18 September, 2018

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No More Violence: Let’s All Build A New Pluralist Lankan Society – FUTA 

“No individual, community or group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and/or to wreak vengeance against real or imagined grievance, as in the most recent instance of communal violence,” says the Federation of University Teachers (FUTA).

Issuing a statement today FUTA  says: “Regrettably, the Government’s inability, even reluctance, to enforce the law strongly and impartially against perpetrators of such communal violence, as well as against their instigators who seek economic and political advantage by using both ordinary people and goons as their pawns in this dangerous game, has led to the serious escalation of communal tensions and increased outbreaks of gratuitous violence and destruction on the flimsiest of excuses.”

We publish below the statement in full:

FUTA is very concerned about the systematic rise in collective intolerance and antagonism among Sri Lanka’s ethnic, religious and cultural groups, which has, inevitably, led to hatred and violence, most recently in Digana, from where it has spread to other areas in the central region. FUTA joins all reasonable citizens of this country who believe that violence is never a solution to any problem. In addition, polarization on the basis of ethnicity, religion, culture or community will destroy the very fabric of this country which must be based on the equal partnership, at every level, of all communities, ethnicities, cultures, language speakers, as well as people of every region and location.

No individual, community or group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and/or to wreak vengeance against real or imagined grievance, as in the most recent instance of communal violence. In this respect, the majority community should be most vigilant to ensure that it is not seen as imposing a dominant view or values on others by virtue of its numerical and political superiority over other groups. Hence, the spreading and sharing of hate-filled rumours and stories that are designed to create suspicion and animosity against different groups must be dealt with severely by the authorities, just as ordinary people must roundly ignore such rumour-mongering which uses social media and word-of-mouth to spread its venom. It is especially important that clergy of all religions, who command unquestioned authority from the faithful in their care, should refrain from any and all inflammatory and vituperative statements that incite people to hatred and violence. No one who fans the flames of violence should be immune from full and fair prosecution by the law.

Regrettably, the Government’s inability, even reluctance, to enforce the law strongly and impartially against perpetrators of such communal violence, as well as against their instigators who seek economic and political advantage by using both ordinary people and goons as their pawns in this dangerous game, has led to the serious escalation of communal tensions and increased outbreaks of gratuitous violence and destruction on the flimsiest of excuses. Impunity, as we have seen in the past, is always an incentive to further violence and violation of law and order. FUTA demands of the State that it immediately cracks down on all parties, from whatever side they come, and, after due process, prosecutes all wrong-doers irrespective of ethnicity, vocation, political connections, social influence and wealth. Just as the perpetrators and backers of violence are wrong, so too are those protect them through inaction or cowardice to enforce the law without fear or favour.

It is FUTA’s considered view that even the labeling of groups of people as “majority” and “minority” purely in terms of population percentages is detrimental to true pluralism and diversity with dignity and equality for all Sri Lankans. We must recognise real differences amongst us, without feeling threatened or devaluing our diversity in any way. We have no right to impose our values and beliefs on others, nor to expect others to conform to our ways of being, whether we have a higher population or feel that we have no other place to go. Tolerance and respect for others who are different are cornerstones of all our religions and cultures in Sri Lanka. The core truth is that despite these political and ideological agendas that plot to divide us, we share human rights, economic, gender, political, environmental, sectoral/vocational and other concerns that cut across these arbitrary communal divisions, and are more important for our collective development and continued well-being. Let us hold the Government accountable to ensure that there is no more senseless violence among our people.  Let us band together to root out communal violence and divisive politics from our country from today onwards.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    7

    Good work FUTA -Thanks! The worsts anti-Tamil minority ethic riots in 1983 happened as UNP pushed the neo-liberal in Sri Lanka. Today too this is happening and the Muslims are the victims. Sinhalas perceive themselves as victims of a Neo Conservative Ranil UNP agenda to benefit its foreign backers and the Global 1 percent and have made the Muslims their scapegoat as the Tamils are defeated.
    The big picture is that Divide and Rule by DISTRACTING the masses with Hate Speech and attacks on minorities particularly before and after elections by CORRUPT POLITICIANS is an established pattern in Lanka. UNP was in power during riots of 1983 and today. This is not an accident. (Of course Jarapassa and his brothers play racism as a song.)
    The timing of this anti-Muslim riots to distract the people and media, after the Local Govt. Election defeat of the Bond scam Ranil Wickramasinghe who should have resigned or been impeached for looting the Central Bank is suspect..
    Today Lanka is all DISTRACTED by riots. Divide, Distract and RULE is the policy and motto of corrupt Lankan Politicians.
    Sri Lanka is today a geopolitical hot spot in the tug of war between China and India/US axis and there are foreign hands also involved here. LTTE was nurtured by Indian agencies,. Ranil represents foreign interests and backers who want him in power at any cost and the Peace Crops is set to move to Lanka. The Anti-Muslim riots have extended Bondscam Ranils illegitimate rule in Lanka.

    • 9
      1

      The Government must arrest all those who were involved in the vandalizing of private property in addition to compensating the victims and prosecute them for their crimes…

      No one should be allowed to get away with these crimes. Failure to take action will only lead to these terrorists continuing to take part in more criminal activities in the future.

    • 11
      2

      Right on DS! Kandy is the heartland of Buddhism, a religion of non-violence and peace that has been destroyed by corrupt politicians and monks they cultivate.

      What are Malwatta and Asgiriya doing? Asleep while Kandy burns?!!
      Sri lanka is today in a huge crisis – political and religious leaders are the problem and there is a Leadership vacuum and legitimacy crisis in the country. Of course foreign powers are fishing in troubled waters, and pushing Economic partnerships and Fake aid projects to impoverish country after buying corrupt politicians.
      The culture of impunity is everywhere promoted by corrupt politician like RW and MR and hence the rioters are taking law and order into their own hands.The CULTURE OF IMPUNITY for corrupt political and religious leaders, like BBS Gnanasara who should have been behind bars longs ago, has made people taken law and order into their own hands and are rioting with impunity. The rioters know that Minister of Law and Order Bondscam Ranil is a crook who has looted Central Bank and the hungry people in rural areas feel marginalized, and use Muslims as Scapegoats for their frustrations.

      • 4
        0

        Culture of impunity for hate crimes and financial crimes are 2 sides of the same coin.

        Lanka is cursed by her corrupt political leaders who are greedy for power and want to enrich themselves. by deluding the masses with Hate Speech.

        Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mahinda Jarapassa are two sides of the same coin. They BOTH play race politics to Divide, Distract and Rule moda masses in miracle of modayas!

        • 1
          0

          Keep saying No more violence, to soothe a few here and there, to cover the dirt underneath.

          How many more communal slaughters do they need?

          This is not new for Sri Lanka. The Government waits until every thing is done on their agenda and then resorts to damage control including dressed up propaganda.

    • 1
      0

      Don Stanley

      FUTA is right in condemning the government which is just a part of the this island’s ruling body.

      However as in the past the state institutions purposely fail the people wherever and whenever they are in trouble. What was the police doing in those areas before, during and after the troubles exploded? Where was the local police intelligence network of informers usually the criminals/crooks in those areas effected by violence? In addition Military intelligence has its own share of informers.

      Well was the police reluctant to involve itself in preventive measure though it might have had plenty of advance warning? If so why? Did military intelligence pass any intelligence to the police? Was the intelligence acted upon by the police?

      Read this:
      Undercover Footage Shows British Police Are Training Riot-Cops Linked to War Crimes in Sri Lanka:
      https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/
      qv338m/undercover-footage-shows-
      british-police-are-training-riot-cops-
      linked-to-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka

      Where are those Sinhala/Buddhist Riot Cops of this island, who were Scotland trained and funded by UK? They must have had a nice holiday in Scotland probably continuing their extended holiday here.

    • 0
      2

      FUTA has lost all credibility for politicking. No one listens to FUTA-HUTA now.

    • 1
      0

      The first step is to remove from any official governmental documentation the obnoxious inquiry of one’s race and religion. Just the nationality would do.

  • 1
    7

    THOPI thamai rata kewe. Dutu thena wedi thiyanna one THOPITA.

    • 0
      0

      Chimpa you are one babbling bloody fool. [edited out]

  • 7
    0

    while I welcome this call to build a national identity in Sri Lanka. Think what exactly happened in the past. Since the independence we failed to build a unique Lankan Identity.. soon the colonial period was ended, Tamils demanded 50/50 and yet, Muslim stood for a national unity and Muslim protected the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka that time. Muslim people strongly believe that all four community should live in peace and Sri Lanka is a small Island there is no room for division. This is the postulate of Muslim community since the independence. During the LTTE war Sri Lankan Muslim community stood with Sinhalese for the unity of Sri Lanka once again…. Although some North and East prefered to go with LTTE but general consensus among Muslim community all over the Island was Sri lanka unity must be protected … Now, what Muslim community get back from all this, ungrateful of Some Sinhalese community to destroy Muslim community one by one, village by village, and do marxism harm. with support of some Sinhalese politicians . It was MR and family who initiated this program.. .. There is no excuse for Sri lanka police and Army to control this violence .. they could have done it.. But they did not do it.. why Ranil and M&S know this? This is a dirty work of this government to do this. Muslim community for it disnity did not go with Tamil community twice .. When Sri lanka got Independence and then when LTTE was prevailing over Sri Lankan forces .. Now, the entire Muslim community should pay the price.. Good minded Tamil intellectuals and educated people asked some Muslim community leaders in North& East to co-operate with them but Muslim community went to appease Sinhalese leaders and they have showed the real colour soon LTTE was defeated.. There is a master plan by Sri Lanka government and by some Sri Lanka politicians ( MR & cos) to wipe out Muslim community from the map of Sri Lanka.

  • 5
    0

    where have been all good Buddhist Mahanayakas? why do they keep silence? do they want to see Muslim community wiped out from SL.? why did not they condemn this injustice? do they approve this type of violence? is it what Load Buddha brought to Sri Lanka? so sad to see this …

    • 1
      0

      The mahanayakes are dreaming about the new Mercs / Benz they are going to get soon from the govt.

      No time to think about Digana incidents!!

      Any way the mahayanayakes have no control over the young monks who have been radicalized.

  • 3
    6

    This is another elite view of people drawing multi-lakh monthly salaries from government universities. It is not surprising they don’t see any problems from the ivory towers they are in. They simply CAN’T understand the pressures poor Sinhalese are under. They are wasting their time, in the comfort of their mansions probably!

  • 0
    0

    Lanka has three ethnic groups – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Unfortunately a language/religion-divide was created and exploited by the politicians. This is over powering our everyday life.
    Skirmishes are common but what happens following a skirmish seems to be decided from which sub-ethnic group they are from.
    Sinhalese/Sinhalese – both face court
    Tamil/Tamil ditto and so is Muslim/Muslim.
    Tamil/Muslim will never escalate.
    Tamil/Sinhalese may escalate
    Sinhalese/Muslim will escalate to riots – more so recently.
    The dark cloud is, we are beginning to accept this as part of life!
    .
    One wonders as to whether this is one of the smoke screens to make us accept corruption acceptable.

    • 7
      3

      Despite all this, in the east Muslims are still attacking Tamils and Tamil neighbourhoods , to acquire lands in the Amparai area. These incidents happended yesterday , at the height of anti Muslim riots in other parts of the island. It is Amparai and not Ampara( Sinhalised like Katalai to Kantale or Allai to Alla) and also an innocent Tamil bystander who was minding his own business was attacked yesterday at Kattankudi , by Muslims nobs protesting about Sinhalese violence towards Muslims in Kandy and Amparai. It ok to attack Tamils but not OK when they are the victims. These Muslims will never change. Despite being of Tamil ethnicity they will always wait for an opportunity and join Sinhalese racists if the opportunity arises to attack the non Muslim Hindu and Christian Tamils, in the name of Islam and an imagined fake Arab/Moor origin. The east is ancient Tamil land not Muslim or Sinhalese both arrived only recently. The former a few centuries ago as refugee fleeing Portuguese and then Sinhalese persecution , The Tamils of the east took pity on them, as fellow Tamils and gave them refuge, at the request of King Senarath. The latter only arrived 60 years ago( most of them in the last 30 years) under deliberate state sponsored colonisation schemes of settling Sinhalese on ethnically cleansed historical Tamil lands , This has resulted in the indigenous Tamils in the east who were an outright majority in the 1960s and early 1970s becoming a 40% minority in their own land. Now both these recent arrivals to the east are fighting with each other but united to steal the east from its rightful owners the Tamils.

      • 2
        4

        I think an Indian trying to fuel to fire. If you are tamil brotheren in the east, if it has happened what you mentioned, it is gross injustice.

        • 3
          0

          I am not an Indian but a Brahmin from Jaffna. Sharma or Sarma is a common Brahmin family name. You can be from any part of India India( mostly north ) Nepa,l Sri Lanka , with this surname. These incidents have happened and please google and read the news I did not make them up.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Sharma ji, Thanks for informing about these incidences. I have been reading your posts from the Topix days and you present the truth as it is, without any dilution. Though unpalatable many times, the reality of the complex situation in Lanka dawns on us after reading your posts. Kudos to you. In my limited understanding, SL is a gone case and one can only feel pity for those who stay in that land locked isle, with a long history of fratricide.

  • 0
    0

    Time academics came out and put some sense into the people. Good work. Get onto the streets to fight for what you say and expose the politicians who thump the communal and religious cards.

  • 1
    0

    There can never be peace until those who may be from outside, or within the country, are stopped from organizing these hate crimes, to (1) spread Islamaphobia and provoke the Muslims (2) Cause chaos and make the country suffer again, and give us a bloodbath.
    Why was the BBS sent to countries like the US, and Norway? Why was Wirathu, the face of terror from Myanmar allowed to step into our shores? Are the Sinhala extremists in the payroll of those who have spent millions of dollars waging this hate campaign against the Muslims? Why are the zionists exerting their influence in certain parts of the Island? What evil are they plotting, that will lead to the same death and destruction as in Myanmar. Remember, the zionists are the criminals that sell the weapons that are used to kill the poor Rohingya people. Most probably they also train them. Do not allow these poisonous elements into our country. Be aware.

  • 0
    0

    FUTA should impress upon the |President to appoint a strong proven person as Minister of Law and Order.

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

    People talked about Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism must answer the following:
    We would like to bring to the attention the following actions/activities of Muslims may have led to suspicion by the majority and those are,
    1) When Sri Lanka team involved in Cricket, Muslims of Sri Lanka supported Cricket teams from Muslim countries.
    2) Hijab and covering by black colour is not the practise or custom of Muslims in Sri Lanka time immemorial and suddenly started doing so in order to show solidarity with Muslims in Arabian Penninsula or Arab World as the colour black is considered by the majority as the colour of the Ghost.
    3) Killing cows, bulls, buffaloes for meat much to the dismay of the Majority.
    4) Using loudspeakers to call for prayers, which is not required in the present circumstances.
    5) Forming political parties on racial basis and voting on racial basis.
    6) Destroying Buddhist Archeological sites in Sampoor, Kuragala, and other sites in North and East.
    7) Destroying Wilpattu and other forest reserves for settlement.
    8) Supporting extremist groups such as Taliban, ISIS etc.
    9) Threatening speeches by Muslim politicians and individuals as they are challenging the very fabrication of Sri Lanka as Sinhalese Buddhist nation.
    We are of the view that people talked about Majority opportunistically by not looking at the problems of the other side.
    If the Muslim bretheran wants genuine peace and harmony with the majority, give your special attention to the above factors ask from the conscience that the above action are/were detrimental to peace and harmony

  • 0
    0

    Thanks for the statement and we have to go ahead with this discussion as academia. Please arrange a forum as a FUTA
    Dr. Nishan Sakalasooriya
    University Ok Kelaniya

  • 0
    0

    You can shout from Pansalas roof tops for peace and unity . but it cannot be achieved with the Government’s subtle support to the Goondas.

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