Colombo Telegraph

Politics Of Beef: A Diversionary Tactic?

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

All what the people expect is for the government to act and bring those who ruined the country to justice

Muslim community voted en masse for President Maithripala Sirisena in the 8 January 2015 presidential elections to free themselves from the persecution of handful Sinhala racists such as Bodu Bala Sena who are suspected local and foreign mercenaries.

However Muslims and non Muslims alike who voted for him now raise the question following the shocking meeting of BBS team led by its extremist leader Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera with President Sirisena “whether these very same racists who virtually turned the country into a killing field were given a new lease of life.”

This meeting has caused serious concern especially among Muslims as notorious anti Muslim Ven. Gnanasara Thera who remains hell bent on setting fire to the island’s Muslims described the meeting as “success”.

This comes in the midst of President Sirisena’s announcement to ban cow slaughter -an issue rewarding racists and create the environment to generate hatred towards Muslims.

It is common knowledge that Ven. Gnanasara Thera is not a man of peace. He was rejected even by his own people during the last general elections. Video clippings of his speeches inciting Sinhalese speak volume for his agenda.

His fiery speeches created a hostile environment between Sinhalese and Muslims and climaxed in the attacks on Muslims at Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala. During these attacks Muslims were killed, their residential and commercial buildings looted and emptied before setting fire in a planned manner.

He continued his lawlessness till the Presidential election on 8 January 2015 when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated. With Rajapaksa’s defeat Ven. Gnanasara Thera lost patronage for his disastrous campaign which brought the country almost to the brink of yet another 1983 type pogrom.

He almost went into hiding after President Sirisena was elected. However, suspected to have been backed by defeated President Rajapaksa who is supposed to be making every possible effort to topple the government, Ven. Gnanasara Thera once again started provoking Muslims.

Earlier Ven. Gnanasara Thera called for banning of the Holy Quran. Perhaps he doesn’t understand the seriousness of such call as it could have international repercussions and alienate Muslim countries which remain the most sincere and best friends of Sri Lanka.

He has also forgotten that almost a million Sri Lankans live and work peacefully in the Gulf and remit annually around seven billion rupees which help sustain our economy which otherwise could have collapsed .

There are also court cases against Ven Gnanasara Thera especially for criticizing Islam and Muslims. His lawlessness forced Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake to order Ven Gnanasara’ Thera’s arrest on charges of contempt of court on Monday 25 January 2016. Yesterday, 26th January, he was remanded till February 9.

Under such circumstance President Sirisena meeting him and, in the midst, announcing his plan to impose ban on cow slaughtering is certainly unfortunate in view of its serious complications in the life of the island’s Muslims and its overall impact in the country.

And now comes yet another racist group-“Sinha Le”, perhaps another BBS face, apparently inciting Sinhalese against Muslims. The impact of this group’s campaign was such that within weeks it became a force to reckon with.

Sinha Le organized a motorcade from Independent Square in Colombo to Tooth Relic Temple in Kandy with a stopover in predominantly Muslim Town of Mawanella where they had a stiff with the police creating a tense situation. During the motorcade they defied law, ignored national flag and carried Buddhist flag sending a clear message of their hidden agenda.

This was sheer lawlessness, but was allowed to proceed.

Though President Sirisena dismissed the group as not worth talking about it has all the ingredients to provoke a communal clash. The question is why the government which was voted to power by all communities and talking about reconciliation allow such lawlessness. Unless the government take firm steps to deal with this group which is certainly a cover for well organized racist conspiracies the country may have to face a serious crisis for which the government will certainly be held responsible

Almost all these mushroom racist groups target Muslims- perhaps in keeping with their often repeated philosophy that “we will deal first with Tamils and then take care of the Muslims”. Now that the LTTE was defeated and Tamils were subdued they are, perhaps, turning their attention on Muslims not realizing the disaster which they would bring on the entire country.

This conspiracy fits in well with the global Israeli campaign against Islam and Muslims unleashed in collaboration with United States, Britain, Europe and Russia in collaboration with Arab dictators under the guise of fighting war on terrorism. Widespread suspicion is that Sinhala racist elements are funded by Israel through Norway whose hostility towards the island’s Muslims has been proved ever since they got involved in the island’s ethnic conflict.

In fact ever since UNP led coalition government assumed office, the island has opened its doors wide open to US, Britain and Europe in general and Israel in particular and their corporate conglomerates which not only sucks the developing countries and never miss a chance to implement its evil designs on Muslims as part of its global conspiracy .

This is the reason why the Muslims are very concerned about President Sirisena’s move to ban cow slaughtering without taking into consideration its social, religious and economic implications.

This decision strikes at the very root of Muslims’ religious obligations during Hajj.

This is the first time that a ruler in the country openly declared his intention to curb the food of not only Muslims but followers of all other faiths including Buddhists. The type of food one eat, consuming liquor, illicit sex ,all types of gambling including horse racing, casinos and all such activities depend on individual’s liking and disliking. These human desires cannot be controlled by legislation.

There was also suggestion to import beef. This is ridiculous as if cows slaughtered abroad do not feel the pain.

People also started asking why only stop slaughtering cows? Why not stop the slaughter goats, pigs, chicken and all other domestic animals as they all feel the pain.

The question is whether cow slaughtering is the main issue facing the island which is confronting political instability and a tottering economy which unfortunately depends on foreign aid sixty eight years after independence due to sheer mismanagement.

The present government was voted to power to bring to justice all those who committed crime, corruption and plundered the country. However even after a year these promises are yet to be fulfilled leading to growing disillusionment among people.

The need of the hour is to fulfill these promises, work towards political stability and measures to rebuild the economy to help ease burning problems such as unemployment, ever rising cost of living, lawlessness and other such matters.

It is also time that the mainstream Sinhalese also come forward to save this country from the menace of racist mercenaries.

Back to Home page