20 October, 2021

Blog

Muslims Under Siege

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

One of the most distinguishing features of Sri Lanka’s post-colonial history and politics was the growth of a majoritarian ideology with its ultimate objective of creating a supreme Sinhala Buddhist state, while crippling simultaneously the rights and freedom of ethnic and religious minorities. They would eventually be turned into communities of second-class citizens. This objective was eloquently expressed on 7 June 2019 in a public rally in Kandy, where the obstreperous bhikkhu Gnanasara Thero, the General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), proclaimed that Sinhala Buddhists are the sole owners of the island and that minorities could live here only at the behest of the owners. Until today, no political leader of any hue or standing from the majority community had dared to repudiate that claim in public, except the late Mangala Samaraweera, who for denying it was chastised by certain elements from the Sangha. Over seven decades, this majoritarian ideology has destroyed not only the communal harmony that prevailed in this country since time immemorial, but also undermined the collective effort to build up the economy, impoverished the nation’s intellectual and social capital and damaged Sri Lanka’s international reputation as a tolerant and hospitable country.

It all started with the disenfranchisement of Plantation Tamils in 1949 an act to which, rather ironically, a few indigenous Tamil and Muslim leaders in the legislature lent their support. These leaders did not have the foresight to realize that that measure was only the beginning of a political process through which the status of all ethnic and religious minorities would be reduced eventually to a lesser status. Thus, after disenfranchising the Plantation Tamils, on whose blood and sweat the economy was thriving, majoritarianism turned its attention to indigenous Tamils from 1950s. Through parliamentary legislations, deliberate discrimination and at times with state sponsored violence that community was targeted to suffer repeated victimization. Eventually it led to a costly civil war, which lasted for twenty-five years and ended in 2009 with the elimination of the Tamil militia. Following that victory, a triumphalist president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, appeared on the podium and announced jubilantly that there would henceforth be no more Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims but only Sri Lankans. That brought a great sigh of relief to a vast majority of citizens. However, there was a very powerful and influential minority that reminded the president of certain unfinished business. That minority wanted nothing less than an outright Sinhala Buddhist supremacist state, and in its view that would not be possible without destroying the very existence of a second minority, Muslims. To those supremacists, who were only echoing what the national hero Anagarika Dharmapala said in late 19th century, Muslims, after more than a millennium of indigenization, integration and coexistence had become a community of aliens and deserved to be expelled. In that sense, the end of the civil war marked a turning point in the history of Sri Lankan Muslims.

Even though Dharmapala dubbed Muslims as aliens and provoked the 1915 Sinhalese-Muslim riots in which that community endured heavy losses, no Muslim in the aftermath of the riots ever dreamt of migrating to another country like the Tamils, but remained rooted more firmly than before to the Sri Lankan soil. Today, majoritarianism has caused not only Tamils and Muslims but even Sinhalese to emigrate in search if greener pastures. In a timely publication edited by a Muslim woman activist, Shreen Saroor, titled, Muslims in Post-War Sri Lanka: Repression, Resistance & Reform, a new breed of mostly young researchers, some of whom belong to the hashtag generation from all three communities, have recorded and analyzed the circumstances, causes and consequences of the tragic events that happened over the last thirteen years in which the Muslim community bore the brunt of religious hatred, ethnic vilification, indiscriminate violence and discrimination at the hands of a supremacist mob that had acted with legal impunity and political backing.

Yet, unlike the Tamil community, which resisted majoritarianism with Gandhian Satyagraha at first and when it failed continued the resistance by boycotting parliament and when that too failed resorted to armed struggle, Muslim community relied entirely on governments in power via their parliamentary representatives to seek redress for their grievances. They demanded no privileges but only justice. But the governments remained totally insensitive to their plea. It was in that context a bunch of misguided Muslim extremists brainwashed by Islamist propaganda from abroad seem to have decided to wreck vengeance by massacring a total of 269 innocent Christian worshippers and wounding another 500, while destroying three churches and four tourist hotels on that fateful Easter Sunday in April 2019. This macabre incident which cannot be condoned under any circumstance is yet to be researched in detail. However, it contributed to worsen an already damaged Sinhala Muslim relationship and provided a badly needed rationale for the supremacists to unleash a new wave of Islamophobic violence. Muslims were blamed for every problem in the country, from pandemic to pollution and poverty and to public insecurity. Shamelessly, the governments in power during those trouble times, with an eye on the Sinhala vote bank turned a blind eye to the prevailing mayhem.

The essays in Saroor’s publication go into sufficient detail to discuss the aftermath of the Easter infamy and raises a number of questions regarding not only the nature of investigations that were undertaken and actions pursued thereafter, but also how justice being continued to be denied to the Muslim community. The fact that the twenty-two volume Presidential Commission of Investigation (PCoI) report is still hidden away from the public smells a rat about President GR’s hidden intentions, and adds immense credibility to Archbishop Malcolm Ranjit’s allegation of an insider in the regime who masterminded the entire crime and remains protected by the highest office.

Yet, even before the PCoI report was completed and handed over to GR, security forces had started rounding up Muslim suspects, and currently an estimated three hundred Muslim men and women are reported to be languishing in jails, suffering torture and deprivation without being brought to trial. Justice delayed is justice denied. Apparently, quite a number of them have been detained under spurious charges and on doctored evidence, as in the cases of the poet Ahnaf Jazeem and former provincial governor Azath Saly respectively. To avoid possible embarrassment in the court of law the regime has hurriedly devised a plan to send these detainees to so called rehabilitation centres, like what China has done to Uighur Muslims. The supremacists would have preferred rather a Myanmar solution to Rohingyas if not a Hitlerite solution to the Jews. Wasn’t one of their monks who wanted Muslims to be stoned and GR to become a Hitler if needed to lead the country? There is an environment of fear and helplessness governing the Muslim community at present. An incompetent and selfish Muslim leadership has politically orphaned the community.

Be that as it may, as the country’s difficulties multiply, public anger and frustration against the regime is mounting. Corruption, nepotism, injustice, Covid, militarization and above all a punishing cost of living have combined to make life unbearable to millions of households. As if to add fuel to their fire, Pandora Papers have added a couple of Rajapaksa family members to the list of international tax dodgers and money launderers. President GR says that the regime would learn from the past and start governing the next three years with a clean slate. Has the leopard ever dropped its spots?

Given this environment the country is witnessing once again a scare mongering campaign against Muslims. Even though the BBS secretary is leading this campaign he has found a valuable support inside the parliament from the Minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekera. What is the end game of this campaign? The answer should be found in the context of recent twist in foreign policy. There seems to be a tilt towards India at the expense of China. The contract awarded to Adani Group to build and operate the Western Container Terminal, redirecting fertilizer import from China to India and the controversial leasing of World War II oil storage tankers in Trincomalee to India are developments that demonstrate this tilt. There is also news that around 125 VIPs, including the President and some Buddhist prelates would be the guests at the opening of the Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh. Yet, there is a snag. India still insists on the implementation of the 13th Amendment and holding Provincial Council elections. As far as the Rajapaksa regime is concerned any election at the current environment would be suicidal. One way of avoiding elections is to create an environment of domestic unrest and instability. The anti-Muslim campaign by provoking a communal clash would serve that purpose. Muslims are under siege.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business & Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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Latest comments

  • 13
    12

    Not only in SL – world over Mulims are becoming the main problem, in that their religion is war-like and “only one god” makes them disregard the availability of other god’s and religons.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6J7kEPZCXk
    (latest countries populations in Norway and Denmark are fighting against Muslim immigrants).

    How Islam progressively takes over countries – In Dr. Peter Hammond’s book, “Slavery, Terrorism and Islam. Dr. Hammond refers to as “Islamization,” begins when the population of Muslims reaches a critical mass, and they being to agitate for various privileges.

    • Below 2% – Muslims will be seen primarily as a peace-loving minority
    • 2% – 5% – Muslims begin to recruit from ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, within prisons and street gang.
    • 5% above – Muslims exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population,” “For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food” and increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature such food on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply.
    • 10% above – Muslims tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats.
    • 20% above – After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues,”

    • 4
      0

      SAM ,

      Answer to your first three lines specifically and beyond perhaps , from
      Aljazeera reports : On September 15 , Police interrupted a Muslim
      funeral in Sydney .Officers accused Mourners trying to watch the
      ceremony from inside their cars of breaching Covid-19 social distancing
      regulations and went on to arrest those who refused to leave .The move
      was particularly jarring given that around the same time many white
      Australians were blatantly violating Covid-19 restrictions on Eastern
      beaches , without any police intervention . Not only Srilankkan Muslims
      but also , Sinhalese and Tamils faced similar kind of situations in many
      parts of the country during Covid-19 lockdowns .

      Thousands of years back , the world didn’t have written constitutions for
      us to talk about how Slavery came into law or how it was abolished . But
      in the name of God and religion of Islam steps were taken to abolish Slave
      trade that was a common practice while letters published by a run-away
      African slave called Sancho influenced Foreign secretary Charles James
      Fox in 1782 to propose the anti-slavery Bill in Britain that was passed .

    • 6
      1

      SAM

      you are a racist and fear monger.Look at the amount of muslims in the world who are very peaceful and see the percentage that gives trouble.In contrast see the percentage of sri lankan bhuddhists who give trouble to others.Compare and contrast.

      • 1
        3

        look at the stats – NZ, france, norway, germany, UK, USA, Canada, SL, India all terror attacks have one common under-lying link – MUSLIM / ISLAM -!!!!

        When ISLAM kills – ALI says misguided youth – did not understand ALLLA – that is due to teacher teaching wrong and your religion not evolving from middle-ages to 21st century.. Mohamad didn’t have cars. cellphone, but ALI you are willing to use those without saying HARAM… but when it comes to acknowledging women’s rights? MMDA, availability of other religions and god.. you are not willing to evolve?

        MUSLIM is full of hypocrisy.. middle age laws in 21st cen – all because backward men keep ISLAM warlike and scared to evolve.

    • 3
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      What about so called born buddhists in our hell ?

      Almost over 50% of voter eligible voted for Gotabaya wanted CRIMINALS be elected as the leaders and do all kinds of harm to the minorities.
      :
      If my assumptioon is not the case, the elected men to current leadership should have bee active in serving the justice to
      .
      1) Dr Safi and the huge harm made to that family believing that he had been busy with pressing the FALOPIAN tube of any females delivering the child, even if this is evidently not possible to SCIENCE/MEDICAL world.
      That would have been a greater issues against humanity if that came up from a civilized country in europe, but in our hell, as we know criminals have the upper hand
      .
      2) In the aftermath of EASTER SUNDAY BOMB disaster and the human losses, SINHALA mobs incl. SIVURU wearing CRIMINALs took the revenge on innocient mulims across the country – blood thirsty KUNSTER /ARTISTS like MADHU madawa… spearheaded the riots along with the support given by today s LAW AND ORDER police affair minister SARATH Balusekara… remember ?

      • 1
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        leelagemalli
        “In the aftermath of EASTER SUNDAY BOMB disaster and the human losses, SINHALA mobs incl. SIVURU wearing CRIMINALs took the revenge on innocient mulims across the country>”
        —-
        Bloody liar!

    • 1
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      OCT 14 – 2021 =COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Danish man who is in custody in Norway suspected of a bow-and-arrow attack on a small town that killed five people and wounded two others is a Muslim convert who had previously been flagged as having been radicalized, police said Thursday.

      • 1
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        Massive attacks on Durga Pujo Pandals and Hindu Temples all over Bangladesh , Muslim Mobs attacking and destroying temples and Pandals.

        • 1
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          SAM

          “Massive attacks on Durga Pujo Pandals and Hindu Temples all over Bangladesh , Muslim Mobs attacking and destroying temples and Pandals.”

          What do you want Dr. Ameer Ali to do?
          What do you want CT fan club to do?
          What do you want Nepal to do?
          What do you want Modi to do?

          What do you want Hindia to do, send in the Army?
          What exactly do you want recently converted Mahinda and Shiranthi couples who renewed their wedding vows in Hindu rituals. Photos:
          https://jvpnews.com/article/subramaniam-swamy-converts-mahinda-rajapaksa-1634107357

    • 0
      0

      Muslims under siege my ass !!’

      Sir David was stabbed multiple times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Friday.

      The Metropolitan Police said there was “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58935372

      37-year-old man was charged on Thursday in connection with a bow-and-arrow rampage in a small town in Norway that killed five
      “We have previously been in contact with him regarding worries about radicalization,”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/world/europe/norway-bow-and-arrow-attack.html

  • 8
    2

    The political system in SL is parasitic, corrupt and is based on duplicity and deceit. This needs to be dismantled by the will of the people. They should forego personal gain from election promises by aspiring candidates and instead vote for people who consistently tell the truth and analyse situations accurately for them. I am sure there will be merit for all communities that way.

  • 6
    2

    EVERY Sinhalese is a majoratarian, EVERY Tamil is a separatist and EVERY Muslim is a fundamentalist.
    .
    Tamils and Muslims are united against the Sinhalese, Muslims and Sinhalese are united against the Tamils and Tamils and Sinhalese are united against the Muslims.
    .
    There are 330 million (this tun kotiyak) gods to protect Buddhists, a pantheon of deputies headed by Brahma to protect Hindus , all mighty God to protect Christians and one and only Allah to protect Muslims.
    .
    Life goes goes on.

    Soma

    • 3
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      soman

      “EVERY Sinhalese is a majoratarian, “

      As you respect suddas more than brown shahibs please read the following :

      “…………………………………………………….. Majoritarian politics, which some claim offers stable government, is actually part of a system which perpetuates instability, especially if viewed from a long-term perspective.”
      ― Peter J. Emerson, From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politic

      Is there a message for you?

      • 0
        0

        What about separatists and fundamentalists?

        Soma

        • 4
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          soman

          “What about separatists and fundamentalists?”

          Over the years the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala manufactured a new meaningless political identity, the Sinhala/Buddhist and perverted Buddhism into Sinhala/Buddhism. Since then a section of the stupid population including so called intellectuals went along with him.

          That was the exclusiveness, tendency to portray separate identities, believe that an unique identity was the panacea for all ills, and we know how that lead to the most stupid and destructive ways the Nation Building was constructed.

          That was separatism.
          Blame yourself, Anagarika, Rajapaksa, Bandas, …………………………….. 70,000 saffronistas, ……

          • 0
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            NV
            I thought all ills emanate from fear of Tamil Nadu.

            Soma

            • 2
              0

              But they all migrated from Thamizh Nadu, including your ancestors and the ancestors of most of the present-day Chingkallams, then create fear of Thamizh Nadu. Tell me what has Thamizh Nadu done to create this fear? It is North Hindians, officials and businessmen who regularly come here now looking to rape the resources of the island. The so-called ancient invasions of the South Indian Thamizh dynasties, was largely by invitation to settle local disputes regarding ascending to the throne, as the so-called Chingkalla royal families were all closely related to these South Indian Thamizh dynasties.

        • 2
          0

          The difference betwen BBS mad dog and Zaharan ?

          are there any ?

          I believe BBS head is even more dangerous than the other.
          .
          Please watch out !

    • 0
      0

      Soma.

      You have diagnosed the relationships between the Sinhalese. Tamils and the Muslims in the aforesaid 3 paragraphs. Congrats.

  • 9
    3

    [A]
    .
    When a storm approaches, one has a choice of constructing a wind-shelter (wall) or a wind-mill.
    .
    The Islamophobic storm that developed overseas hit Sri Lanka with it’s full fury somewhere around 2011 – 2012 and left in it’s wake a dazed, confused Muslim Community which asked itself “Why us ?” and “Why now ?”.
    .
    The Muslims chose to build a ‘wall’ – to circle the wagons so as to speak – in a kneejerk effort to protect themselves. The progressive voices from their own community which urged them to construct a ‘windmill instead by building bridges based on compassion, understanding and empathy with the majority community were marginalized and rejected.
    .
    Over the past decade, it has finally dawned on the local Muslim Community especially after the tragic events of Easter Sunday that Islamophobia is here to stay for a long, long time and that it is incumbent upon the Muslims to adopt a lifestyle which will enable them to live within a toxic, Islamophobic socio-cultural environment without compromising their religious beliefs and practices.

  • 8
    3

    [B]
    .
    Is it a matter for surprise then if the Muslim Community now finds that it’s chosen strategy to face the storm has boomeranged and that it consequentially perceives itself as being ‘under siege’ ? The blame for this phenomenon falls squarely on the shoulders of the Muslims (individuals and institutions) who advocated this strategy and provided leadership to it’s implementation.
    .
    The ‘state of lockdown’ (or siege) that the Muslims may now find themselves in is the result of their own folly. Non of the other Communities care two hoots for the position that the Muslims find themselves in today. Every community has it’s own share of problems. They are not going to independently take any measures to ease the self-imposed pressures that the Muslims are experiencing. Why should they ? If the Muslims even at this stage wish to relieve the pressures they feel and break-out of this state of siege, the onus is upon them to take the initiative and commence building bridges with the Buddhist, Hindu and Christian communities.

  • 5
    2

    Ameer Ali,
    It is true that Sinhalese Politicians used Buddhism to their political advantage and Muslim politicians used Islam to their political advantage. Using the Good teaching of Lord Buddha or Lord Allah (Not sure whether use of Lord is right?) is not harmful but using them with wrong interpretation or wrong purpose is very harmful. That is what happened and happening in Sri Lanka. Where the use of religion for political purposes is dominant in a country, the country is suffering from poverty, lawlessness, riots, wars is unavoidable and Sri lanka is one of them.

    • 3
      3

      Ajith,
      “It is true that Sinhalese Politicians used Buddhism to their political advantage and Muslim politicians used Islam to their political advantage.”
      —-
      Tamils use racism to their political advantage.

      • 1
        1

        EE,

        if you see some eating HAY, would you also follow them ? Please go back to KINDERGARTEN…..
        .
        You should learn the basics before you kick the bucket next…. it is worth thinking about YOUR nature…
        .
        If it is pathological… please dont wait further.

    • 1
      2

      ‘It is true that Sinhalese Politicians used Buddhism to their political advantage and Muslim politicians used Islam to their political advantage.’

      Is it? What did Tamil politicians do?

  • 5
    4

    The thesis of the author is theoritically impossible. May be charged for blasphemy.

    Soma

  • 6
    1

    ……….An incompetent and selfish Muslim leadership has politically orphaned the Community……..
    Says Dr.Ameer Ali.

    Several Muslim MPP from the Eastern Province rendered support to usher in the 20th Amendment. This made Gotabaya an Executive President with full powers and also gave him a 2/3rds majority in Parliament.
    Well then do we assume that they have been bought over, and the Muslims in general continue to be under seige?

    My take on this is that the Muslim leadership like Rauff Hakeem wanted the best of both worlds but it did not go as planned.

  • 8
    5

    The world is under siege from Muslims

    • 2
      0

      Rajash

      “The world is under siege from Muslims”

      Don’t worry they will destroy themselves like their Tamil and Sinhala brethren.

    • 2
      4

      Rajash,
      Sinhala Buddhists are under siege from Tamils and Muslims.

      “The world is under siege from Muslims”

      • 0
        2

        Eagle Eye
        “Sinhala Buddhists are under siege from Tamils and Muslims.”
        =======
        Eagle Eye – Sinhala Buddhists are under siege from Rajapaksas.
        Unfortunately they cant see through it as they are also blinded by the Rajapaksas.
        You are a typical example.

  • 5
    7

    He’s encouraging his community’s youth to another blood bath.

    • 3
      2

      Reginald Shameless Pererass

      Forget about the blood bath as it is a recurring theme/event.
      I have a serious question for you.

      Why does Namal Baby always look like a tea maker in a Dosai Kade with oily face?
      Foreign politicians would not consider him a politician, leave alone a minister. Would you advise him to do facial at beauty parlor every morning, noon and evening before he meets foreign dignitaries.

  • 9
    2

    Several of the observations are rather superficial.
    I am rather curious about the last paragraph.
    “…the country is witnessing once again a scare mongering campaign against Muslims….What is the end game of this campaign? The answer should be found in the context of recent twist in foreign policy. There seems to be a tilt towards India at the expense of China. …Yet, there is a snag. India still insists on the implementation of the 13th Amendment and holding Provincial Council elections. As far as the Rajapaksa regime is concerned any election at the current environment would be suicidal. One way of avoiding elections is to create an environment of domestic unrest and instability. The anti-Muslim campaign by provoking a communal clash would serve that purpose. Muslims are under siege.”
    Frankly, is there a logical link between the tilt towards India and the fanning of anti-Muslim flames to dodge elections?

    • 0
      1

      S.J,
      If the regime wholeheartedly (and that’s the rub) tilted towards India, I don’t think the Indians would talk much about 13A. That’s realpolitik.
      Was the Chinese fertilizer drama pre-arranged? How can there be bacteria in something heated to 600 degrees?

      • 0
        0

        OC
        It is hard to tell.
        The Chinese are not known for knee jerk reactions even to a real slap in the face by a potential ally. When many countries amid the pandemic and even earlier voided Chinese projects. They remained calm. Some of them were resurrected eventually.
        That apart, you are right about India not stretching 13A to the point of discomfort for SL.
        The Tamil leaders have no bargaining power with India (let alone Sri Lanka)

        • 1
          1

          SJ

          “The Tamil leaders have no bargaining power with India (let alone Sri Lanka)”

          Therefore Tamils collectively should proclaim Tamil Eelam is an Autonomous regions of peacefully rising China.

    • 1
      1

      No.

      Most Muslim MPs voted for the 20A to give more power to Gota!

      So how Muslim vote at the PC election does not matter. All their elected politicians will support the party in power anyway. Always.

      Rajapaksas have no Muslim votes but will have all Muslim elected councilors in their pocket. That’s why BR is not afraid to hold PC elections.

      But Rajapaksas must punish Easter Sunday terrorists in custody. Otherwise they cannot win any votes.

  • 0
    0

    “….It all started with the disenfranchisement of Plantation Tamils in 1949 an act to which, rather ironically, a few indigenous Tamil and Muslim leaders in the legislature lent their support….”
    Not to be dismissed simply as an ‘irony’; It was treachery – monumental ! .Left parties’ vociferous opposition in parliament to D.S. Senanayake’s villainy and S.J.V. Chelva, C. Vanniasingam MP, Dr.EMV. Naganathan quitting the treacherous Tamil Congress were only token protests. More should have been done . But then, Chelva’s ITAK (FP) formed in Dec. 1949 was only a fledgling outfit. Even Chelva himself lost at KKS in 1952.

  • 4
    4

    AA,
    “One of the most distinguishing features of Sri Lanka’s post-colonial history and politics was the growth of a majoritarian ideology with its ultimate objective of creating a supreme Sinhala Buddhist state, while crippling simultaneously the rights and freedom of ethnic and religious minorities.”
    —-
    Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo was a Sinhala majority country and a Buddhist country. The situation changed due to accommodation of Muslims who faced persecution by Portuguese and colonial rulers importing millions of Dravidians to work for them and abandoning them in Sinhale..
    During the European colonial rule, they oppressed and massacred Native Sinhala Buddhists. During British rule, Tamils and Muslims were with the British and helped them to oppress Native Sinhalayo. Tamils and Muslims did not fight to liberate Sinhale from British rule whereas Native Sinhala Buddhists sacrificed their lives and several of them including Buddhist monks faced British firing squads. Actually those who fired were not British; they were Tamils, Muslims and Malays who served in the British Army. Not a single Tamil or Muslim faced British firing squads for fighting against British to liberate this country. So, after gaining Independence from colonial rule Native Sinhalayo had every right to keep their country as a Sinhala Buddhist State where the descendants of those who came from foreign countries and settled down can live as citizens enjoying same rights that Native Sinhalayo enjoy.

  • 4
    5

    AA,
    Can you please tell the Muslim community to find those swords (3000?) imported by Muslims and hidden somewhere in this country and hand them over to Police before brain washed Wahhabi Muslim youths use them.
    No one has seen Mullahs using swords to cut grass in Mosques as claimed by some Mullahs.

    • 1
      1

      Eagle,
      Some communities may be stupid enough to believe that they can massacre people with swords in this 21st century. Those are the ones who go on and on about their 2000 year old culture. But the Muslims aren’t THAT stupid.

  • 3
    2

    AA,
    Native Sinhala Buddhists accommodated Muslims who faced persecution by Portuguese and gave them citizenship in their country with equal rights as Sinhalayo enjoy and on top of that allowed them to retain Muslim customary laws. What more you expect from Native Sinhala Buddhists?

    • 1
      1

      Native Sinhala Buddhist! What about the Sinhalese Catholics/Protestants or your Tamil wife? Not Native? Everyone on the island was born there or their ancestors have lived on the island for more than 300 years minimum, as such not only the Sinhalese but everyone else is now native. For your information to so-called native Sinhalese Buddhists, started to evolve from around 200BC when the island’s Dravidian Naga and Yakka Tamil speaking Hindus living in the south of the island converted to Buddhism on a large scale, together with their king. Later other immigrants from the Indian mainland some from the northeast but overwhelmingly from the South Indian Tamil areas, either migrated or invaded and assimilated into this evolving Sinhalese identity, that only became fully developed or evolved around 7 AD.

      • 1
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        Around half the present day Sinhalese are descended from Tamil South Indian immigrants who were either imported as indentured labour, by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials or migrated from Tamil South India as traders or rulers. Most of the Sinhalese upper castes and aristocrats belong to the latter category. Now all calling themselves native Sinhalese and beating the anti-Tamil drum against the actual native indigenous Tamils from the north and east, stating they do not belong, as they did not convert to the Sinhalese Buddhist identity but remained as Tamils and largely Hindu and asking them to Tamil South India a place ironically their ancestors came from a few centuries ago.

  • 5
    1

    Good article Prof Ameer Ali. However, Muslims still have not suffered or faced the amount of discrimination, marginalization and war crimes that the island’s Tamils faced and was committed on them by the Sri Lankan state, which forced many to reluctantly leave the island. This is why they have not left on a large scale, moreover, most Muslims on the island still rely on business and trade and the others are fishermen or farmers. The Sri Lankan Tamil population had a very large prosperous educated professional western educated middle class, which made it easier for them to migrate to the west and be accepted. The west and Britain also knew that the Tamils were fleeing persecution and it was also party due to Britain’s fault during independence. They also knew that the Sri Lankan Tamils are generally very hardworking and industrious, will make very good immigrants, who will easily assimilate. Even the poor peasants. This has now been proven to be true. This is the reason they accepted around a million Sri Lankan Tamils out of a total population of around only 3- 3.5 million ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils. A very high percentage compared to their population. They have not accepted other people to that extent.

    • 5
      1

      This is why even Sri Lankan Muslims when fleeing Sri Lanka, used to emphasize their actual Tamil ethnicity and not on their religion, as they do in the island, as they knew they will stand a far better chance of being accepted as a refugee than as a Muslim. This is a fact. Even many Sinhalese, especially the ones from the former Tamil North West Catholic coastal belt also falsely claim to be ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils. Even Indian origin Tamils and some Tamils from South India. Moreover, now there is actual refugee fatigue in the world, especially towards Muslim refugees, as people are now fearful and suspicious of them.

      Even if the LTTE was classified as a terrorist by many western nations now, they knew it was a genuine freedom struggle, that the Tamils were fighting from state-sponsored Sinhalese oppression and racism and the violence was only confined to the island, that also largely to the Tamil areas. On the other hand, Islamic Jihadi terrorism is global and in many western nations, where most Muslims strangely want to migrate, it is done by local various local Muslim immigrant communities, who largely arrived as refugees to the west fleeing persecution. Therefore Sri Lankan Muslims will now find it very hard to migrate, especially when they are competing with Afghan, Syrian or Chinese Uighurs. Now even emphasizing their Tamil ethnicity will not work. As there is refugee fatigue for anyone.

  • 0
    0

    Dr Ameer Ali has looked at the problem from the perspective of Muslims only and therefore could not offer any viable line of action.

    Tamils made a blunder by facing this majoritarian ideology by mobilizing only Tamils and isolate the Tamils and thereby facilitated their enemies to easily crush their protests.

    Muslims and Christians had not learned any lessons from Tamil misadventure and could not formulate any strategy to overcome the majoritarian onslaught and expect miracle to happen.

    The only viable alternative is or all moderate Sinhalese, Tamils , Muslims and Upcountry Tamils to mobilize all right thinking people in the country, isolate the majoritarian agenda and face them in the democratic space and defeat them.
    To achieve this desirable objective all communities must be ready to make strategic compromises on their grievances and aspirations.

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    The sad fact is as long as Muslims are part of SL, Sinhala Only Elam or Tamil Elam, they will be under siege.

    Only solution is Muslim Elam – a separate Muslim nation within the island where all Muslims in the island will live. It will have MMDA, Sharia Law, Sharia banking, Halal, Qaathi councils, etc., etc.

    Doing the same thing for 73 years again and again and expecting a different outcome is insane.

    Everyone, shed the greed, get your own nation!

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      There are only two ethnicities on the island. Sinhalese and Tamils and from ancient times there have been two nations and homelands on the island. Sinhalese and Tamil. The Sri Lankan Muslims are ethnic Tamil Dravidian immigrants from South India, some with a dash of Arab, who started arriving on the island from the late 14TH century onwards fleeing persecution in their South Indian Tamil homeland, after the fall of the Delhi Sultanate in Madurai. However, the bulk of them only migrated to the island during the early British rule. They have no history of ruling or having a homeland anywhere on the island. They lived and were spread amongst both the Sinhalese and Tamils. Now trying to claim an Islamic homeland in the name of Islam and a cooked up Arab origin, that they hardly have will not work. Strangely that too is only in the Tamil areas, where they share the same language and ethnicity as the Tamils. If you want to claim an Arab origin, that is alien and foreign go and claim your homeland in the Arabian Gulf and not on this island. Cannot have cake and eat it. If you are not an Arab and claim to be indigenous then you are a Tamil Dravidian convert to Islam and part of the Tamil nation and ethnicity.

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      There are only two ethnicities on the island. Sinhalese and Tamils and from ancient times there have been two nations and homelands on the island. Sinhalese and Tamil. The Sri Lankan Muslims are ethnic Tamil Dravidian immigrants from South India, some with a dash of Arab, who started arriving on the island from the late 14TH century onwards fleeing persecution in their South Indian Tamil homeland, after the fall of the Delhi Sultanate in Madurai. However, the bulk of them only migrated to the island during the early British rule. They have no history of ruling or having a homeland anywhere on the island. They lived and were spread amongst both the Sinhalese and Tamils. Now trying to claim an Islamic homeland in the name of Islam and a cooked up Arab origin, that they hardly have will not work. Strangely that too is only in the Tamil areas, where they share the same language and ethnicity as the Tamils. If you want to claim an Arab origin, that is alien and foreign go and claim your homeland in the Arabian Gulf and not on this island. Cannot have cake and eat it. I

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        If you are not an Arab then you are part of the Tamil Dravidian nation, as you are Tamil Dravidians who converted to Islam. If you still want to deny that and claim to be an Arab, Iranian, Afghan, or whatever go back to these lands. Arabs, Iranians, Afghans, or whatever else are not natives or indigenous to the island, to claim land and nationhood. Can live in peace and dignity that you deserve but no more.

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    Bring down the economy with minority-wrongs, and in panic, move towards alternate monetary production via money-laundered Russia-China cryptocurrency. Wait……whole united parliament has invested in bitcoin – Sinhalese in greedy fashion; Tamils & Muslims in delebrate fashion, waiting for the US to pull the plug on it for all to go into oblivion.

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    AA,
    “Even though Dharmapala dubbed Muslims as aliens and provoked the 1915 Sinhalese-Muslim riots…”
    —-
    This is not true.
    1915 Sinhala-Muslim riot was started by Muslims pelting stones at Buddhists taking part in a procession. British used that as an opportunity to massacre Sinhalayo saying that it was an uprising by Sinhalayo against British rule.

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    “…It all started with the disenfranchisement of Plantation Tamils in 1949…”
    —-
    Instead of blaming Sinhalayo, blame British who brought millions of Dravidians to work as slaves in their plantations, left them in this country and left.
    Native Sinhalayo do not have to take the responsibility for people brought illegally to their country by colonial rules.

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