By Latheef Farook –
Gnanasara’s demand to mold local Muslim culture the way Buddhist monks wanted – Recipe for disaster of unpredictable consequences
Addressing the July 7 meeting at Kandy to provoke Sinhalese against Muslims under the on gong anti-Muslim campaign, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera demanded that” Buddhist monks should be free to mold the local Muslim culture the way they wanted”.
This is wishful thinking as the demand, perhaps backed by the government, has all the ingredients to turn the island into a permanent killing field to the detriment of all.
Muslims will never agree to such a move in the same way Kandyan Sinhalese will never allowed to temper with Kandyan Laws and the Jaffna Tamils with Thesawalami which were respected even British colonial period,.
Politicians and so called ulemas may compromise Islam to suit their personal agendas, but it is highly unlikely that the community which has suffered enough due to senseless racist politics would tolerate such a move.
Muslim politicians and controversial ulemas were responsible to a great extend for the difficult times the community is passing through. However whatever issues within the community could be handled by the community itself within the framework of country’s laws and there is no need for outside interference.
On the other hand Gnanasara Thera’s call also indicates that racist politicians and their mercenaries never learnt any lesson from the 30 year bloody ethnic conflict which ravaged the country.
However, it appears the Sinhalese, sick and tired of seven decades of racist politics which brought nothing but disaster and sufferings , have sent a clear message to Gnanasara Thera and his supporters when BBS meeting ended up as a flop with the attendance of few thousand brought from outside.
The sad state of affairs was such that the government, brought to power with Muslims votes, allowed this meeting to take place despite emergency regulations selectively enforced on Muslims.
Meanwhile Gnanasara Thera, is not a man of peace but known for his violence against Muslims. He was in prison serving a sentence. Violating accepted norms President Sriisena visited him in prison and released him within 48 hours before entertaining for tea with his mother.
It appears President Sirisena released him despite opposition from legal circles to use him as a tool to carry out the current campaign against Muslims. This was done, perhaps deliberately, to turn the attention from the acute political, economic and numerous other crises the country is faced with.
According to a website Colombo Telegraph report ”Gnanasara Thera asked the leaders of this country to handover the responsibility of defeating what he described as Islamic extremism to monks. He said “our monks are ready…Even if the media is with us or not, we can still hold grass root level meetings, talk to people in person and mold the Muslim culture the way we want…”
He said “a serpent has entered into our home, it’s a poisonous snake that will bite, and not just us but even its own kind…all of us in this house must join together and kill this snake on sight. This can only be achieved by the sword that is the religion, without pelting a single stone.”
The unanswered question is why the government is silent on this naked provocation, especially with emergency regulation in force?
Gnanasara Thera could make these extremely provocative statement and that too under emergency regulations because the Maithri-Ranil Government has allowed racists of all walks of lives to temper with Islam, Islamic culture, Muslims’ lifestyle, their economy, their education, customs and traditions and almost every other aspect striking at the very root of their very survival.
However these racists failed to understand that a Muslim’ s life is entirely based on Islam which is guided by Sharia rules which has been distorted by US, European and Israel war mongers to justify their wars on Muslim countries.
They have demonized and distorted and associated Islam violence. Many knowledgeable people now suspect that this destructive global agenda is being implemented in the island in the aftermath of Easter Sunday massacre not realizing the serious consequences.
These racist who are sowing the seeds for future conflicts have failed to realize that Muslims who lived here for more than 1000 years were the most peaceful of the three communities as stated by former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva.
Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne once said that Sri Lanka remains one country today only because of steady Muslim support despite LTTE atrocities against them. He said “we are alive today because of sacrifices of fellow Muslim officers”.
Muslims have nothing to do with the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings and killings at churches and hotels. Muslim organizations and individuals informed the authorities of Zahran and his group years ago.
These bombers have everything to do with former Rajapaksa government which reported to have paid them monthly salary and the present President Sirisena-Prime Minister Wickremasinghe government which failed to prevent the carnage despite prior information.
Yet Muslim community was demonized and persecuted.
A powerful media campaign poisoned the Sinhalese minds against Muslims. Damage was already done. Today the entire Muslim community is on the dock accused of violence and terrorism. Shameful and sad state of affairs is such that Buddhist temples are reported advising Sinhalese not to patronize Muslims business establishments.
Country cannot move ahead by protecting and promoting extremist elements exploited by racist politicians to advance their destructive political ambitions.
Today communities remain divided .No one knows where the politically and economically collapsing country is heading towards.
The need of the hour is to bring communities together to rescue the country which was once the inspiring source for the entire Third World for political and economic stability and communal harmony. Attacking Muslims without any valid reason will not bring any benefit to the country.
This beautiful island and its people suffered enough due to racist politics and it is time that Sinhalese civil society which believes in Buddha’s Buddhism come forward to save the country from its present mess.