercial and industrial units and turn Muslims into penniless. This has been common occurrences and were incidents when Muslim women were stripped naked, paraded in streets and video filmed.
Culprits were rarely brought to book even under congress governments.
This has been happening to Sri Lankan Muslims ever since violent attacks were unleashed under the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sick of this carnage more than 95 percent of Muslims voted for President Maithripala Sirisena who pledged to bring to book all criminals and those who caused communal disharmony.
However Muslim hopes were dashed as Maithri-Ranil government dismissed their interests and sentiments from the very inception. For example President Sirisena visited Holocaust Museum during his visit to Germany dismissing the sentiments of Muslims. This was followed by the official invitation to British war criminal Tony Blair who, together with US war criminal George Bush, invaded Iraq and destroyed that country besides killing five percent of the Iraqi population.
President Sirisena’s government also refused to condemn the recent genocide of Rohingya Muslims. Meanwhile there began sporadic attacks on Muslims and the perpetrators were not brought to justice.
The result was growing frustration among Muslims.
It is common knowledge that Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena, a violent anti-Muslim outfit, flourished under Rajapaksa government. He is a man of violence and openly displays his hatred towards Muslims .There are numerous police cases against him. Yet he was seen meeting President Sirisena who promised the nation to bring such people to books. This was an insult to justice and Muslims.
As time went on the number of attacks on Muslim continue to increase while the government continued to turned blind eye.
Muslims took up the matter with President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and even the IGP. A delegation comprising Professor Sarath Jayasuriya, Gamini Viyangoda and Janarangana together with National Shoora Council members met President Sirisena last year and urged him to stop attacks on Muslims.
His response was “this is Mahinda Rajapaksa’s conspiracy to topple the government” and never uttered a word about enforcing law and order and punish the culprits.
This attitude continued until the attacks on Muslims in Gintota, Ampara and areas in and around Digana, Teledeniya, Pallekelle, Akurana, Ambatenne and other places causing billions of rupees worth of destruction depriving livelihood of thousands of families who were forced to live in fear and misery.
On the other hand Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, known for his pro-western mindset, too adopted a lukewarm policy. As prime ministers he supported former US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in their invasion of Iraq. When Muslim parliamentarians tried to condemn he told them to leave the government and do so.
Days after the attacks on Ampara Prime Minister Wickremesinghe left to Singapore to attend a seminar while days after the attack on Digana President Sirisena left to India and Japan while curfew was still in force.
This is their respect and feelings for the island’s Muslims. Muslim parliamentarians, if they have an iota of self-respect, should resign and fight for the rights of Muslims from the opposition.
President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe have opened the country to US. Israel and India. The connecting bond among these three countries is their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims. Israel’s global agenda has been to destroy Islam and slaughter Muslims as they had done, and still doing, in the Middle East
When Rajapaksa government established close ties with Israel many predicted that it is matter of time before Israel uses racist to unleash violence against the island’s Muslims and destabilize the country.
Today it appears that these fears have come true.
Meanwhile the government in India, RSS – front BJP, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the architect of the genocide of Gujarat Muslims in February 2002 which killed more than 2000 besides burning their properties. Even before this government came to power RSS established close ties with racist elements here. Thus one cannot rule out their role in the racist attacks on Muslims.
Now the question is whether the Maithri-Ranil government has brought to the island the US-UK-Israel and Indian global anti-Muslim campaign.
The Irony is that violence came at a time when the country is passing through the worst ever political and economic crises amidst speculations that President Sirisena was discussing the possibility of establishing a new alignment with the very same people in the opposition whom he pledged to bring to book and clean up the nation of corruption and crime.
In his meetings and passionate appeal government parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman urged President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the Inspector General of Police of the pressing need to save Muslims and their properties.
All these appeals fell on the deaf ears.
Months ago Tasnim Naseer, an award-winning journalist of Sri Lankan origin based in Scotland, said in an article that Anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka is on the rise and the government must take action before events spiral out of control.
Reiterating this view Asia News said that “violence against Muslims is up in Sri Lanka, whilst the authorities appear apathetic towards the problem and Buddhist religious leaders remain silent. Many other reports said that the government has failed to ensure the security of Muslims and property in Digana even after it was evident that a communal riot was in the making.
Popular website Colombo Telegraph claimed that it is in possession of video footage that show members of the Special Task Force (STF) of the Police Department or Sri Lankan Army in cahoots with those who have perpetrated violence against Muslims in Kandy district.
Blaming the government for not taking prompt action Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights said “the community leaders in the Teldeniya area were aware that some form of unrest would take place on Monday, but the police hadn’t adopted precautionary measures. The President, the Prime Minister and all ministers had to take the blame for creating a situation where the instigators of communal violence could operate freely”.
Endorsing this view JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said: “the government did not take action to nip it in the bud, but let the country engulf in fire. What is the need of a government if thugs can come in broad daylight to set houses and shops on fire? The basic responsibility of a government is to ensure the safety and security of its people. This government has shirked that responsibility.
“Because of the communal clashes all the problems of people have been pushed to second place. That was the need of the government. Instead of controlling the situation it purposely let it grow.
“We call upon people to condemn racism and never let others to lead you for their narrow minded political gains. We had a war for 30 years and almost all from the poorest sector suffered irrespective of their race, language or religion. We do not want to go back to that past again.
Amnesty International’s Deputy south Asian Director Dinushika Dissanayake said “The Sri Lankan authorities must put an end to the impunity enjoyed by groups that incite hatred and carry out acts of violence against religious minorities. They have a duty to protect vulnerable groups and hold the perpetrators accountable. The failure to hold to take action against these groups has only emboldened them further and plunged minorities in a deeper state of fear. This is not the first time such horrors have been visited upon the country’s Muslim minority. The scenes of the past week recall the attacks in Aluthgama, four years ago, showing how little has been done since then.”
Finally the Prime Miinster Wickremasinghe admitted that there was a delay in taking action.
However the damage was done to Muslims and the country as a whole.
This is not a dispute between Sinhalese and Muslims or Buddhism and Islam. This is sheer bankrupt racist politics. However there is a silver line. That is unlike in the past Buddhist monks, Sinhalese intellectuals and others have condemned and distance themselves from these crimes.
One should not forget that Sri Lanka today is an active playground for super power politics in view of its strategic location and the ongoing super rivalry in the Indian Ocean. They are all busy manipulating to implement their agendas here often at the expense of the country. There were even speculations that India is promoting a racist politician for 2020 presidential elections.