2 December, 2020

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Sri Lanka: Tweaking The Muslims

By R Hariharan

 Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Why Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is tweaking the Muslim community, which by and large had been his loyal political partner?

Since 2012 the Buddhist fringe organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has continued its attacks with impunity on individuals, institutions and businesses connected with Muslim cultural and religious practices and identity like places of worship, religious education, wearing of burkha, and Halal meat. Churches have also had their share of such hate campaigns.

In the latest infamous episode, last week BBS thugs disrupted a press conference organized by the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) in Colombo at which the JBS founder General Secretary Watareka Vijitha Thera had threatened to expose the BBS leader Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara. The JBS General Secretary had been leading a campaign against BBS attacks since 2013.

The BBS was founded by two monks – Kirama Wimalajothi and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasaara after they broke away from the right wing monks party the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) saying it was not militant enough in protecting Buddhism. So true to their sentiment the BBS has been militant since its start.

It has been thriving on the paranoia generated by the belief Sri Lanka is not a multi-religious country but a Sinhala Buddhist one. Its core theme appears to be that Sinhala Buddhist identity needs to be protected from the threat of Islam and Christianity. Islamic extremism which was never a reckonable threat in Sri Lanka has provided the BBS a convenient whipping horse thanks to Jihadi terrorism’s global record.

BBSAccording to an Associated Press report of January 14, 2014 at BBS rallies monks claim Muslims are out to recruit children, marry Buddhist women and divide the country. BBS monks make many accusations about Christian pastors making suicide bomb kits, Muslims taking children away to train in Pakistan without offering supporting evidence. It quoted the BBS General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara as saying “This is a Buddhist nation, so why are they trying to call it a multicultural society?Not everyone can live under the umbrella of a Buddhist culture.”

The BBS has been able to channelise the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist passions by providing visible manifestations of Islamic and Christian identity as targets to vent their anger. These include mosques and churches, Sunday schools, religious gatherings, religious injunctions like halal meat slaughtering and certification, and wearing of burkha by women. Some of BBS concerns like the demand for abolishing birth control measures and advice to Sinhalas to stop using them to have five to six children to increase the Sinhala population might appear bizarre.  But at least in some sections of people such demands are finding support.

By doing some deft tight rope walking between the two communities, Muslims have economically prospered. Some sections of Sinhalas and Tamils feel the Muslim have taken advantage of the period of LTTE insurgency when the Tamil business community was under siege. So there could be a class angle to the support extended to the BBS.

The BBS tactics seem to be working as its strength is growing in direct proportion to the heat generated by its message and the number of protests it organises against Muslims and to a lesser extent on Christians. In a show of strength, more than 1300 Buddhist monks and 15,000 people attended a BBS rally in Colombo on February 17, 2013.

In the year 2013, barely a year after it was founded in 2012, BBS carried out approximately 241 attacks against Muslims while Christians fared slightly better with 61 instances of attacks on them according to a report compiled by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

The 50-page SLMC report titled “Religious violence in Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka” was handed over to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs Navanetham Pillay by none other than the Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem, leader of the SLMC!

Mrs Navanetham Pillay, presumably drew upon the SLMC report  when she spoke at the last UNHRC session. In her oral report on Sri Lanka she spoke of the surge in incitement of hatred and violence against religious minorities, including attacks on churches and mosques, and lack of swift action against the perpetrators.

Apparently the success of BBS has unnerved the JHU which had considered itself as the sole protectors of Buddhism. It has added its penny’s worth to inciting anti-Muslim sentiments with its share of hate speeches. And other copy cat organizations of the BBS like the Ravana Balaya have come up to add to the mischief.

Many religious leaders including Buddhist prelates, civil society organisations and leaders of political and social spectrum have condemned the activities of BBS as a threat to national unity.  But at the same time, BBS’s theme and some of the demands have found support from some of the Island’s prestigious Buddhist religious heads like the Assigiriya Maha Nayake. Some educational institutions have banned the wearing of burkha by Muslim students.

It is difficult to imagine such acts of lawlessness taking place against a politically important minority community without the knowledge of the hands-on President Rajapaksa. Beyond appealing to the people for national unity, the President seems to have done little to ease the growing feeling of insecurity of Muslims and Christians.

One would have expected the President to take serious notice of BBS’ anti-Muslim activities particularly after the SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem had presented his report to the UNHRC. But Rajapaksa’s immediate response was to severely reprimand Rauf Hakeem for submitting such report to the UNHRC. Other partners of the UPFA coalition accused the Muslim minister for “washing dirty linen in the public.”

The official line trotted out to explain government inaction is ludicrous. In early 2014, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella called the anti-Muslim acts “minor agitations that are normal in any multicultural society.” According a report he said it was intended to encourage community members to work out their own problems adding “If things get more serious, we will take action…These kinds of things can ruin a nation, we are aware of that.”

The BBS is also involved in a slanging match with the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) led by Minister for Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen after the BBS accused of Muslims of illegally settling in Wilpattu forests. The activities of BBS seem to have unnerved Bathiudeen who had been a long term loyalist of President Rajapaksa. The ACMC rejoinder said the apparent impunity with which BBS was acting raised questions whether it was running ‘a parallel government’ like the LTTE during its existence. The ACMC called for a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ to look into post-war incidents against minorities in general and Muslims in particular.

The Minister for National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who had been critical of BBS, in a recent interview to Ceylon Today said it should be proscribed by law, as it was disrupting religious harmony in the country. He said the dormant attitude adopted by the police, especially with regard to the BBS and its actions, was due to the political immunity that the organization enjoyed through the intervention of a high-ranking government official.

Significantly he said, “I can clearly say that the BBS is enjoying support from a high-ranking State official. That is why its members are behaving in such a manner. Even the police are lenient towards them owing to this. There is someone impeding the police from carrying out investigations against the BBS.”

The Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had shown some interest in the BBS. He was the Chief Guest at the opening of Meth Sevana, the Buddhist Leadership Academy started by the BBS on March 9, 2013.

According to a media report the Defence Secretary in his speech on the occasion had said that he decided to attend the event “after realising its timely importance…. these Buddhist clergy who are engaged in a nationally important task should not be feared or doubted by anyone.” According to the BBS, it was Gotabaya who ensured products displaying Halal certification were withdrawn from the market.

Whether he would support the BBS’ unsavoury activities, unless it is a part of a political agenda is the moot question.

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka is barely two million strong, forming just 10 percent of the island’s population. Most of them speak Tamil, and like Sri Lanka Tamils, have links with their brethren across the Palk Strait in Tamil Nadu. Muslims, like other Tamil speaking minority, are divided vertically and horizontally along sectarian, and class and occupational affinities.

Despite these limitations they have been great survivors – both politically and socially – during the difficult years when they had to survive the LTTE-led Tamil insurgency. In fact, they had developed the fine art of survival not only in the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers but between the two major parties – the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

It is evident Muslim political partners of President Rajapaksa are feeling frustrated sy the failure of the government to rein in BBS and curb its anti Muslim agenda. If unchecked, the President runs the risk of alienating the Muslim community. Together with the Tamils who already feel let down by Rajapaksa, the two communities make about 20 percent of the national vote share which is vital for success in the Presidential poll.

Can the President afford to alienate these votes with the hope of increasing his support among Southern Sinhalas?

Of course, continued government inaction in checking the BBS’ free run would also belie the government’s sincerity in attending to minority concerns. And it is not going to help Sri Lanka’s case at the UNHRC when it seriously takes up implementing the resolution.

So what is the larger political agenda at work in allowing space for Sinhala chauvinist activities of the BBS kind?  People of Sri Lanka would start demanding answer for this question from the President when the time comes.

*Col R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence officer, served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka as Head of Intelligence. He is associated with the Chennai Centre for China Studies and the South Asia Analysis Group. E-Mail: colhari@yahoo.com   Blog: www.colhariharan.org

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Latest comments

  • 11
    7

    When Muslims are tweaked around they tend to get stronger in faith. Perhaps this is a call for Muslims in Sri Lanka to build bridges across the seas with the brethren of 1.9 billion Muslims around the world.

    Had Allah willed, He could have made them one community, but Allah bringeth whom He will into His mercy. And the wrong-doers have no friend nor helper. (The Noble Quran 42:8) Or have they chosen protecting friends besides Him? But Allah, He (alone) is the Protecting Friend. He quickeneth the dead, and He is Able to do all things. (The Noble Quran 42:9) And in whatsoever ye differ, the verdict therein belongeth to Allah. Such is my Lord, in Whom I put my trust, and unto Whom I turn. (The Noble Quran 42:10) The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He hath made for you pairs of yourselves, and of the cattle also pairs, whereby He multiplieth you. Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer. (The Noble Quran 42:11)

    • 7
      2

      R Hariharan

      “The BBS was founded by two monks – Kirama Wimalajothi and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasaara after they broke away from the right wing monks party the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) saying it was not militant enough in protecting Buddhism. So true to their sentiment the BBS has been militant since its start.

      This says what Sinhala Monk Mahanama “Buddhism” is.

      1. Racism.

      2. Intolerance

      This has nothing to do with Buddhist Dhamma.

      Have you asked why there are no Tamil Buddhists in Lanka, whereas in India, every state, Including Tamil Nadu has Buddhists?

      • 2
        5

        There are Tamil Buddhists in Jaffna they were harassed by LTTE and Catholics. There is even a Tamil Buddhist organization in Jaffna.

      • 3
        1

        …The BBS was founded by two monks – Kirama Wimalajothi and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasaara…
        with the tacit support of the regime

    • 4
      0

      Regardless of what the Holy Qaran has to say on the matter the idea that in this day and age using violence as a means of protecting your faith, is counter productive.

      The battle for hearts and minds can only be waged by subtle means. A child of buddhist parents seeing a buddhist monk indulge in acts of violence only creates a negative impression in the child regarding buddhisms.

      If anything christians and muslims ought to fund the BBS, encourage more violence and the BBS will to do the job of conversion without them knowing it.

      Christians and muslims don’t need mosques and churches to keep their faith alive. The faith is based on much more than buildings.

      So fund the BBS and watch how monks slowly strip buddhism of its dignity.

    • 0
      4

      Islam is a false religion, [Edited out]

      • 3
        1

        Voice of the Christ,

        “Islam is a false religion, [Edited out]”

        Christianity and other religions are false Myth based religions.

        Sam Harris demolishes Christianity

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSdGr4K4qLg

        Uploaded on Jan 20, 2012
        Sam Harris decimates the arguments of Divine Command Theory and Christian doctrine based upon it.

        Read, God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

        The God Delusion Debate – Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox (previ

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBbBenCTTwE

        Uploaded on Jun 29, 2010
        “Darwin’s Rottweiler is about to get a run for his money…” – BBC

        The God Delusion, the world-wide best-seller by atheist and scientist Prof. Richard Dawkins, is an all-out assault on religion in general and Christianity in particular. One year after its publication, fellow Oxford Professor John Lennox met Dawkins in Birmingham, Alabama to put his assertions to the test in a clash between two of the greatest minds in the science-religion debate.

        Remaining true to our goal of engaging secular culture on critical issues in a thoughtful, respectful manner, Fixed Point Foundation sponsored The God Delusion Debate. The debate pits Dawkins against his Oxford University colleague Professor John Lennox, who is both a scientist and a Christian theologian. In this, his first visit to the so-called “Bible Belt,” Dawkins debates his views as expressed in The God Delusion and their validity over and against the Christian faith. The event garnered national and international attention from The Times of London, NPR, BBC, Christian Post, and Fox News Network. Spectator Magazine called the debate “remarkable,” and still others have called it historic.

        The God Delusion Debate was filmed on before a sold-out crowd at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Center and broadcast live to a global audience of over one million.

        For the full debate, see http://www.fixed-point.org .

      • 2
        0

        sadly the Founder of Christianity is St paul and not Jesus(PBUH).It itself Talks volume who is faking whom

        • 0
          0

          Christianity is Henry V111

    • 2
      1

      Why Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is tweaking the Muslim community?

      Because muslims don’t vote for racist MaRa. They vote for UNP, SLMC. MaRa loose elections in highly muslim populated areas.
      MaRa is like a cobra. never forgive those who don’t support him. This is how MaRa teach a lesson to muslims.

    • 0
      0

      Anti muslim feeling is a worldwide one BBS is just capitalising on it.1.9 billion muslims ? how can you combine shia (500 million) ,ismali and other sects. Of the 1.9 billion muslims more than half survive on united nations food assistance.

  • 26
    5

    The biggest terrorist is not Gnanasara it is Mahinda Rajapakse himself. Everybody knows that and the whole world knows how he is behaving through these controversies and how he’s not taking action against any of these things BECAUSE, he’s the 33rd degree Master of this EVIL SYSTEM.

    Its really a cool matter finally to know that Mahinda is actually the high point and the epitome of Sinhala Racist project that was started by Satan with a Vampire look – Anagarika aDharmapala.

    This proves that Buddhism is dead instead Fascism is presented as the “Sinhala Bauddhaya” as propunded by the evil A. aDharmapala.

    DS/BANDA/SIRIMAVO/JR were all THUGS from the high caste lot including the Anagarika aAdharmapala. AT the last final closing stage of the Sinhala Buddhdist project an all out REALTIME thug became the President- Mahinda.

    He has a history of thug activities and land grab to murder through D.R.Rajapakse and their entire family lot before and after him.

    A Thug and robber will never become an ordinary person. He will live a Thug and die a thug.

    • 12
      3

      Ghost of Past,

      You are absolutely correct!

      “The world now sees Sri Lanka as Thugistan or thugs land,” the UNP MP, Managala Samaraweera, a one time Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, said.

      No point in discussing further about Sri lanka – it is a basket case.

      • 1
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        Thuggery is better than Killing! No more killing in Sri Lanka!

        • 0
          1

          What an idiot you are, do you think thugs make love? They do kill in large numbers too like your mafia bosses Mahinda and Gotapaiya.

    • 4
      1

      Ghost

      “The biggest terrorist is not Gnanasara it is Mahinda Rajapakse himself.”

      Is he on the Terrorist List?

      If not add him.

      • 3
        1

        Thiru & Amarasiri….

        Yes, there’s nothing for us to discuss. You’re right.
        It is NOW the problem of the Sinhala Masses to stop the damage done to Buddhism by this very same criminals who call themselves as “The Real Sinhala Royal bloodline” according to the bum-suck actor Jackson Anthony.

        Amarasiri,
        Is he on the Terrorist List? …..
        YES, he will soon be on the list. The real game will start once the Indian election over and the Sonia is kicked out. Or Sonia will be made bend down to TN politics.

        Already, UKRAINE has started to burn. This bugger of a President congratulated PUTIN for annexing Crimea. The Jewish,Ukrainian and Tatars in Crimea are looking for the support lent by the countries in recognising their land grab by Russia.

        Soon, Mahinda will see a TSUNAMI tiding over his muck filled head.

        Let’s watch the show and have a KIT-KAT!

    • 1
      0

      The demo against Watarekke Vijitha thero today was was organised by the terror brothers Rajapakse and co. I endorse that MR is the biggest Terrorist.

  • 15
    3

    Gandasara is performing the last rites for Buddhism in its pristine form. What will remain is a theocracy dominated by yellow robed mudalalis and thugs.

  • 5
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 7
      0

      Thana Kolla, what were you trying to say? You should extend your comments to the Daily Noise!

      • 0
        0

        Mike, you stupid [Edited out]

  • 1
    2

    “….In fact, they had developed the fine art of survival not only in the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers but between the two major parties – the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)….”

    Col.Hariharan is very kind enough to say that it is an “art of Survival” about the Muslim politics in SL. People may say he is a true gentleman for this statement about Muslims of SL.
    But both Tamils and Sinhalese laymen another widley used term for this “art of survival”. It is called “thipi piraddi”. Since Col Hariharan is domiciled in Tamil Nadu, I think he will understand the true meaning of “thippi Piraddi”

  • 10
    3

    Its quite puzzling isn’t it? Mahinda Rajapakse seems to avoid clashing with BBS.

    It could be a fear of people who are dimwitted, outspoken and brash. It could also indicate a strategy not to give undue importance to public nuisances.

    Tolerating equally bad mouthed Mervin Silva seems to indicate some kind of strategy.

    Moslem leaders for their part have shown incredible maturity and patience despite the provocation. There is a school of thought that says BBS is not misbehaving to protect Buddhism. Its in fact doing the exact opposite being on a payroll of someone.

    • 9
      0

      “…BBS is not misbehaving to protect Buddhism.IIt is in fact doing the exact opposite being on the payroll of someone”
      This comment has a lot of credance .
      Every one knows who the paymaster is.
      But who is going to checkmate him?
      Have you got the spunk to give it a try?

      • 9
        2

        Every one knows who the paymaster is.

        Why don’t you say who it is without dithering? Also speculate why and for what objective. Lets see how smart you are.

  • 6
    1

    Readers,wait and see that Mr. MR will definitely do something to halt the extremism of BBS to satisfy the king makers at least for sometime just before the public announcement of either the presidential or general election to come in order to trick and snatch the votes of Tamil speaking communities, the king makers, until he is elected.But his technique will not work out this time since everybody, specially the king makers,have been experiencing the dictatorship democracy since Mr. MR had been elected to the leadership of the country and have firm decision in toppling him from the chair of the country.

  • 7
    2

    Colonel: the answer to your opening question “Why Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is tweaking the Muslim community, which by and large had been his loyal political partner?” is very easy. Any Sri Lankan political leader if asked to chose between a yellow robe, a Christian, a Muslim and a Hindu will opt for the yellow robe. No prizes for that no-brainer. To a hard nosed Sri Lankan politician, minorities are expendable. The core of the Sinhala-Buddhist electorate hang on to just one comfort; will this leader safeguard and protect my religion – regardless of the current mob of yellow-clad trouble makers. The Rajapaksa’s are nothing if not self-preserving and they will wriggle and turn every which way to avoid giving any impression that they will betray ANYTHING in a yellow robe – however distasteful the behaviour.

    • 15
      3

      Spring Koha

      July 1983, Sri Lanka…

      “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people… now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion… the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here… Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.”
      – President J.R.Jayawardene, Daily Telegraph, July 1983

      http://blackjuly.info/quotestext.html

      In other words if people of minority origin are mercilessly massacred in their thousands Sinhala/Buddhists are be happy and vote for the war criminals. That is what MR did and Sinhala/Buddhists have been very happy to vote for him. What JR said MR followed it to the letter.

      • 4
        3

        Hey there Naive,

        President J.R.Jayawardene, Daily Telegraph, July 1983

        JRJ was an intelligent man. That is why your quote is suspect.

        Can you cite the which Daily Telegraph/country or origin and date please?

        cheers

        • 2
          0

          Vibhushana

          “I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people… now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion… the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here… Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.”

          J.R.Jayawardene, Former President of Sri Lanka – Daily Telegraph, UK, 11th July 1983

          “JRJ was an intelligent man. That is why your quote is suspect.”

          Who says so?

          The old fox thought he was clever and you stupid people believed him.

          Another opportunist, JR contributed to the long term destruction of this island, with his Kelaniya to Kandy Pada Yatra.

          Indra caught him by his b***s. His heart and mind followed her diktat. Any man with a semblance of intelligence would not have dare clang his b***s in front of Mrs Gandhi.

        • 1
          1

          Hi Vibushana

          how old are you. were you born in 1983 or were you a toddler?
          are you still a child?
          all you have to do is googel and you will find great depth of information.

          just google the phrase “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people”

        • 1
          0

          Vibushana: JRJ, for all his intelligence, was a quivering wreck in the first few days of the July 1983 debacle. Those at 66 Ward Place saw this man (to whom the turning man into woman and vice versa was the only impossibility) hesitant and despairing and a nervous wreck when it was evident that his orders to the armed forces were being ignored. It did take many days for him to regain his characteristic poise and bluff (and the arrival of Ravi helped). This was the turning point, I think, when Elina came to the opinion that the old fox was, after all, not immortal, and that his days were numbered, and steered him towards thinking of retirement.

      • 0
        1

        Native,

        I write to Daily Telegraphy UK and obtained a copy of this article a few years back. JRJ indeed said those exact words. I also got a CD with a copy of it.

        JRJ was intelligent alright but he also a downright chauvinist; I comfortably say that he was the architect of the ethnic divide and 30 year war in Sri Lanka. He could have avoided the 1983 pogrom but he wanted to teach the Tamils a lesson! One can be intelligence but not necessarily a visionary!

        • 1
          0

          Burning_Issue

          thanks

          Could you forward both to CT so that they could find a way to upload it here, would be useful to many.

          • 0
            1

            Could you forward both to CT so that they could find a way to upload it here, would be useful to many.

            I agree. Please upload the article.

            • 1
              0

              Vibhushana

              “I agree. Please upload the article.”

              Beware, it could be a C4 doctored CD.

            • 3
              0

              Vibhushana

              This translation of a poetry was sent to me by a friend who thinks I ought to learn Tamil wisdom. Earlier you claimed to be an expert on Sangam Litrature. Is it true you know in and out of all Sangam work? If true can you translate this poem back to Tamil and identify the poet? No need for you to avoid this forum if you are not what you claimed to be.

              To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
              Life’s good comes not form others’ gift, nor ill
              Man’s pains and pains’ relief are from within.
              Death’s no new thing; nor do our bosoms thrill
              When Joyous life seems like a luscious draught.
              When grieved, we patient suffer; for, we deem
              This much – praised life of ours a fragile raft
              Borne down the waters of some mountain stream
              That o’er huge boulders roaring seeks the plain
              Tho’ storms with lightnings’ flash from darken’d skies
              Descend, the raft goes on as fates ordain.
              Thus have we seen in visions of the wise ! –
              We marvel not at greatness of the great;
              Still less despise we men of low estate.

          • 0
            0

            Native,

            I need to search for the CD and the copy of the article; it was about 3 years ago I contacted the London Daily Telegraphy. I paid £15 for the copy!

            I quote below from The Nation; an article written by KKS Perera:

            http://www.nation.lk/edition/news-features/item/19230-a-result-of-government’s-inaction?-part-i.html

            “..I am not worried about the opinion of Jaffna people now… Now we can’t think of them. Not about their lives or of their opinions about us. …The more you put pressure in the North, the happier the Sinhalese people will be here…”
            –Daily Telegraph-July 11, 1983

            I purposefully avoided Tamil sources.

            • 1
              0

              Burning_Issue

              According to my Elders there was similar sentiments expressed by JR and subsequently by Gamini in the aftermath of 1977 riots. It seems it was broadcast on Radio during or few days after the riots had started.

              This is what I found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_riots_in_Sri_Lanka

              Could you let me know if you have access to the original report

              1977 riots in Sri Lanka

              Questioned in Parliament by Amirthalingam, Prime Minister Jayewardene was defiant, blaming the riots on the TULF:

              “People become restive when they hear that a separate state is to be formed. Whatever it is, when statements of that type are made, the newspapers carry them throughout the island, and when you say that you are not violent, but that violence may be used in time to come, what do you think the other people in Sri Lanka will do? How will they react? If you want to fight, let there be a fight; if it is peace, let there be peace; that is what they will say. It is not what I am saying. The people of Sri Lanka say that.”

  • 3
    2

    There is a surge of religious chauvinism in South Asia especially in India and Sri Lanka. Pakistan of course has been encircled tightly by the grip of the Talaben and its only a matter of time before it becomes a fullyfledged islamic society. India will see the emergence of a new right wing government after the elctions. Hindu extremists are poised to assert thir will while in Sri Lanka we see the BBS with tacit government support flexing its muscles. The secular character of ruling regimes of the past seems to be gone for ever or for a long time to come. Such a phenomenon is most unfortunate especillay when these extremist trends recieve legitimate support in elections. This is the negative side of democracy.

    • 0
      0

      Vareeswaran
      India is secular becoz of majority of people follow Hindu religion. Critics who prophesised disintegration of India were proved wrong atleast until now and I guess reason is glue called Hindu religion. Sure there is abohorent casteism and I guess that’s more to do with some monsters rather than the religion. Hindu extremist is oxymoron….

  • 1
    0

    Perhaps it is to win Modi Mahathayyas sympathies?

  • 3
    4

    AT LEAST BBS IS THEIR TO PROTECT US OTHER WISE SRO LANKA WILL BE A ANOTHER NIGERIA VERY SOON.

  • 4
    1

    The time has come for the people of the land to strip Gonsara Thero of his robe in public as the Mahanayakes’s are not doing it. If the law enforcement agencies are not doing their job it becomes the job of the public to take law to their hands!

  • 2
    1

    Colonel:

    Tweaking the Muslim Community is a trade mark of MR. It amounts to Swinging the Cot ( Giving Comfort to BBS ) and pinching the infant ( Tweaking the Muslims.
    Then again it might be to test if the Muslims show any signs of feeling the pain.

  • 3
    1

    The Muslims on the whole are doing very well in Sri Lanka. While the Tamils took to the guns the Muslims took to the books, and the young women who were kept hidden away behind curtains in the past, are now at university.

    There is also an unfortunate segment of Muslims in the Puttalam area and another languishing on the beaches on the Eastern coast. The former were the result of the ethnic cleansing of the Northern Province, by the “self-appointed” “sole-representative of the Tamil-speaking peoples” otherwise known as the LTTE terrorists. Their property deeds were confiscated and they were forced to leave with just the clothes on their backs.

    it cannot be denied that there have been a few unfortunate incidents against the Muslims but there is no need to inflate their numbers or the gravity. The evicted Muslims numbering in excess of 200000 in the Puttalam area alone need to be returned to their original homes, but to Wigneswaran it seems a low priority. His first priority seems to be find a suitable Tamil name for a lane in Wellawatte.

    • 0
      2

      Hare Rama
      Hare Krishna
      Hare Allah Allah

    • 4
      1

      Ramu

      Read the excerpt below then make up your mind whether you want the truth to be out in the open or live a life of a habitual pathological liar.

      The Displaced Northern Muslims of Sri Lanka: Special Problems and the
      Future

      ARM Imtiyaz
      Temple University, USA

      MCM Iqbal
      Sri Lanka Civil Service (retired)

      Journal of Asian and African Studies

      © The Author(s) 2011
      Reprints and permission: sagepub.
      co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav

      “There is no official estimation of the numbers of expelled Muslims from all of the Districts in the Northern Province. Some say it could be around 60,000.9 But some Muslim opinions give different numbers and put the number of Muslims from the North affected by the Tamil Tigers’ action as high as 100,000. However, according to a report published by Department of Census and Statistics, Census on Population and Housing, Colombo, 1981, the entire Muslim population of the Northern Province in 1981 was 50,831 (Jaffna District – 12,958; Mannar District – 27,717;
      Vavuniya District – 6,505; and Mullativu District – 3,651).10

      If the figure of 100,000 displaced Muslims, as the Tamil opinion points to, is to be believed,one of two demographic miracles must have happened in Jaffna between 1980 and 1990. First, there should have been a large scale immigration of Muslim population into Jaffna region between 1980 and 1990. Or second, an unprecedented birth of Muslim babies should have occurred for 10 years due to some kind of divine blessing.1

      Any reasonable-thinking Sri Lankans, including Muslims, were aware that neither of the two miracles had happened; therefore, it is misleading to put the expelled Northern Muslim number as high as 100,000.”

      http://new.sangam.org/2011/08/Displaced_Muslims.pdf

      Excerpts from:

      PROFILE OF INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT :
      SRI LANKA

      Compilation of the information available in the Global IDP
      Database of the Norwegian Refugee Council
      (as of 7 March, 2005)

      “The majority of the displaced people in the above districts were Tamils, but in late October 1990, approximately 75,000 Muslims of the Northern Province were driven out of the province by the LTTE.”
      (The Refugee Council, September 2003, pp. 17-21)

      http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/407e6e9c2.pdf

      • 0
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        The Muslims are NOT known to practise celibacy unlike the Hindu sadhus. It is now 24 years since the ethnic cleansing. The numbers I have quoted are without doubt an underestimate. The Muslim property deeds are no longer with them. Do the Land Registry records exist or were they destroyed by the “sole representatives of the Tamil speaking peoples”, who found the Muslims unfit to live amongst them?. The Chilaw Puttalam area which used to be almost exclusively Christian is now awash with Muslims. Sadly, the Muslim MPs don’t seem to take their plight seriously. I wonder whether this is because they have a ‘better’ life in this area than they ever did among their Tamil speaking brethren in the North. It seems exposure of these facts is NOT convenient to those who still pretend that “Tamil speaking peoples” are a unique group.

        Whatever the reason, their properties need to be returned to them, and they should be returned and rehoused in their old abodes. They could NOT take part in the recent Provincial elections which were hailed as a great success by the likes Wigneswaran who are quite happy to let them remain where they are.

        It is also obvious that the Colombo Telegraph has rather loose standards as to to who could use these columns. It is time they removed the utterly uncultured ‘contributors’ like kali from here. Those who cannot use civil language DO NOT have anything useful to contribute.

  • 1
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    Ram you idiot:

    What you are saying is that all the adversities faced by them in Sinhala Lanka the Sri Lankan Muslims have great advances compared to fellow Muslims in other Countries. You can only put it down to the Generosity of the Sinhalese.

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    Hari haran is preaching in Sri Lanka.

    What is happening in India ?

  • 2
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    Col. Hariharan,
    Of late, India is neither here nor there. Do you know that you guys have made India no friend of any country. Many of us just mock you.

    • 3
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      Banda

      Could we now discuss

      Jane Russell’s

      “Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution 1931 – 1947″

  • 0
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    The President can’t control the mad monk , he has to shut up and create some other trouble to focus on, fearing BBS will come out with his involvement in the new terror organisation.

  • 4
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    What I find so disheartening is none of the Bishops and Archbishops have uttered a single word about the attack on
    Christian churches by these mad monks. If they profess to be the guardians of the Christian Community in SL, why do we see a deafening silence from them.?. Are they scared of white vans?. Don’t they know that early Christians were
    thrown to the lions for professing to be Christians during the time when Rome was at the height of its power.
    Shame on you Bishops and the Archbishops and the other Christian clergy for your despicable silence.

    • 1
      1

      Leon

      “What I find so disheartening is none of the Bishops and Archbishops have uttered a single word about the attack on Christian churches by these mad monks’

      They learned from the Popes and how they interacted with the Nazis and Hitler during World War 2.

      The communists and socialists had better ethics than the Christians.

      After all Hitler was Catholic, and so was the Pope.

      http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/02/08/german-catholic-churchs-complicity-in-the-destruction-of-the-jews-book-notes-betrayal.htm

      German Catholic Church’s Complicity in the Destruction of the Jews (Book Notes: Betrayal)

      The mass murder of Jews in Germany, as well as throughout Europe, is generally attributed to the Nazis – but committed Nazis in the German government could not have achieved what they did alone. They had to have help from others throughout society and a source of significant, critical help was the Catholic Church. Yes, the Catholic Church was actively complicit in the mass murder of Jews.

      In Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust, edited by Robert P. Ericksen and Susannah Heschel, Guenter Lewy writes in his article “Piux XII, the Jews, and the German Catholic Church”:

      As early as 1934 the Church had made clear to the Nazi government that the enactment of a law forbidding racially mixed marriages would create a very difficult situation. In the eyes of the Church, the German bishops pointed out in a memorandum, every Catholic, whether born to a pure German or to a racially mixed marriage, whether baptized as a child or as an adult, was equally entitled to the sacraments. Hence if two baptized persons of racially mixed stock insisted on being married by a priest, the latter would have to comply, even if the state were to have prohibited such a union.
      This response is correct from the perspective of Catholic tradition. However anti-Semitic individual Catholics and individual Catholic priests may have been, Catholic doctrine and law required all baptized Catholics to be treated equally, regardless of whether they were born Catholic or something else — even Jewish. This is the principle which the Catholic Church was supposed to follow and should have followed; when it came right down to it, however, the principle was basically ignored:

      This, however, is precisely what the state soon did, for one of the practical results of the so-called Nuremberg laws of September 15, 1935, was to make it illegal for two Catholics to marry when one was considered racially “non-Aryan” under the standards set up by the law. (Since the persecution of the Jews had led to many new conversions to the Catholic religion, the number of such marriages was undoubtedly rising at the time). The central office of information of the German episcopate in Berlin reported in September 1935 that earlier Catholic couples of racially mixed descent had been traveling to England to get married there, but now even those marriages had become illegal, and the Church had a very serious problem on its hands. What did it do?

      In some instances priests circumvented the law by using a provision of the Concordat of 1933 which, in cases of “great moral emergency,” permitted a church marriage without a preceding civil ceremony, but by and large the church conformed to the law, bowing to what earlier it had termed an inadmissible infringement of its spiritual jurisdiction.
      It’s great that some priests defied the law, though they only did so under the cover of a provision of the Concordat. If there hadn’t been such a provision, would have gone ahead anyway on the argument that Catholic doctrine permits such marriages and the state has no authority to block them? Given the fact that most priests didn’t even try to do this much, it’s unlikely that many priests would have stood up to the state at all without this modest form of cover.

      Thus, the Catholic Church caved in with barely a peep of protest. Marriages which should have been perfectly valid according to Catholic doctrine were refused because the Nazi government didn’t approve of “mixed” marriages. Did the Catholic Church give up its principles in order to placate the government? Given the absence of real protest, it’s perhaps more likely that they never thought very much of that principle to begin with. It sounds like they followed the Nazi lead because they approved of what the Nazis were doing and what they wanted.

      And what does this have to do with the mass murder of Jews?

      A decree of April 7, 1933, which resulted in the discharge of numerous Catholic civil servants, had also provided for the dismissal of all Jews, except veterans of the First World War, from the civil service. Henceforth, anyone applying for government employment — and soon for various other positions as well — had to submit proof that he was not a Jew. Since prior to 1874-76 births had been registerer only by the churches, the latter were asked to help in determining who was or was not fully Aryan, for under Nazi law this depended on the racial (i.e., religious) status of parents and grandparents.

      The Church cooperated as a matter of course, complaining only that priests already overburdened with work were not receiving compensation for this special service to the state. The very question of whether the Church should lend its help to the Nazi state in sorting out people of Jewish descent was never debated. On the contrary, “We have always unselfishly worked for the people without regard to gratitude or ingratitude,” a priest wrote in the Klerusblatt in September of 1934, “We shall also do our best to help in this service to the people.” And the cooperation of the Church in this matter continued right through the War years when the price of being Jewish was no longer dismissal from a government job and loss of livelihood, but deportation and outright physical destruction. [emphasis added]
      The Catholic Church knew who was and was not a “Jew” according to Nazi racial standards. The Catholic Church knew whose parents and grandparents were originally Jews and only later converted to Catholicism. According to Nazi racial standards, a person whose grandparents had been born Jews and later converted was still technically a Jew, even if they and their parents had never known anything other than German Christianity.

      People like this, and millions more, were slated first for official discrimination and later extermination. The Catholic Church helped the state achieve this. The Catholic Church helped the Nazis identify Jews for the purpose of discrimination. Later, the Catholic Church helped the Nazis identify Jews for arrest, deportation, and extermination.

      A few priests must have balked at this and done something to thwart the Nazi agenda, but there was no official protest or refusal to help. A few priests must have had the courage to refuse to help the Nazis identify Jews for extermination, but it appears most did not. Even worse, there was no official protest over this — the only thing which Catholic officials really protested was the fact that the priests weren’t being paid to help exterminate their Jewish neighbors and parishioners.

      Priests were willing to assist mass murder for free, but given how much work they already had they would have preferred that the state compensate them for their help. Fair is fair, right?

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        ” law forbidding racially mixed marriages would create a very difficult situation “

        Mixed marriages between a ‘Jew’ and ANY OTHER is today banned in Israel.

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    the exodus of over 500,000 people from Jaffna, by Nirupama Subramaniyam

    CT does NOT allow direct links to be published. So work it out.
    at thehindu.com
    /todays-paper/tp-business/exodus-and-eviction-in-sri-lankas-civil-war/article3014188.ece

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