15 July, 2024


SLFP-UNP Governments’ Senseless Violence; Inevitably Driving Muslims Towards JVP 

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

The island’s peaceful Muslim community, subjected to organized persecution since the end of the ethnic war in 2009 by the Rajapaksa and Maithri-Ranil governments, are discussing the possibility of supporting the Janatha Vimukthi Pearmuna, JVP, in the November 16 presidential elections. 

Dismissed as racists and atheist, Muslims in general never supported the JVP. However the situation is changing fast. Already east based Muslim party – National Front for Good Governance-NFGG, has aligned itself with the JVP.

There was a time, before and after the independence in 1948, Muslims were considered integral part of the United National Party. Many often said” Muslims ate biryani and voted for UNP”.

However UNP failed to attended to Muslims’ grievances. This was the reason why Muslims turned in large number to support Al Haj Dr Badiudin Mahmud’s Islamic Social Front, aligned to Sri Lanka Freedom Party, during the second half of 1960s. 

Since then the community was divided between the UNP and SLFP. This situation continued until the appearance of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, SLMC, which ended up as Greek tragedy for the community and the country.

Several enlightened Muslim politicians who were keen on maintaining healthy relations with the Sinhalese and Tamils warned of the danger of Muslims forming a separate party as it could harm communal harmony. 

However late President Jayewardene’s arrogant dismissal of Muslims that they could stay or leave the government when they opposed move to bring in Israel here  created the required political climate to form the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress with the slogan of Islam and unity provoking racist elements in the Sinhalese community. 

Islam disappeared at SLMC’s birth in the late 1980s when the leader was forced to flee to Colombo to find refuge at a leading lawyer’s house. The slogan of unity is displayed today in the breakup of the party into more than half a dozen groups – lured by positions and perks. Time and again the SLMC has betrayed the community on many issues. Today SLMC is a shameful liability on the community.

Meanwhile during the almost three decades old ethnic war Muslims were subjected  to immense hardships including ethnic cleansing, looting and plundering of their wealth and livelihoods, massacres, losing of their traditional lands and many more. They suffered only due to their refusal to support the LTTE’ call for a separate state. 

They endured all these sufferings only to ensure the island remain undivided. However despicable racists now unleashing violence against Muslims perhaps have forgotten this great contribution.

Endorsing this Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said on March 11, 2018 that “we are alive today because of brave Muslim military officers. Admiral Wijegunaratne told the cabinet of Ministers meeting to discuss violence against Muslims community in Teldeniya, Kandy and Ampara by organized Sinhala racist thugs that ‘Muslims did not deserve to be treated in such a manner’”. 

This must be reminded to racist mercenaries who claim that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese and the Tamils and Muslims should pack their bags and leave the island.

Thus when the war ended in May 2009, Muslims were also happy that they could return to a peaceful life. The military defeat of LTTE offered this war battered country the chance to learn from past mistakes, take immediate reconciliation measures to heal deep seated wound and bitterness, bring communities together and help move the country ahead like all other nations for the benefit of all.

Almost three decades of bloodshed and destruction have brought us full circle to the gross realization that the destinies of all communities share common goal and inextricable interwoven,

However all were shocked when Rajapaksa government began unleashing violence against Muslims while establishing closer ties with Israel, sworn enemy of Islam and Muslims.

Persecution of Muslims began with the attack on Dambulla Mosque, triggering controversy over Dafar Jailani in Kuragala, throwing a slaughtered pig inside mosque in Mahiyangana, demonstration of racists covered  pig’s face with Allah’s name written on, grease yaka attacks on women during the Holy month of Ramadan when men go to mosques.

These continued until the massive attacks, destruction and killings at Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala burning and destroying Muslim properties, looting and burning mosques and   urinating on the Holy Quran.

Sick and tired of violence of government killing its own people, Muslims, some estimated at 95 percent, voted for Maithri-Ranil team to power. However within months Mathri-Ranil government turned their back on the very same people who voted them to power when it openly started protecting the very criminals and corrupt whom they promised to bring to book.

When the sign of first violence against Muslims emerged a team led by Prof Sarath Wijesuriya, including some prominent Muslims, met President Sirisena and appealed him not to allow any violence on Muslims. President Sirisena dismissed them saying” This was Mahindra’s conspiracy to topple the government”.

Few weeks later the anticipated attacks took place in Gintota where Muslims accused the forces of conniving with the attackers.

Then came  organized attacks in Ampara, Digana, Akurana and the surrounding areas causing death and destruction with the mob  indiscriminately burning mosques, shops, houses and looting belongings. Here too the culprits went scot free. 

The climax of violence against Muslims came in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings and killings which had nothing to do with the Muslim community as time and again Muslims themselves have informed authorities about these extremists.

This was reiterated by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. However falsely accusing the well-organized government backed violent campaign was unleashed against Muslims. 

President Sirisena imposed emergency laws and declared a campaign which ended up persecuting Muslims as every Muslim was projected a terror suspect. Organized racist thugs were given free hand.  Muslim houses, business establishments, hotels and other such places were burnt during curfew while an innocent fasting Muslim was chopped to death and another battered Muslim man was dragged in the street to hospital where he died.

Mobs laid siege to the Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Aukana, Kottampitiya, Nikaweratiya and Minuwangoda town area driving Muslim families, in the midst of their Ramadan fast, into paddy fields for hiding.

The police curfew meant nothing to the mobs who roamed free as Muslim families fled their homes fearing for their lives. Muslims have lost all faith in the police, security forces and the government to provide them protection.   

Mob of around 500 with iron rods, swords and other such items began their killing and burning spree under the watchful eyes of the police and the army which became irrelevant. Mob were free  when they started to burn houses, shops, and business establishments, mosques .They burnt and destroyed around 500 units in around 30 Muslim villages.

Every Muslim man, woman and even children, were treated with suspicion, hatred and bitterness almost everywhere. So called search operations using emergency regulations have become nightmare for innocent Muslim families who remain frightened. Not only hospital security but even shops and super markets force Muslim women to remove traditional shawls

 One columnist pointed out that “Life has become a nightmare in their ordinary day to day living and virtually changed every aspect of life in the island’s Muslim population. Harassment, discrimination and a well-orchestrated hate campaign has been taking shape in the public domain, demonizing, alienating and fostering a besieged mentality towards Muslims.  He added that racism has found a new meaning in Sri Lanka. And everything Muslims are being targeted. There is total harassment of Muslims in public places, buses and trains, taxis and even in work places.

In this tense atmosphere came the shocking call by Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, the incumbent Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, for stoning to death of Muslims and urging Sinhala Buddhists to refrain from frequenting Muslim-owned shops and consuming food offered by Muslims.

More than a thousand year old Muslim community was destroyed within 20 minutes. These attacks, began at 8.45 in the morning on 21 April and ended at 9.05, dealt a death blow to Muslims who have nothing to do with this massacre.

Shameless Muslim politicians and equally shameless mullahs may like to hob knob with President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

However with all recent atrocities fresh in their minds, who is the Muslim with an iota of self- respect would vote for SLFP or UNP. In a shocking development large number of Muslims are now turning to JVP which ,though dismissed at its early stages as atheists, is now known for their honesty and  integrity, commitment to uphold justice, contributions in the parliament and outside exposing corruption and nepotism and on top all their policy towards communal harmony.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Mr. Farook, understand you pain and Good statement here, but no reference to the external and foreign funders of religious extremist groups and the way that ALL politicians are being funded and controlled by external parties – Bondscam Ranil and Rajapassa by US a, Rauf Hakeem, Hizbulla Bathudeen etc by Saudi, etc.
    It is good that Some Muslims would vote for JVP – Ethnic politics is a shameful and barbaric form of politics and its it much better to do politics based on class interests.
    However, Religion is being weaponized in Sri Lanka to distract from American Economic Terrorism as at Easter Sunday and the project to set up Amerrcan military bases in northeast Sri Lanka.

    The minorities Tamils and Muslims and their politicians are the Cats paw in the US game to set up military bases in the northeast.
    BBS was set up by US citizen Gotabaya to weaponize Buddhism just as Jamaat Islam was set up in Eastern Province by Saudi funded outfits with help of Hisbullah to weaponize Islam.
    The US wants to set up military bases in the northeast of Sri Lanka – particularly the Eastern Province where the coveted Trincomalee harbour is and in Mannar and Willpattu. and is weaponizing religion as part of a strategy to divide and rule with the help of local political actors. This is a time to be very careful and examine the external forces.
    October 21 will be the 6 month anniversary of the Easter Bombings and there should be protests outside the Saudi and US embassies against the Bomdings, and all attempts should be made to prevent inter-religious conflicts this month.

    • 3

      Latheef, stop portraying Muslims as innocent and others as wrongdoers.[edited out]

      • 5

        The majority of Muslims here and around the world are innocent, peaceful people, just like the majority of Sinhala Buddhists are not like the murderers in Myanmar, or the thugs in the BBS.

    • 1

      Lanka needs a 6 months commemoration of the Easter Carnage and to affirm that this will never be allowed again and NO signing of MCC land grab for military bases project or SOFA.

      The saffron thugs should protest outside US and Saudi partners embassy in Colombo, which increasingly loots like a military base.
      Also Alina Nitwitz should be sent back to Trumpland and impeached there – for visiting Kandy Mahanayakas to try to sell SOFA and weaponize Buddhism in Sri Lanka – in clear violation of the separation of Religion/ Church and State that is in the US constitution.

    • 1

      what you are telling here is complete true. I was thinking of thousand of projects , but still could not make a decision on which project should be implemented to protect our country., To any project , nuclear weapon should be included. Without that, Sri lanka cannot keep foreign conspirators out of sri Lanka

    • 2

      Muslim votes be divided as: 80% for UNP; 5% for JVP; 5% for Gota and 10% will abstain from voting.

      JVP and NFGG (Political Win of some Islamic Organizations) has a signed a agreement for a National Seat at the Parliament Election 2020.

      But the majority of Muslims (more than 80%) confident of the Leadership of Hakeem, Kabir, Haleem, Fousy, Risard and Imthiaz. Therefore, with confident, around 80% Muslim votes will go to UNP.

      Latheef is a writer not an Analyst.

  • 5

    Bravo!?Latheef spelled out everything what are there in every Muslim’s heart. Hope with Gods ‘ curse SLFP,UNP and Pohottuwa going to eat humble pie in the upcoming Election. Jayawewa AKD!

  • 8

    It is very good that the Muslim community is gravitating towrads the People’s Power movement led by the JVP. The UNP and SLFP have played the Muslims for suckers for ages. What is important now is for Muslim entities to embed themselves deeply in progressive politics and influence the evolution of a programme and the direction of development of a healthy alternative for Sri Lanka.

    • 1

      Prof. D.
      The Muslims were once key players in the Left movement, especially in the CP. When it split, the editors of the Tamil journals of both factions were Muslims.
      The LSSP enjoyed the support of Muslims on the west coast during elections.
      The decline of the parliamentary left followed by the rise of Tamil separatism changed the picture.
      Azath Sally’s father was a CC member in Shan’s faction of the CP.
      More recently, Mujibar Rahuman (who led the left-inclined Muslim Liberation Front) was a partner in the NLF founded in 1998, and sided with Vickramabahu Karunaratne when the NLF was split.
      With the genuine left in a very weak position there is little to inspire the minorities.
      You may remember JVP MP Anjan Umma (National List 2000-2001) and (Gampaha 2001-2004; 2004-2010). She abandoned the JVP in 2008 to join the NFF led by Wimal Weerawansa.
      Likewise the JVP had Chandrasekaran as one of its MPs from the Hill Country.
      Such tokenism did not take the JVP very far.
      (Even the BJP in India has had Dalits and Muslim MPs.)
      The JVP needs to seriously review its past.

    • 4

      It is not the UNP/SLFP who have played the Muslims but it is the Muslims, especially the likes of this author, who had sucked up to majoritarian politics all along only to realize it is not paying up/saving them. From reiterating their contribution to the war despite majority of them being Tamil speakers to getting pirith nool during vesak celebrations soon after recent anti-Muslim violence, they have at every step tried to project their patriotism, often at the expense of Tamil struggle. It won’t be too long before they realize JVP also plays to the Sinhala gallery. They will not restructure the Sinhala Buddhist state, which is the core of the problem.

    • 0

      Agreed 100%

      • 1

        Agreed 100% with Prof. KD.

  • 7

    One thing fortunate in Sri Lankan political system is having parties represent Minorities.

    We have Tamil political parties and Muslim parties. This is a very good thing. Because if not these scoundrels would have infiltrated the two main political parties and demanded much more for their communities.

    [edited out]

    • 3

      Scoundrels have already infiltrated the two main political parties. Almost all of them happen to be SINHALESE.
      What a coincidence!

  • 7

    According to Latiff Sinhala Buddhists are the culprits…
    Why on earth then did the Muslims blow up Kochchikade and the Catholics?..

    I don’t know how Lathiff can say say it was not the Muslims when Inbrahims and Zaharans read only the Quran .
    And the Mullas control every aspect of their lives from birth to death….

    I am not sure about orchestrating ,but the UNP and SLFP by association are responsible for allowing the Muslim Terrorists to destroy the holiest Places of Worship of the Lankan Catholic Community.

    It is disgusting that the UNP is still protecting the Muslims in the UNP Government who knew the Muslim Terrorists and their activities.
    And in fact associated with them at the highest level..

    [edited out] I don’t think JVP ADK is going to do anything different from the agenda of Dr Ranil.
    Anyway good luck to ADK and the Muslim Community.-

    Although the UNP candidate from Keselwatta is going to romp in, Muslims ain’t going to lose anything . as the SLMC is alway with the UNP..

    • 9

      Mr Sumanasekara,

      Don’t be surprised one bit about the tongue twisting nature of the Muslims. That’s exactly what they are renowned for.

      You would do well to expect Honesty from a Pettah Pick pocket than from one of them. And you know what they say about Honesty being an expensive. Yes, right. Don’t expect it from cheap people.

  • 1

    Latheef Farook

    Generally what you utter isn’t correct but if you see a tendency of Muslims voting for JVP it’s a welcome development.

  • 4

    “They endured all these sufferings only to ensure the island remain undivided.”

    Muslims did not support Malabaris’ demand for a separate State not because they cared for an undivided Sri Lanka but because they knew the kind of treatment they are likely to get in a separate State dominated by Hindu fanatics.
    Muslims who were given refuge by Sinhala Buddhists when they faced the threat of slaughtering by Portuguese exposed their ungrateful behavior in 1915 in Gampola. During British rule, they worked as spies to British.
    In the recent incidences, although Muslims blame Sinhala Buddhists the first stone was thrown by Muslims. At the end they twist the thing and put the blame on Sinhala Buddhists.

    • 6

      Eagle Eye,

      The Sinhalese are 104 years late. It’s in 1915 they should have decided that Total annihilation was the only practical solution.

  • 1

    A third force capturing power in the county is a remarkable revolution
    to the whole of South and South East Asia and beyond . Are we ready
    to make it happen ? All signs that we see everywhere in the country is ,
    ” Asai Bayai ” meaning , change is welcome but afraid of it ! Why afraid ?
    Switching from wrong to right needs a right mind , right direction ,
    sacrifice and patience . All expensive items ! Can we afford ? And Muslims
    in the Est especially , who mainly did bargain politics with the winnable
    party , can they stand steadfast with whatever newly found buddies ?
    J V P may be still miles away from forming a government but threat to
    Muslim’s peace of mind all over the country is , not even a millimetre away
    and at any moment’s notice ! Switching sides is better , siding with J V P
    still better but based on a solid principle and understanding of J V P !

    • 0

      Do not underestimate the indoctrinating power of the major parties and the resources they will deploy . What is there to lose by voting JVP and the People Power movement? Try it and see…

  • 2

    Hello Mr.Farook,

    “………………………while establishing closer ties with Israel, sworn enemy of Islam and Muslims.”

    While it appears that you are against racism, you should practice what you preach. Read the Bible at least once and you would find that Jerusalem belonged to Israel historically (>2500 years ago). If what you say is true enough, It is islam and the muslims who willingly made themselves enemies of Israel, while hoping to grab a part of an historically established capital city.

  • 0

    what stupidity. a communist cannot be a muslim. see the uygers in china.china is harvesting organs from 1 million detainees. do you think muslims are so stupid?

  • 5

    Lankans should be very watchful of Moslem Taqqia tactics at all times. Regardless of who they support at elections, Moslems will align with the ones who win and use bribery and incentives to drive their strategic plans of turning Lanka into a Moslem country. Meanwhile, the ISIS group among Lankan Moslems, who carried out the unbelievable horror of ISIS terror attack on Easter Sunday, are waiting in the shadows to carry out even more barbaric attacks soon. All they need is a corrupt, inept, treasonous leader who masquerades as the savior to gullible people during the lead up to the election.

    I think the Lankans know who can prevent this Moslem apocalypse that will be inevitable with the exploding Moslem population in Lanka. I hope they will vote for a strong leader with military credentials and as destiny would have it, that leader seems to have arrived. I wish the Lankans the best in their patriotic duties which they must carry out to avoid the menace of radical Jihadi Islam.

  • 3

    There is a burning desire among Sri Lankans for a just and fair government that is not corrupt.

    If JVP is the answer SO BE IT.

  • 2

    Whatever community or religion one belongs he/she needs to be provided with the basic needs of living from birth to death. Provision of these needs is the responsibility of those in government which they promise to fulfill. But the those who came to power for the last seventy-one years have failed to keep ;their promises but only promoted communal and religious conflicts to cover-up their failure to deliver their promises but only resorted to enrich themselves through corrupt and criminal means. All the people suffered by this and the Muslims suffered the worst. The JVP, which is in an alliance with 28 organisations as the NATIONAL PEOPLE’S POWER has laid down clear policies and programmes to provide the basic needs of the people and to bring in an new era of peace and harmony in the country. The JVP has always delivered its promises to the people and has proved its sincerity and honesty in serving the people. The Muslims too have begun to realise this and it is no surprise their thinking in politics is changing.

  • 0

    I want to add some more point to your article.

  • 2

    Mr.Latheef Farook
    I want to add some more points to your article.Another reason why specially eastern muslim intellectuals prefer to vote AKD is that North-East de-merger was done by JVP. North-East de-merger was been an election pledge by SLMC since its emergence, and no progressive actions was taken by them to give rectified solution for the muslims of east.Instead they demanded for a separate district ,’karaiyora maavattam’, which was not a proper solution to the national problem. JVP is the only party came forward to do that.Directly or indirectly eastern muslims are getting benefit from that.And also, i wanted to point out that there was also a muslim JVP petitioner in the north-east merger case,who is known as A.S.Mohammed Buhary of Sammanthurai. It shows that eastern muslims has also participated in JVP’s active political campaign.

  • 1

    “Dismissed as racists and atheist, Muslims in general never supported the JVP.”

    Correct, Islam is not compatible with Marxism. Religion in general is not. As Marx said: “religion is the opium of the masses.” Religion is seen as a threat to the established order; for modern examples, refer to China in Tibet and the plight of persecuted Christians and Muslims in China.Marxism gravitates very quickly toward authoritarianism; in every Communist country there is a one-party system. Most serious, however, are the economic implications. Productive capabilities are nationalized, meaning the State decides on the level of output. It is difficult for foreign investors to function freely in this kind of environment. If the JVP comes to power, you can expect the exchange rate to be 400 RS/1 USD. The resulting inflation will lead to new forms of violence against the minorities, much worse than what the author imagines.

    • 0

      One thing is sure: Marxists will have zero tolerance for the religious extremism of Sharia….of which majority of Muslims are not. And Marxists will not be tempted to balance country budgets by taking money from the radicals….no, they’ll balance budgets from the horded wealth of the Oligarchs.

  • 0

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  • 1

    Al Haj Latheef Farook

    The big question is whether pious Muslims will vote for a Candidate who has clearly stated that his party will fight for the rights of the oppressed LBGTIQ community.


    Does this then mean that under a future JVP Government, Male (and hopefully Female) Quazis will be required under a new MMDA to permit same-sex marriages ?

    What are your thoughts on this issue, Farook ?
    The Muslims cannot have it both ways, no ?

  • 2

    Between religion and Mother, Tong Muslims will give preference to Religion. Between mother tong and Arabic they will give preference to Arabic. Between minorities with whom they share the same language and the majority with whom, they have little to share, they will give preference to the Majority, not because they love them but to make hay while the Sun Shine and when they are unable to make hay they plant Date Palms at Kathankudi and make it a LITTLE ARABIA and build Universities?. When they are caught they cry foul. They are noted for a double game for personal glory and not for the welfare of their Community.

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