26 September, 2020

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The Political Economy Of Anti-Muslim Attacks

By Ahilan Kadirgamar

Ahilan Kadirgamar

The Muslim community is under attack. There have been increasing reports of attacks on mosques and shops owned by Muslims as part of a broader hate campaign against Muslims. The attack on the Dambulla Khairya Jummah mosque in April 2012 saw a decisive shift in the scale of these attacks. This act of violence was built on anti-Muslim rhetoric and a nascent campaign that had been simmering for years. More recently, the anti-Halal campaign and the boycott of No Limit stores has mobilised much larger sections of society. The mobilisations, together with chauvinistic public discourse, have alerted a few critical journalists, public intellectuals and activists to rightly draw parallels between these developments and the events that led up to the July 1983 pogrom against the Tamil community. Indeed, there needs to be stronger mobilisations and statements of condemnations to arrest this wave of anti-Muslim attacks. In this article, I ask a question that has not received as much attention: Why are these attacks on the Muslim community taking place now?

In this respect, what is it about the current moment, almost four years after the end of the war, at a time when claims of far-reaching economic development and prosperity are being made by the government, that an anti-Muslim project is gaining ground? How do we understand the major political shifts that have shaped Lanka’s history and does this anti-Muslim campaign reflect such a shift? The anti-Muslim mobilisations may fizzle out in the months ahead. On the other hand, they could signify something much deeper: a political shift that will lay the foundation for the emergence of a conflict that will once again tear apart the country. We cannot be certain what the future holds. Nevertheless, we must return to history to understand the dangers pregnant in the current moment and analyse the forces which are advancing this anti-Muslim project.

Political shifts cannot be explained merely by the moves of political leaders. Rather, the manoeuvres of political actors are only possible when the political economic ground is ripe to mobilise social and political forces. Some of the most destructive manoeuvres by political actors in the story of Ceylon and Sri Lanka have mobilised communalism and nationalism. That story of polarising mobilisations emerges out of our colonial history in the 19th Century and gained momentum as modern state structures developed. While recognising the colonial legacy of this problem of nationalist mobilisation and chauvinistic oppression, I begin with the failed promises of our postcolonial state and postcolonial citizenship.

Three Major Political Shifts

The original sin of postcolonial Ceylon was the disenfranchisement of close to eleven percent of the population in 1949. Over one million Up-Country Tamils, the estate labour which for decades prior to and after independence was the prime earner of the wealth of the country, were stripped of their citizenship just one year after the birth of the postcolonial state. This disenfranchisement came with efforts to marginalise the political strength of the Left with a strong base in the estates, as the Senanayake regime attempted to transform Sri Lanka’s economy towards greater integration with the global economy under the hegemony of the United States.

These economic policies promoted by the newly formed Central Bank and the first World Bank mission to Ceylon, and aggravated by the crisis in exports following the Korean war boom, culminated in cuts to the rice subsidy and the mid-day school meal. Those cuts to welfare ultimately created a massive reaction in the form of the Great Hartal of 1953. The mobilisations around the failure of the postcolonial state to deliver economically to the broader population led to the eventual victory of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1956. SWRD’s “Sinhala Only” campaign sealed his parliamentary victory, but also led to the riots of 1958. This was the first major political shift in the post-colonial period that would create a social fault line between the Sinhala and Tamil communities. However, this fault line was related to the economic disaffection of the Sinhala community from both the late colonial period to the years preceding the “Sinhala Only Act” of 1956. The shift fanned the flames of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism as well as a Tamil nationalism that would eventually turn separatist, redrawing the political contours in the country.

The second major political shift came after the Open Economy reforms of the Jayewardene regime in 1977. These neoliberal policies came with the global economic downturn in the 1970s and the related failure of the import substitution economic programme of the then United Front government. This major economic transformation which benefited some and impoverished others was also the economic ground on which Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism was fanned. The initial spurt of economic growth after the reforms receded in a few years and inflation and cost of living increased. The challenge by the working classes in the form the July 1980 strike was crushed repressing wages and employment. These were also times when increasing competition among traders led to the perceptions of Tamil businesses gaining from the economic reforms. Such economic woes and perceptions coupled with the active mobilisation of Government politicians led to the bouts of violence culminating in the pogrom of July 1983. The civil war that ensued and the destruction it brought to our society were shaped by the political manoeuvres of the SWRD and Jayewardene regimes.

This brings me to the third major political shift which I argue might be in the making today. The final years of the war saw the mobilisation of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism as Sinhala society was set on a war footing. The end of the war did not lead to a change in the nationalist mindset through a political settlement; rather a triumphalist Government projected economic development as the solution to the country’s problems. The political consolidation of the Rajapaksa regime and the stability it brought to the country after the war coupled with the global economic crisis of 2008 leading to global finance capital moving towards the “emerging markets”, saw an initial burst of inflow of capital and economic growth in Sri Lanka. This provided the ground for what I have characterised elsewhere as the second wave of neoliberalism in Sri Lanka. Such neoliberal policies are leading to the expansion of the market and financialisation of the economy, but also rising inequalities and indebtedness. While consumer items are plenty and there have been increasing avenues for consumption through debt in the form of bank loans, financing, leasing and pawning, it has led to increasing debt, and dispossession when loans are not repaid. Such a dynamic combined with rising cost of living is leading to social unrest. Given the role of sections of the Muslim community in trading and retail business, the Muslims have become the latest scapegoat for Sinhala chauvinists. In other words, my argument is that economic changes and economic disaffection combined with the war-time and post-war mobilisation of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism are shaping the anti-Muslim project.

Bringing in Class

Much critical discussion of the current wave of anti-Muslim attacks have only looked at the ideological and chauvinistic dimensions. Others have looked at the legal issues tied to rule of law, including the inaction of the police. Here, Sinhala Buddhist nationalism should not be seen as timeless and homogeneous, rather, as with most nationalist projects has competing strands and relates to the contemporary social formation. Furthermore, appeals to rule of law, particularly given the rising authoritarianism, may not be the solution as the state and the criminal justice system could be part of the problem. These concerns are important and require further careful and critical analysis. The points I want to make in this article are about the less discussed concerns of class as it impinges on the anti-Muslim project in Sri Lanka.

In looking at the political shifts discussed above, I am not arguing for a direct causality between economic changes and political shifts. Nor is my objective here to reduce analysis to the economic. Rather, I want to analyse how these economic changes and political turns reinforce and shape each other. There have been changes to the economy, including the expansion of the market and the related broadening of the class of shop owners, three wheeler drivers and migrant workers, consisting a rising petty-bourgeoisie as well as the emergence of new suburbs and changes to rural communities with the inflow of migrant remittances. These changes have been central both to the classes and places that are taking forward the attacks as well as the target of the attacks within the Muslim community.

But the anti-Muslim project has become one on the scale of a political shift only because of the reception of other classes and much larger sections of the population. The point here is that major economic changes, as with the second wave of neoliberalism, can reconstitute class relations and create the ground for forms of social disaffection and nationalist mobilisation. Furthermore, in the face of rising economic discontent, nationalist mobilisation can also divert social energies and create conflicts between peoples in order for the capitalist elite and regimes in control of the state to wade through times of economic problems and even reinforce the socially devastating economic programme.

The Depth of the Anti-Muslim Campaign

I started by asking why anti-Muslim attacks are taking place today in Sri Lanka. While globally and in India, Islamophobia and a war on the Muslim world had been gaining ground for decades, particularly with the global “war on terror”, why is this anti-Muslim campaign gaining momentum in Sri Lanka only now? The answer in part lies in the fact that the war against the LTTE was the priority of the State and nationalist forces in previous years. My argument about the current anti-Muslim campaign draws on understanding the manoeuvre of the Rajapaksa regime, including the centre stage given to Sinhala Buddhist nationalism during the war, the projection of triumphalism after the war and the major push towards neoliberal development as a solution to the political and economic problems in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, this anti-Muslim campaign could not find reception among broader sections of the Sinhala population, until there was social disaffection with the post-war economy, which was meant to bring prosperity but is in fact causing misery. Sections of the Muslim community in trading and business enterprises have become the scapegoats, even as this project draws on global and local ideologies of Islamophobia. This anti-Muslim campaign may assist the Rajapaksa regime in distracting the Sinhala population from the misery and dispossession inherent to the ongoing neoliberal economic program until such time as a severe crisis confronts the economy. In the meantime, it has put Sri Lanka on the precipice, where the social and political ramifications for Muslim community and the country as a whole are deeply worrying.

Such a predicament raises many issues and questions about the modalities of the operation of this anti-Muslim project. It raises conceptual questions about religion, politics and the state. There are lessons from the history of Tamil-Muslim relations and previous bouts of Sinhala-Muslim tensions including the riots of 1915. What are its linkages with Islamophobia promoted with the global “war on terror” and Hindutva in India? What are the facets of contemporary Sinhala Buddhist nationalism including the language and rhetorical moves by which it is articulated? What are the limitations of a liberal democratic state in relation to issues of pluralism or to provide a solution for relations between communities? What are the fears and insecurities facing all the communities and how are they related to chauvinist assertions of power? I am not equipped to address all of these issues and questions, but I hope to engage some of them in the future.

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Latest comments

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    The rise in anti muslim activity must be read along with the fall in the economy of the country. People are being overwhelmed by the rising cost of living, corruption, wastage and lawlessness. In this situation the scapegoat has been the western consipracy and tamil diaspora.

    Now it is the turn of the muslims to be scapegoats for all that ails the great sinhale nation. BBS / JHU / SR supported by certain factions in the govt and opposition are now playing the halal card to wip up anti muslim sentiment and distract the attention of the majority from the problems facing the country. No doubt those who fan the fires of racism will end up burning the whole house down including themselves.

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      The Rajapaksa regime’s covert support to the anti-Muslim campaign has two purposes – firstly to divert the public’s attention from the worsening economic woes and secondly to mobilise the Sinhala vote base for political capital. As usual the Sinhala masses will fall for this cunning action of the politicians. Shame.

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        Voters cannot be deceived by a racist agenda repeatedly.

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          Laurel

          “Voters cannot be deceived by a racist agenda repeatedly.”

          They have done it since 1948. Let me count it. All in all its 65 years and 1 month, sadomasochist Tamil/Sinhala voters continue to volunteer themselves to be cheated by racist agenda.

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      DIVIDE AND RULE is the Rajapassa project to stay in power forever to avoid a war crimes trial in the Hague.. Sri Lanka’s minorities and democracy are the SCAPEGOATS of the Rajapakse project of MILITARY DICTATORSHIP and this must stop.
      Ahilan, thanks for a thoughtful piece. The fact is that Lanka needs regime change to turn around the country BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE – since the Rajapakse dictatorship is militarizing the country and dismantelling democracy with the assistance of Ranil Wickramasinghe and the UNP.
      In the context, Civil society, professionals, business community etc, must get together and find alternative leaders and nominate young talent from outside the corrupt political culture. The suggestion is that Kumar Sangakkara, being CLEAN, a household name, and a team leader able to unite diverse interest groups would be able to sweep Rajapaksa from power and abolish the executive presidency and restore decency in political culture.. We must foster this discussion..

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    Scapegoating a community is old hat in world politics. The Nazis did it with much success against the Jews. The Jews themselves do it on a far grander scale (in terms of length in time)against the indigenous Palestinians of present-day Israel and the larger Islamic world in the Middle East where they hope to establish Zion.

    I suppose it is up to the people to protect the vulnerable when they are threatened. Poltical and socio-economic agendas notwithstanding, Muslims have equal status as Tamils and Sinhala in Sri Lanka and do not need to submit to any unfair demand of hooligans and opportunists…

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    It is time, the people in the country, like Reader Safa, come to terms with the actual – and somewhat predictable – machinations of the regime. The economy continues to slide rapidly. The “Managers” brought forth to handle the slide – note not to be confused with the more vital task of creating wealth and employment – have, as many felt judging by their academic achievements, failed the administration. If at all these learned men are associated with “development” it is not of the country – but in their own personal fortunes as part of the ruling “junta”

    The economy, kept hanging on borrowings, is in the verge of collapsing.
    The majority cannot be kept in check with anti-Tamil venom or the “danger to the Sinhala nation” from the LTTE – the staple diet for decades. A new enemy has to be “found” to keep the hungry hounds at bay. The smaller but useful and productive minority, spread throughout the land, will do fine. From the angle of the invisible engineers of matters on the majority side, Muslims have provided the necessary “irritants” for sometime, as some in the regime calculate, now for the blame to be shifted on to them – to buy time. Note the main attack weapon is not the JHU – but its tributaries the BBS and
    SR – so that in the event of an international outcry the Govt, of which JHU is a constituent, can be absolved.

    Sadly for the country, there is little in the immediate landscape to provide joy nor hope.

    Senguttuvan

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    Ahilan

    You have provided a much needed sober materialist analysis of the gathering storm of an anti-Muslim campaign in the country. You correctly point out this could be attributed to the economic changes and disaffection brought about by the post-war neoliberal economic development:

    “…changes to the economy, including the expansion of the market and the related broadening of the class of shop owners, three wheeler drivers and migrant workers, consisting a rising petty-bourgeoisie as well as the emergence of new suburbs and changes to rural communities with the inflow of migrant remittances. These changes have been central both to the classes and places that are taking forward the attacks as well as the target of the attacks within the Muslim community.”

    I’m not an economist so I have three naive questions:

    1) If the Rajapakse regime is not hampering this “second wave of neoliberalism” why the regime is being scapegoated by the Western governments (who stand to benefit by such economic policies)at the behest of the Tamil capitalist and petty-bourgeoisie classes that have risen through the economic opportunities in the diaspora?

    2) Are the diaspora-based Tamil capitalist and petty-bourgeoisie classes eager to get a piece of the action on their own terms i.e total control of the resources of the northeast (rather than what the Rajapakse regime is willing to allow) in return for much more “neoliberal” concessions by the Tamils to the Western governments?

    3) Is there any other type or model of economic development other than neoliberalism anywhere in the world today?

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      Ahilan

      My questions are not rhetorical. I really like to know your views on the issues I have raised in the interest of public discussion. I value your opinion. Thanks

      Ajay

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    Ahilan Kadiragama is wrong and so are the others who are inclined in their comments to blame Sinhalese extremism or the Rajapakse government for the so called Muslim / Sinhala tension in the country. I live in the Middle East among moderate Sunni Muslims who feel extremely threatened by Islamic extremism of the Wahabisit and Salafist forms of virulent Islam that is creeping in to their lives sponsored by the Saudis with the enormous amount of ‘Crude’ dollars at their disposal.What is happening in Sri Lanka is exactly the same. If we are not vigilant and take appropriate action these extremist Islamist will be all over us the same way an extreme Tamil group brought our country to its knees. The Bhikkus at the forefront of this campaign to stop Muslim extremism from spreading have to be encouraged and supported by all Sri Lankans who recognise the threat of Muslim extremism.

    Why may I ask are those pointing an accusing finger at the Buddhist Sinhalese and Buddhist Monks silent when the likes of Fr. Emmanuel (roaming Europe with a pack of lies to condemn his motherland and Bishop Rajappu who commits treason by writing to International organisations to take Sri Lanka to the gallows ? Protesting in Safron Robes is Haram but protesting in white cassocks is Halal.

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      Biting the Crude hand that feeds. Worry about the Sinhellists following the path of Zionist ideology destroying the country economically and socially.

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        You may be right. Didn’t one of our top officials get full support from the top zionist himself, Bibi Netanyahu recently. The zionists are also trained and function on websites like this, to provoke, and propagate their anti Muslim rhetoric, as seen in many US websites. Google Hasbara, and you can find out more.
        Back to Sri Lanka, I agree that the government is going down a dangerous path, that could be the start of yet another communal problem in Sri Lanka. Their association with BBS, and their lack of engagement in this explosive situation, speaks volumes. If things are not nipped in the bud, we will have yet another minority fighting for their rights to live peacefully as Sri Lankans. So far they have shown admirable restraint, but for how long?

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          The Zionist predominantly trade in Debt, Weapons and propaganda. Initially they provide the seed fund and once the conflict escalates they take over the vital installations of the country. They sucking the Arabs dry Nothing evil shall stand the test of time. History has proved that several times.

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          thank you mimi, all sane voices must ask ” for how long?”

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      Where is this “extremist Islamist” that you talk about? There has not been one incident nor have we seen any such threat coming from the Muslim community. On the contrary its the Muslims who are attacked and denigrated. During the whole LTTE saga the Muslims of SL have always been patriotic and many Muslim heros have laid their lives for their country (eg. Colonel Laphir http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090127_06). At that time, which was the height of Al-Queda et al, where was your “extremist Islamist” theory? They have not charged even one individual. On the contrary the Govt and a bunch of uneducated ‘monks’ and bigots like you are the extremists who are causing the disharmony in our society. It should be the learned bhikkus together with the govt should be the ones guiding us in the path of dhamma. What has Fr. Emmanuel’s behavior got anything to do with the Sri Lankan Muslims? Shows your illogical thought process and your bigoted view. More so your paranoia. I think you should take your tablets and shut up. Maybe take up reading lord Buddha’s teachings. It might help you one day become a TRUE Buddhist.

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      Aluthgamage has picked up this oft-repeated wahabi/salafi and saudi money for extremism theory from somewhere, where on earth is wahabism in SL and so many other isms people talk about. You should be able to prove with facts and figures as to who in Sri Lanka is spearheading wahabism and how he, she or group gets the petro-dollors, if money can come that easy, they may have built mansions in those places to operate from. Those who malign Islam have created many such lies.

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    Having due regard to Akilan Kadirgamar’s opinion, I wish to raise some vital issues concerning the security threat of democratic countries including Sri Lanka, in relation to the political economy of anti-Muslim attacks. This does not mean I support the actions of the/JHU/BBS etc. This subject has to be analyzed from all angles.
    Political economy is a social science dealing with political policies and economic processes, their inter-relations and their influence on social institutions. The relevance of emergence economies in Sri Lanka should be analyzed in two stages. In Sri Lanka the main production is tea, rubber and tourism and now Middle-East employment.
    The first stage was the State-regulated economic system which was in existence from 1955 to 1977 during which period, banking sector was strictly controlled by the government, as a result it limited their expansion. State-regulated economic system has not provided an adequate answer for the increasing poverty in Sri Lanka. It only catered to the needs of a specific group who are aligned with then government. Yet there were cases of Foreign Exchange violations by some Muslims (who played a major role) along with members of other communities which also affected the country’s economy. Since this State-regulated economic system proved to be a failure, in 1977 the UNP Government led by J.R.Jayawardena introduced the system of Open Economic policy which encouraged foreign investment and the country began to prosper. But in a multi-racial country like Sri Lanka, some sections entrepreneurs received special concessions as a mark of political patronage. However, non-Sinhalese entrepreneurial sections also did not lose because of the removal of the banking restrictions.
    But with the passage of time, the relaxation of banking restrictions allowed room for suspected threats for the country’s security, which has to be analyzed with the turn of events in the international arena where there is a possibility that Sri Lanka could have been under pressure. With September 11 attack on the Twin-Tower, and the attack on Iraq, Afganishtan, Libya and Egypt coupled with the monitoring activities on Iran and Pakistan, at a time when Sri Lanka was leaning towards these countries, there was a profound change which saw a re-alignment in the structuring of the World Political Order. Simultaneously there has been a fundamental transformation in the political economy in the present century with the growing dominance of multi-national capital, an increasing consolidation of global markets, the development of new techniques in production and distribution system, etc.
    The 20th century also saw the emergence of an economic doctrine called ‘Islamic economies’. This doctrine is significant because it advances the sprawling and headline – grabbing movement known as ‘Political Islam’. The purpose of the Islamic economies is to identify and establish an economic order that conforms to Islamic texts and traditions. Muslim customs and religious rules and practices may have assisted equal distribution of income, but in doing so may have some unnecessary and negative effects on the successful operation of the modern economy. Muslim community surrendered its scientific leadership due to strictures of Islam, about hundred years ago. The same forces are still at work, contributing to the relative impoverishment of Islamic societies.
    Then there three factors of production that play a vital role in the development of economy. They are natural resources, physical resources and human resources. Illegal activities took place in the exploitation of these resources by Muslim businessmen affecting the unaccounted income of Sri Lanka which I do not want to analyze in detail. But one has to analyze the possible threat posed to Sri Lanka by Muslim businessmen on various pretexts. Any individual who invests for the development of the country will have to exploit one of these resources and in doing so, such Muslim private entrepreneurs may have to import skilled labourers for cheap labour, because a successful liberal economy necessarily includes the importation of human resources and technology. What is the guarantee that those labourers are not members of Islamic Terrorist Organizations. Moreover, the so-called labourers can even be spies bringing messages from countries that sponsors State-Terrorism. And what about the equipments that could be transported without the intervention of the Customs on account of the political pressure applied by Muslim politicians. (There are many instances that ruling Sinhala politicians have been in the practice of succumbing to the pressures of Muslim politicians because of the bank vote.) Here again the vital issue is whether Muslims are loyal to the country where they live or to a country where their religion originated and to finance that country for a purpose that is considered as terrorism in the eyes of the world.
    After the September 11 attack on the Twin Tower, there was ‘de facto Islamic Central Bank’ the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) established in 2002 in Kuala Lumpur to absorb the Twin Tower shock and reinforce the stability of Islamic finance. The former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mohamed Mahathir stated ‘A Universal Islamic Banking System is a Jihad worth pursuing to abolish the slavery to the West’. The members of the IFSB include the Central Banks of Iran, Sudan and Syria (all designated State sponsors of terrorism) while PLO also funds for terrorist activities. Now if foreign banks are allowed to operate in Sri Lanka with the view to promote investment for developing the economy of the country, what is the guarantee that some Muslims carrying on business with a specific bank do not have transactions with the IFSB on the pretext of assisting the Muslims, which are likely to drag Sri Lanka for a conflict with the Western democratic countries. After all banking transactions are confidential. It should not be forgotten that the State is the basic political entity and primarily responsible for the welfare of its citizens. Further, a State is also responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.
    The reasonable fear in the minds of Sri Lanka like the West, is that Islamophobia is a violent political ideology rather than a religion. Islam has remained unchanged for the last 1200 years, without adapting to changing conditions. One should not think it is hate propaganda against the Muslims, but the danger that is attributed to the security of Sri Lanka as well as to other western democratic countries. There is a moral obligation on the part of Muslims to declare that they are against terrorism in any form and condemn such terrorist activities in unequivocal terms that would not shatter the vibrant liberal economic policy in Sri Lanka. There is also another suggestion that if any Company is to be incorporated in Sri Lanka by a Muslim or Tamil, it shall be safer if a Sinhalese is also made a Director so that he could monitor the activities of the company in the best interests of the country. This method has the force of defusing the inter-ethnic tension against the Muslim. This is the policy in Malaysia, known as Bumiputera. This will satisfy the international community and allay the fears that are in the minds of Sri Lanka as well as in the West.

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      I think in your book only muslim buisnessman are upto no good. Why dont you talk about kudu vermin and all the scams perpetrated by the junta running into billions?

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        Unfortunately they got caught red handed several times. The vital issue is about the threat to the security of the country. It is about how the utilization of the resources and the relaxation of banking restrictions, which has been abused by Muslims and others. I am asserting this because in those days I was defending these Muslim businessmen and I was in direct conflict with Ian Wickremanayake (Bribery Commissioner), who was prosecuting these people. Neverthless we got these people released. After that, it was realized to introduce the Liberal economy by the then UNP led JR in the best interests of developing the country. Whatever system is introduced there are loopholes for abusing some privileges. That is why I suggested to follow the pattern of Bumipetra adapted in Malaysia, with the view to defuse the tension within the communities and restore normalcy. Upon an analysis of Public International Law and International Economic Law, I am raising this issue.

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          What do you say about Sakvithi and Golden Key? Muslim? What about the highway robbery on the Stock market? Muslim? I suppose only muslims get caught red handed. The majority community gos scott free. Vermin is still a free man? What about the hedging deal and dockyard gate?

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      Dear Citizen,

      You seem to be looking for Muslim demons everywhere! Clearly you are a rabid racist who doesn’t see any good in us, because you have as I have said before, willingly and happily ignore the wrongs of society at large and narrow your focus on Muslims.

      As I have said before while you spend time looking for wrongs done by Muslims please tell me who is involved in the following

      01. brewing Kassippu- the size of this market is believed to be 10BN
      02. Poli Mudalalies- Sakwithi, Daduwam and Dedi Danduwam Mudalali etc
      03. Finance Company Frauds- Pramuka Bank, Hideki FInance, Leepotter the list is endless
      04 Rape of 5 women/ girls everyday
      05. Murder 4.6/ 100,000 (approximately)

      Can you tell us who the culprits are? I guess they are all Muslims.

      Get a life citizen!

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        Dear Nabil, I am only raising the issues which are in the form of threats to the security of the country. It does not mean I am against the Muslims. It also does not mean that others are better. The issue is ‘political economy’ against the Muslims in Sri Lanka, where an open economic policy is adapted. The emergence of an economic doctrine known as ‘Islamic economies’ gave birth to a movement described as ‘Political Islam’ With the presence of Al-Quaeda and the attacks on the Twin Tower, a ‘de facto Islamic Central Bank’ the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) was established. This IFSB includes the Central Banks of Iran, Sudan and Syria all of which are designated as State sponsors of terrorism. In addition, look at the statement of Dr.Mohamed Mahathir – ‘A Universal Islamic Banking System is a Jihad worth pursuing to abolish the slavery to the West’. Here is a case where IFSB is reflecting itself as a Universal Islamic Banking System facilitating the Muslims. On the other hand, both local and foreign banks are facilitating foreign and local investors for the development of the economy in the country. Banks maintain confidentiality. Money transactions between banks used to take place in the course of business. What is the guarantee that money will not be transferred from the IFSB to these banks for illegal purposes that are likely to threaten the security of the country, given the fact that IFSB constituted designated as State sponsors of terrorism. To carry out attacks by the Islamic terrorists finance is essential. The transactions of finance through banks play a vital for the attacks by the Islamic terrorists on the Twin Tower, and the bombings at London, Mumbai and recently at Hyderabhad. If one wants to neutralize the movements of the terrorists, monitoring the transactions between banks is essential.
        Now just watch the other Asian and African countries. Do they have any type of economies based on religious label or banks that are sponsored by designated State sponsors of terrorism? When liberal economy is practiced, it is assumed that a country or even a city in a country as home to hundreds of races for the smooth development of the country. Isn’t the modus operandi of IFSB a grave danger in a country where foreign investment is encouraged? Now can you point out that any place that was targeted for bombing by Islamic terrorists, where destruction of lives and property was not aimed by the terrorists and that it was not intended to shatter the democratic structure of the country. Further, there are three types of resources which have to be exploited by the people engaged in the development of the country. Here too many illegal activities take place. This is the very reason I was keen to suggest that in a multi-racial country like Sri Lanka, if a company is to be incorporated by a Tamil or Muslim, it is advisable to have an additional Sinhalese as also a Director or a partner, which will defuse the tension between the communities and there is an opportunity to monitor the illegal activities when exploiting the three resources of a country for the development of its economy. When a Muslim country like Malaysia can adapt this method, why can’t Sri Lanka also adapt the same method? In that case do you want to call Malaysia a racist country? In Malaysia all the races are living happily with mutual understanding.
        The equal conflict of interest between IFSB and the other banks in a country where Open Economy Policy(Liberal economy) is encouraged, has raised the issue of whether the modus operandi of the IFSB has become a question mark in the eyes of the democratic countries. I think this is the reason why Muslims are viewed with suspicion.

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          This is the very reason I was keen to suggest that in a multi-racial country like Sri Lanka, if a company is to be incorporated by a Tamil or Muslim, it is advisable to have an additional Sinhalese as also a Director or a partner, which will defuse the tension between the communities and there is an opportunity to monitor the illegal activities when exploiting the three resources of a country for the development of its economy.

          Why not the other way around as well? How do we know what crimes the pure sinhala companies are up to? How many of the minorities are employed in certain private and public companies?

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          Few questions would like to clarify

          1. Was Al Qaeda behind the creation of Islamic Financial Services Board if so can you provide us with valid sources that say so?

          2.Above comment you have mentioned that Central Banks of Iran, Sudan and Syria are sponsors of state terrorism and if so can you please name the terrorist groups and another issue that struck me was why should the US have diplomatic relations with countries that sponsor terrorism in daylight as per your comment?

          3.Can you please say whats wrong with the statement that mahathir mohamed has made that you have quoted in the above comment? You trying to say getting Redemption from a slavery is wrong?

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          As per your above comment if appointing a Sinhalese brother as a director to look into the activities of a business owned by Tamil or Muslim brother prevent or rather reduce the chances of these businesses engaged in illegal activities (funding terrorists as per your comment) then shouldn’t a Muslim or a Tamil brother should be appointed as a director to look into the activities of a business owned by a Sinhalese so that it prevents them also from engaging in illegal activities (funding terrorists as per your comment) like what happened in 1983 when Tamils civilians were killed for no reason and business premises were set on fire for some sort of irritation.

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    My two cents worth on this STORM IN A TEA CUP treatise by Mr Kadiragamar

    1. Weren’t the Tamils the first to really really discriminate against Muslims during the LTTE led “Muslim expulsion from the North” period ??

    Now what could have been the global, financial and other “important socio-economic and what not” reasons behind that ??

    2. “The anti-Muslim mobilisations may fizzle out in the months ahead…”

    You are damn right about that one. Why only a single sentence devoted to that positive “possibility”. Perhaps you like to dwell on and magnify the more negative possibilities in order to make the article more interesting ??

    3. ” The Depth of the Anti-Muslim Campaign..”
    Man that’s a scary sub-title. I measured the depth statistically and found it to be only about ” a few weeks deep ” at most. So we can all relax I guess.

    4. dont worry bro. Its all in good hands. If Mahinda mama & his boys could tackle the The Norwegians, The UN, The Red Cross and Milliband, Solheim, Blair, Villepan and all these other smart-asses , what makes you think he wont be able to tackle small potatoes like the BBS, the JHU, & the Jamaithulla Ulema.

    As per your positive premonition ” It may look like the The sky is falling right now but it will all fizzle out in the months ahead”

    That’s a positive spin on your article – from my limited perspective of course. But then again …..I could be wrong :)

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      For all our sake I hope you’re correct. On 4. That is exactly what makes me wonder why the MR govt is pussy footing this anti-Muslim phenomenon when they clearly have shown they can dismantle any and I mean ANY adversary foreign or otherwise. Hence I am worried that the MR govt has a hand in this anti-Muslim phenomenon. However for the life of me, I cant see one single advantage to them apart from deflecting scrutiny and the press away from their own mis-deeds. e.g. Latest round of Fuel hikes went almost unnoticed. However any leader knows this is a very dangerous line to tread. Treading it tells me governance in SL must be in dire straits than what we are being told. Either way we are doomed.

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        Once the UNHRC hulabaloo settles down Mahinda mama will probably start working on the BBS to keep them under wraps as far as I can see.

        As far as the Economy there isn’t much anyone can do. Even The USA is struggling to cope with that one. So nothing specific to Sri Lanka. Forces outside the control of local authorities come into play there

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      You guys may take these events and activities of racists lightly but to us Muslims this is no idle threat.

      When the sanctity of your home is challenged and you place of worship desecrated what do you expect us to do? Have a good laugh? Specially when we don’t see popular sentiment against racism but more tacit approval. There are many who think that the Muslims had this coming!

      There are far too many examples: Kegalle and Mahara Mosques happened just days ago. Poster campaigns, Muslim Street names erased and renamed etc….

      BBS tried to disrupt a perfectly legal trade in Dematagoda, all the while the police watched as an illegal assault was mounted on Muslims.

      Tamil girls were raped in 83. Well over 300 men and women were murdered. not one rapist or murderer has been brought to justice and punished and thus there is a general consensus among thugs that rape of minority girls is “OK”

      Please check the virulently racist facebook pages which threaten murder. I cam across a police officer (with an anonymous profile) who taunted me saying what he would do to Muslims if “Thungasiri is harmed” . I didn’t know Thungasiri was and referred up, he has been jailed in SA for practicing witchcraft.

      When anti=Muslim fervour reaches the flash point and mindless violence unleashed, the police will watch as they did in Maharagama, Dematagoda and other places, and Mahinda’s army can do little.

      Citizen and American Mama et al will then try to justify lawlessness as they do now.

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        Dont’ worry. July 1983 WILL NOT be repeated at any cost.

        No Government will be that stupid.

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          American Mama

          Are you happy that the Mosques have been vandalized? Are you also condoning the virulent anti-Muslim activity of the Majority?

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            Nabil

            Buddha was a saint but Buddhists are NOT. I gave up being a Buddhist because of the emphasis on caste among the buddhist priests and the eating of meat both of which are against Buddhism in my view.

            But Muslims are no saints either. You say there is a ‘bad’ minority among muslims and same applies to other religions.

            Desecration of mosques by anyone is bad but even muslims are doing it themselves. In Pakistan Iraq they are bombing mosques almost weekly/monthly.

            I do not condone violence of any nature except in self defense.

            I am almost sure that the Sinhala Buddhists are not PLOTTING to do away with the Muslims in Sri Lanka. I think the shame of July 1983 incident was shock therapy to the Sinhala psyche. Can there be an ugly incident or two. Maybe. Large scale ? Not likely

            But what about Syria etc.. the same is happening there too. People get excited easily. Sometimes it is just what it is. FATE or GODS WILL is how hey explain it

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    I can see how gullible the sinhalese are. the other day i saw a post on facebook saying Dine-More serves its muslims customers first and then goes on to serve other communities. And people were actually starting to agree to that fact. Even people who have never eaten from that place agreed like sheep. This is the magnitude of their stupidity.

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    Nabil and other Islamic friends,

    Please don’t get upset when the Sinhala people react to the
    problems created by some Muslims. It is good the Muslims have now
    agreed to come down on the Halal issue on “any decision made by the Govt” Personally, I welcome this because Sinhalese have no
    serious problem with Muslims. The next thing you must do is to get your women out of that full-black dress from head to foot. In our culture, black is an unlucky colour usually. It is is terrible down our lane when I take the car out in the morning to see Muslim women walking in the road in 2 or 3s in this fashion. Most of my friends ask why they did not dress like this 20 years ago – only now after Arabia became rich in oil. Please do not misunderstand or react angrily, because then matters can get dirty.

    Thanks.

    R. de S

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      Dear R De S

      Please stop patronizing us Muslims. We have not created problems for anyone. Look at the irony, when you take your car out every morning you are decked from top toe in Long Sleeved Shirt, neck tie, long pants and socks. What is visible is you palms. Yet you would argue that women undress and expose themselves. Many modern women friends have told me they feel extreme discomfort when men ogle at them. Muslim women prefer the modest dress and it is their choice and you should be tolerant. Just as much as we don’t care when you guys happily pay out for skimpy dresses that reveals all. That’s you choice.

      As far as black is concerned it depends on who is viewing black as bad/good. If you are a Sinhalese white is the colour of mouring. If you are Christian it is black. So if Muslim women start doing what all of you want them to do, they’d probably have to walk naked.

      Halal is a globally accepted principle. There are a Billion Muslims who consume only Halal foods mind you with or without certification.

      What has happened in our country is that bigotry and insensitivity to minorities has become fashionable. Unfortunately despite your gentle tone, you are supporting the same untenable arguments presented by racists.

      If you go to a country like Australia or the UK you will find people of all walks of life and cultures. They may disagree with different cultures, but they are accommodating enough to let those people be.

      Just remember that there is no end to what we can do to please the majority, it will start with Halal food, then our dress code, then our education, then where we choose to live and work etc etc….

      I can assure you this is the same challenge of identity and space the Tamils of this country face. You have to learn to accept and celebrate diversity

      thank you
      Nabil

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      My goodness! Muslim women are supposed to give up their belief walk away from their cultural practices because their dress makes you feel “terrible” when you “take the car out?” Are you actually serious?
      Do you know these people who live down your road? Have you spoken with them? Do you know why they wear what they wear? Grow a little tolerance mister! Remember that slogan from the US that gay people used? We are here we are queer, deal with it? Well I say to you in the same spirit, deal with it!

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    Apey Maame,

    “Don’t worry. July 1983 WILL NOT be repeated at any cost.
    No Government will be that stupid”

    That was what was generally believed and told in 1958, 1977 and 1981 but the wairaya, Maame, got the better of the Sinhala South – with the super-patriot Buddhist priests and the plunder-centred Sinhala mobs
    leading their way to Tamil homes and businesses. But then the target was the ancient enemies – the Damilas. The belief anything done against them is within the law still persists, eh?? The only way such brazen acts of violence and rowdism should be handled is the way the Brits handled matters in 1915 – with some alleged leaders shot to death at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. The type of filth-broadcasting Buddhhist priest we saw at the Dambulla Mosque premises and in the BBS tape should be publicly punished – if the force of law is to regain its hitherto effectiveness.

    Senguttuvan

    Senguttuvan

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