By Latheef Farook –
Sri Lanka’s abstention from voting on UNESCO resolution on Israeli atrocities on Masjid Al Aqsa: Insults island’s Muslims and Muslims worldwide
On Thursday 13 October 2016 Sri Lanka, once a strong defender of brutalised Palestinian rights, abstained from voting on UNESCO resolution which deprecated Israeli violations in and around the al-Haram al-Sharif, Masjid Al Aqsa, compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
This shocking U Turn in the island’s once proud and respected neutral foreign policy, insults the island’s Muslims and around 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide who always stood by the island especially during times of adversity though successive governments and the mainstream media failed to recognise or appreciate.
What was further shocking is that in its drive to please US and Israel, the government has dismissed the Muslim community’s unstinted support which played a decisive role in bringing UNP government to power after losing more than two dozen elections.
In its resolution UNESCO, (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has strongly condemned “the escalating Israeli aggression, its illegal measures and called on “Israel, the occupying power, to respect the historic status quo and to immediately stop these measures.”
The resolution also criticized the “continuous storming of Haram al-Sharif by the Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces. “The resolution ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, used only Muslim names for the Jerusalem Old City holy sites and was harshly critical of Israel for what it termed “provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity” of the area.
The resolution starts by affirming the “importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions,” but then goes on to accuse Israel — which it consistently calls “the occupying power” — of a long list of wrongdoings. The text “firmly deplores the continuous storming” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram AL Sharif — Muslim names for the Temple Mount compound and the mosque located there — “by Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces.”
It also decries Israeli works in the Western Wall Plaza, which it terms the al-Burak plaza after the Muslim name for the site.
Masjid Al Aqsa remains the third holiest place in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. Thus is it is dear to the hearts of every Muslim in the world. Ever since Israel occupied Jerusalem in June 1967 war of aggression Israel has unleashed unprecedented violence against Palestinian worshippers to Al Aqsa.
According to Ma’am News Agency “Palestinians come under routine fierce attacks as they attempt with their bare hands, sticks and stones to prevent repeated violent assaults by Israeli occupation forces into Jerusalem’s mosque compound. The violence comes as Israeli-backed Jewish extremist groups bent on destroying Al Aqsa mosque, and construct a Jewish “Third Temple” in its place.
Israeli forces injuring worshippers by firing stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets remain a daily occurrence. The Jerusalem Municipality and government ministries directly fund and support these extremists showing the official support to this hooliganism.
One tactic Israel has used more frequently to facilitate the incursions is to issue banning orders against Palestinian volunteers whose goal is to maintain a constant presence at the compound.
The next step many fear could be a physical partition of the compound between Jews and Muslims, following the model Israel imposed on the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron after the 1994 massacre by an American-born Jewish settler who killed 29 Palestinian men and boys who were performing Ramadan prayers.
The UNESCO resolution is to uphold justice and condemn the lawlessness and atrocities of the Israeli occupation forces.
Under such circumstance abstaining from voting for this resolution means the Sri Lankan government has dismissed justice and discarded the just cause of Palestinians and Muslims worldwide in its drive to support Israeli lawlessness and barbarity. The irony is that Israel is an entity established in violation of all moral, legal and ethical principles cherished by humanity throughout the ages has committed more than 60 massacres of Palestinians.
Sri Lanka’s abstention is not something unexpected in view of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s pro-western mind-set. In fact he was one of the few prime ministers in the world who refused to condemn America’s illegal invasion and destruction of oil rich Iraq in 2003 and the massacre of more than a million and half innocent Iraqi.
It was said by many that when UNP Muslim parliamentarians tried to condemn the American invasion of Iraq Mr Wickremasinghe had asked them to do so after leaving the government.
In the 1960s and 1970s Sri Lankan voice was highly respected in all third world forums for its support to oppressed people worldwide in their struggle for freedom. Under the circumstance the need of the hour is to reestablish the image of Sri. This cannot be achieved by rolling red carpet to war criminals.
For more than six decades Israelis tried many time to sneak into the island but were expelled time and again by successive Sri Lankan government.
It was defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, so called champion of Palestinians rights, opened the door for Zionist presence here. Zionists grabbed the opportunity. They got President Mahinda Rajapaksa, then Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and a parliamentary delegation led by then Leader of the House Nimal Sripala De Silva to visit Israel. Since then several ministers and top officials visited Israel. Certainly a great achievement for Israel.
This policy continues with greater intensity today. Since assuming office the UNP led government has opened the island to Zionist Jews whose global agenda is to destroy and eliminate Islam and Muslims worldwide. Under such circumstance they are not here to help Sri Lanka in any way but to implement their designs which would turn the country into a killing field.
They are so successful that they got even President Maithripala Sirisena to visit the holocaust museum in Germany- exploited by Zionist Jews as a weapon to win sympathy to establish their racist state of Israel in Palestine with US-European support. Perhaps President Sirisena was not aware of the seriousness and the implications of this visit.
The present international political scenario is for US, Britain and Europe to destroy the Middle East, under the guise of fighting war on terrorism, to create Greater Israel. The RSS government in India whose declared agenda is to eliminate Islam and Muslims from India has joined US-European-Israeli – Axis.
Indications are that Sri Lanka is also being absorbed into this Axis.
However despite Sri Lanka throwing its weight behind this AXIS the island was not flooded with foreign investment. Instead continues to depend on remittance mainly from Sri Lankan expatriates from the Gulf state without which the economy may even collapse.
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