By Mohammed Jehan Khan –
Sri Lanka was once known as the exotic resort of the Indian Ocean and known to many European tourists as the ‘Nation of Smiling People’. However, recent incidents that took place in Aluthgama and Beruwala (engineered by the government backed yellow goons) gave this nation somewhat more scary monikers and bloodier epithets.
So what really is the problem? The problem is a ‘Nazi‘ one, introducing Aryan myth to a religion that defies racism. Like many Nazis some radical and extremist elements in the country think they are above everything, they are superior to everything and every resource belongs to them. The speech of Galagodaaththe Gnanasara that triggered violence in Aluthgama reminds me of the ‘Sportsplast‘ Speech of Hitler on September 4, 1940. Hitler squawked before his brainwashed followers:
“If the British drop two, three or four thousand kilos of bombs, then we will now drop 150,000, 180,000, 230,000, 300,000 or 400,000 kilos, or more, in one night. If they declare that they will attack our cities on a large scale, we will erase theirs!”
And between each sentence, they chanted “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”, and as soon as he raised his hand, they stopped.
Compare this to Gnanasara’s speech:
“If one marakkalaya (Muslim) lays a hand on a Sinhalese that will be the end of all of them”.
And between each sentence, they chanted “Saadu, Saadu, Saadu”.
It is therefore clear that these bald headed extremists do not differ from Nazis and are cruel to those who oppose their ideologies.
In Sri Lanka the liberty of belief, faith and worship as enshrined in the constitution has been implemented by incorporating the fundamental rights of all citizens to “Freedom of Religion” and “Equality”. It is therefore proved that every citizen of this country has his own freedom to follow his religion and has equal rights to the majority Sinhalese.
Sri Lanka is a multi religious, multi cultural and multi ethnic country. All the major religions in the country viz; Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism teach their followers to imbibe the love of truth, faith in God and love for all human beings. Yet some radical elements in the country have developed ethno-centric attitudes and peculiar racist attitudes regarding their own religion and race.
Today Buddhism, the opiate of the majority mass, denigrates people through communal violence, riots at the behest of political parties and their unscrupulous leaders.
Democracy, although the most popular concept of this century, has not proved itself a success in this country. The government and the local media always have this tendency to look beyond the rights of the minority. The Aluthgama incident bears witness to this, since four days have passed and the perpetrators have not been brought to justice and Gnanasara and his gang freely roam the length and breadth of the country.
What happened in Aluthgama and Beruwala were not some isolated incidents. They are an outcome of a series of events that metamorphosed followed by the attack of Dambulla mosque on April 20, 2012. Late last year, a similar mob also led by Buddhist monks destroyed another Muslim place of worship in Grandpass, Colombo 14, under the watchful eyes of Police officers.
The government which continued to claim concern for protecting the rights and freedom of the minority population repeatedly failed to put the culprits behind bars. It was a well planned and engineered exercise by the racists to destroy the economic prosperity of Muslims in this region.
The government and Muslim leaders elected by the people should take full responsibility since from their recent conduct it is proven that they have failed to protect the rights and dignity of the Sri Lankan Muslim and have failed to take measure against the recent attacks created by ‘Senas and Balayas‘ targeting the Muslim Community, Mosques and Muslim business establishments.
As usual President Rajapaksa tweeted: “I urge all parties concerned to act with restraint. An investigation will be held for the law to take its course of action to bring to book those responsible …” Despite these spurious and defending statements against culprits, his actions have done nothing to stop the continuous attacks targeting the Muslims. It is surprising why a president, the head of the government has no capacity to stop the acts of Bodu Bala Sena or to find the culprits who attacked the mosque without issuing statements.
Muslim countries on the other hand have also failed to protect their Muslim counterparts living in this Island for more than 1000 years. It is a cause for surprise that the concern shown by India towards the ethnic Tamil people in Sri Lanka is not being shown by any Arab-Muslim countries with regard to the Muslim’s problem in Sri Lanka, with as much enthusiasm as that displayed by them in their support of a racist Sri Lankan regime before the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The mainstream media has also failed to give an unbiased report on this issue. Maharaja Television Networks which spent almost five hours to cover the release of General Sarath Fonseka and some petty UNP fights between Ranil and Sajith, has also turned its back against this violence.
Today the entire Muslim community lives in fear. They don’t know what is going to happen next. Once the current uproar fizzles out and media focus/ public attention shifts to the upcoming Presidential election, the Muslim community of Sri Lanka will be left alone and bereft.
The Aluthgama incident will be soon forgotten and after few months of silence the racists will reemerge and attack the Muslim community more vigorously. So to ensure the safety of Muslims and minority communities in general what should be done?
1. Arrest Gnanasara!
2. Ban BBS, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya
3. Ensure minority safety
4. Restore Muslim-Sinhala unity
5. Ban all the racist Facebook pages that are positively threatening the peace and prosperity of the nation
6. The misinterpretation and misuse of ‘Sinhalese freedom’ should be checked.
Ironically the mahouts of our nation – the racist politicians and the bureaucrats are in cahoots to scuttle the freedom of our minorities. This nexus has misinterpreted and misused the notion of freedom, allowing more freedom to the majority Sinhalese and less freedom to the minority.
Democracy in Sri Lanka is a sad mockery of Abraham Lincoln’s famous description:”The Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Sadly in Sri Lanka the leader is elected only from the 75 percent vocal majority, and never from the 25 percent powerless minority.
Until then, Sri Lanka will meander along as a ‘Can’t be developed country,’ ‘Racist country’ and ‘Sinhalese only state’ ruled by an oriental despot and orange robe thugs. The majority Sinhalese community has a duty to show the world that you are an altruistic people. This is needed more so today than ever before.