19 October, 2018

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OIC Expresses Concern Over Sri Lanka’s Anti-Muslim Campaign

The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the parent body of 57 member countries, has expressed its concerns yesterday over the escalating ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, which has affected the island’s Muslim community and its businesses sector.

The (OIC) (formerly known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and strives to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslims in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

Buwelikade town (AN photo)

In a letter addressed to the Sri Lankan government, the OIC expressed its concerns amid increasing reports of ethnic tensions in parts of Sri Lanka particularly in the central province of Buwelikade, which has a large Muslim population.

Confirming the receipt of the letter from the OIC, an official from the Sri Lankan embassy said the communication has been referred to its Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo for necessary action.
The OIC has pointed out that it is confident that the Lankan government is taking the appropriate measures to calm the situation on the ground. The organization has also signified its willingness to explore with its Sri Lankan counterparts the possibility of extending humanitarian assistance to the affected communities, including the refugees in the northern part of the island.

In Sri Lanka, an organization called Bodu Bala Sena, (the Buddhist Power Force), is at the forefront of inciting violence against Muslims in various parts of the country. Bodu Bala Sena as well as Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a partner in the ruling coalition, allege that Muslims are a threat to Buddhism.
This organization recently launched a provocation against Muslims at Buwelikada, a small town 1 kilometers from Kandy in the Central Province. The town’s predominantly Muslim population includes small shop owners and vendors.

A group of Sinhala youth traveling in a bus initiated a quarrel with Muslims, claiming that their van had obstructed the road, which escalated into a clash causing severe injuries. The government immediately deployed units from its police special task force (STF) to bring the situation under control.

In response to the hatred campaign carried out against the Muslims by this extremist movement, the All-Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema, (The Board of Islamic Scholars), which issues halal certification in Colombo, has conceded to limit its certification only to export oriented products. “With the withdrawal of halal certification from local products, Muslims in our country will not be able to identify halal and non-halal products,” N.M. Ameen, president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka told Arab News from Colombo.

The council’s president said the government has intervened to calm the tension, adding that the Inspector General of Police has stated that the government will not tolerate any discrimination against minorities. Muslims constitute 8 percent of Sri Lanka’s 22 million, while Buddhists make up for 80 percent of the population.

Considering the increasing violence against Muslims and their businesses, the government has appointed a ministerial committee under former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to resolve the issues between extremist group and the Muslim community.

Courtesy Arab News

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Are the activities of the rowdy monks of the Bodu Bala sena
    and their followers, and the JHU, the first steps on the road
    to another war in Sr iLanka? ?Maybe another “Dutugemunu”is
    waiting in the wings to emerge on cue to “save” the Sinhala
    race and ride to power!!!Another debacle waiting to happen.

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka is now famous for creating its problems on its own which have drawn international attention. While the issues concerning the Tamils are already a worry now Muslims are being dragged into for another conflict. Will any time-frame will be sufficient to solve the ever increasing conflicts.

    • 0
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      We who have have a beautiful country and got independance in 1948 without any hassle have create all our own problems since 1956

      Even the railway tracks are what the British built and we have not even extended them anywhere (apart from the short one to Mihitale during Premadasas time)

      This looks like a cursed land where man is vile and cannot be at peace with his brothers and sisters

      • 0
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        You think you got independence but you are more bonded now. Bonded to many countries. The railway track British laid much is destroyed abandoned and what you have is a small fraction. Nobody cursed you it is your character which has made this country into what it is today. Countries don’t make people people make countries. remember all those riots kidnapping torture chambers camps they all happened in Sri Lanka . How many of them spoke out. All celebrated isn’t it. So…….

  • 0
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    First they screamed about the ‘Halal’ certificate, promising that if it is removed, their agitation would stop. So it was removed and now their screaming that removing it is a conspiracy. Also, now the ‘Halal’ issue has died down, they are now focusing on the Abaya. Some women / girls have been attacked and injured in certain rural areas of the country. This is now a very dangerous situation. So far, the Muslims in Sri Lanka have not reacted adversely (with violence) to the Halal problem, but if our women / girls are being attacked, we will not (be able to) stand by and watch. Thus the situation is currently on a knife-edge and very close to getting out of hand. In this regard, it is a dire need that international organizations and governments get involved and force / pressure the Sri Lankan government to take immediate and forceful action against those causing religious conflict in the country.

    • 0
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      Then will they cry that Muslims are joining the international conspiracy on Sri Lanka?

    • 0
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      Don’t forget Jailani (Kuragala) which has been in existence since 10th Century is to be handed over to BBS on the 30th April

      • 0
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        though i have been always against BBS, as far as i knw kuragala has been an ancient buddhist site

    • 0
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      Join the Tamils they will help you and they will not betray you.

  • 0
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    Organizations in Islamic countries, should set up links with Sri Lankan Muslim Organizations, to effectively be their eyes and ears to ground realities in Sri Lanka. Such monitoring will effectively put them a step ahead to raise issue with their governments, through highlighting treatment of minority communities in this majority dominated landscape. It is quite evident now that this government is going the way of how it treated Tamils previously, closing many doors of opportunities for Muslims in State sector employment, unsettled issues on refugee resettlements, deprived of livelihood in militarized zones in the absence of war, land grabs, house grabs (new houses built for Muslims by Muslim donor countries in Musllim populated areas), Muslim representation in sports, and many more such like discriminations. In simple words, equal opportunity is non existant. Suppression, divide and rule is the order of the day. Surely parallels can be drawn to Tamil grievances before they went all out to fight for separate state. Sadly, it looks like their is no future since even Muslim representation in Parliament is defunct and self serving only.

  • 1
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    It is great that an international body has shown concern for the minority in this country. Other Muslim nations should now follow suit and show the Sri Lankan government they do not appreciate discrimination against any Muslims, and that if this harassment and anti Muslim sentiment continues, the Sri Lankan government will have to face the consequences.

    The Muslims must make sure they are NOT provoked into retaliating against these thugs and criminals.
    For this is what their ultimate goal is. To retaliate would be playing into evil hands.

    It is sheer racism and hatred for a people, when after years of living peacefully with their fellow Sri Lankans, their mode of dress, the way they eat, and practice their religion is suddenly detrimental to Buddhism.

    By not nipping this in the bud, the Sri Lankan government is not empowering an uneducated mob to attack and intimidate, but bringing more black marks against our nation.

    • 1
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      I agree. These are petty minded racists who don’t have a case against the Muslims. they are consumed with jealousy.

      we as a community need to be patient and help them overcome their prejudices.

  • 0
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    Why not send our “chandi” priest Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara to present his case to the Organisation of Islamic Countries?

    And we should send in advance to the OIC a copy of that infamous video of this character performing his Mariakade skit on the highway. It will prepare the OIC sufficiently to deal with this unsavoury thug in saffron robes.

    I am sure Galaboda will return duly chastised and “halaalified” after the encounter!

    Perhaps even circumcised!!!!

  • 0
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    IT IS TO THE CREDIT OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY, THAT THEY HAVE ACTED WITH GREAT RESTRAINT. THIS IS DUE TO ALLAH, COMMANDING MUSLIMS TO “PRAYER
    AND PATIENCE” DURING TIMES OF TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS.
    “O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.”
    WELL THERE IS A LIMIT TO THIS. IF THE OTHER PARTY DOES NOT COME TO TERMS,WELL THEN, THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT IT IS JIHAD.
    THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL INCIDENTS,AND STILL THE MUSLIMS ARE NOT
    “SWALLOWING THE BAIT” AND RE-ACTING.
    THIS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS OR FEAR.
    LET ME STATE VERY CLEARLY, THAT MUSLIMS NEVER LOSE.
    THE MUSLIM WINS OR IS MARTYRED AND THAT IS WHAT A TRUE MUSLIM YEARNS FOR SINCE THE PRIZE IS PARADISE!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0
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      Muslims should get out of the mentality that we are weak because we are a minority of 8 or 9% but act with courage as 2 million people who are inhabitants of the country for over 1000 years and have contributed for the development in every aspect including teaching trade and business to the Sinhalese.

  • 0
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    We hear even the Arab League and the GGC are taking note of the way the Sri Lankan Muslims are treated in the country. We Sri Lankan think only we live in this world, particularly our government, BBS, Sinhale Rava and JHU. We live in a civilized world, when people are treated badly the international community take note of it and they react. You couldn’t hide all these from any one. Now the news spread at the speed of the light due the World Wide Web. The Arab Spring was brought by the WWB. Now any one’s smart phone is a TV and Radio Station. You could upload video from the phone, next instant millions of people could watch and read from all corners of the world. You do a Podcast – radio – from your phone, you could listen the message or news from any web-device in any part of the world. All these services are absolutely free. The government could control the media and kill journalist but wouldn’t be able stop the spreading of the news owning to the the WBB, the news would be out within and out of the country at the very instant. In Egypt Hosni Mubarak, blacked out the internet coverage but they got it due the technology which is available at the people’s disposal. Same in Syria, they are doing live broadcast using the WBB.

    Now,the best for the country and people are dialogue and reconciliation, and not confrontation, else no one one going to win but all going to loose.

    • 0
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      Yea in other countries the social media was used to bring in change democracy good governance etc. In Sri Lanka it will be used for spreading lies deception chauvinism nationalism religious supremacy thuggery …. . And the population is so moulded the will buy it even at a price.

  • 0
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    dear brother and sister
    if you are close to any Islamic country leaders please pass this message and to show unhappiness of treatment to our muslims ,without blindly supporting to the government and giving fuel on credit or loans etc ,tell them to hold on to it let all pay a price ,please please can you do this for us?allah will give you inshallah jannathul firadoos in the day of mahshar .
    Can you?

  • 0
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    Recently in Syria, the so-called “rebels” beheaded a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric (a supporter of Assad), and then, after dragging his headless body through the streets, put his head on the minaret of the mosque where he preached.

    I would like to know if OIC has expressed any “concern” over this despicable act.

    In fact, the truth is that many of these OIC countries are giving money and weapons to the Sunni Muslim terrorists who are directly responsible for more than 100,000 deaths in Syria.

  • 0
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    HERE ARE STATISTICS ABOUT SYRIA;

    Of the Syrian population, 74%[1] were Sunnis (including Sufis[2]), whereas 13% were Shias, either Alawites (11.0%), Twelvers (1.0%), Ismailis(0.5%), or Zaidis (0.5%).[1] 3% were Druze,[1] while the remaining 10-12% were Christians.[1] Not all the Sunnis are Arabs. Most of the Kurds, who make up 10% of the population are officially Sunni, as are the Turkmens who encompass 3-5%. Thus Syria is at most 59-61% Sunni Arab.

    BASHAR AL ASSAD BELONGS TO THE MINORITY ALAWITE SECT . HE AND HIS FATHER HAVE BEEN DICTATORS AND HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MASSACRE OF SUNNIS.

    LESTER HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IF THE 10 PERCENT MUSLIMS WERE IN CONTROL OF SRI LANKA FOR OVER 40 YEARS .THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GOLUPADAWATTES AND GOAT-ABAYAHS AND LESTERS EITHER!!!

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