By Lukman Harees –
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Yes! The much maligned ‘unofficial police’ hate goons are back in action, which was then a common sight during MR’s time. Many groups sprung during Post-war period sporting Sinhala Buddhist warrior-like names, all of which were either directly or indirectly patronized or sponsored by those in power or related to them. Of them, the three musketeers (3Ms)– BBS , Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya stole the show , with rogue monks leading the way operating without fear or sanction, walking into any government office embassy or even hotels at will, demonstrating on the streets holding hate filled placards or burning effigies, destroying or setting fire to Muslim businesses or butcheries and holding meetings and press conferences insulting other religions and communities particularly Islam and the Muslims. Sadly, these scenes are being re-created on our streets now with added features of going further in even insulting not just the Quran but also the God the Muslims worship. Where will this adventurism end? is anyone’s guess, with the government still thinking the time is still not ripe to bring in the proposed Hate Speech bill with whatever amendments suggested by the civic groups and legal lobbies. This grave acts of provocation has its’ limits when the religious practices and beliefs held sacred by the Muslims, are being openly desecrated and insulted while the Muslim ministers (well! Most of them) are in deep slumber and become non-entities.
We have been witnessing many prominent hate groups like 3Ms led by heavy weights such as Ven. Gnanassara ( Sri Lankan equivalent of Wirathu of Myanmar ) whose BBS enjoyed Gota’s continued (state) patronage, Ven Akmeemana Dayaratna, and Ven. Ithekande Saddhatissa ( who abused government vehicles ,courtesy Wimal Weerawansa), competing with recently found groups such as Sinhaley , Sinhale national organization and few other outfits formed by some die-hard hate activists or peddlers like Saliya , Dan Prasad and Amitha in this dirty game. These groups were seen sometimes undercutting each other and sometimes acting in collusion, with the sole purpose of spreading anti-Muslim hate, lies and exaggerations on a continued basis to ensure that Sinhala Buddhist population harbour hate and animosity about Muslims who have been living in harmony with them for centuries. Their well- orchestrated hate campaign against Islam and the Muslims in Sri Lanka, has all the hallmarks of uniformity in projection and connivance with the well-organized global Islamophobic campaign to demonise and stigmatise Islam and the Muslims. Halal, Hijab,Niqab,Muslim birth rates, Islamic laws and finance, and Muslims in Muslim-minority countries trying to invade through Muslim expansionism are nothing new or unique to Sri Lanka but only messages borrowed from those hate lobbies operating overseas. These Islamophobic lobbies are cottage industries in US and Europe leading to Brexit and election of the demagogue Trump. It is imperative that the government look into the fund sourcing of these groups – both 3Ms and the miscellaneous groups. The spills from breakaway factions seem to suggest that these groups are being backed by those in former government, some sections of this government and also financed from outside sources.
We see those miscellaneous groups walking around the country visiting areas where Muslims live to create conspiracy theories and fairy tales about engaging in unpatriotic acts. They will not hesitate in turning a mole hill into a hill when they project personal acts committed by individuals in their personal capacity as community offences. As Hitler’s propaganda minister said,’ lies continuously repeated will be perceived as truth’. To them, social media and FB are sure media of hate propaganda and thus give walking commentaries. Distortion, misquotes from the Quran and outright lies are their forte. For instance, a university built in the East will be shown as the biggest mosque being in South East Asia, gel encased brassieres apparently distributed in Meethotamulla or Muslim clothing businesses selling ‘special’ underwear to womenfolk will be interpreted as Muslim conspiracy to sterilize Sinhala women. When the government decides to cut a Bo tree in the centre of the Road, hate mongers will also post pictures of mosques being built and decry that there are double standards against the majority population. When NP Muslims made their just claims to their lands after the war near Wilpattu, hate groups walk in and make it into an issue of Muslims attempting to deforest encroaching illegally. Many similar Sinhala encroachments are conveniently ignored. (Government then gazettes to deny the NP Muslims of their just rights to their lands thus appeasing the hate groups).
These hate peddlers virtually attempt to paint images of ISIS ghosts on the face of every Muslim man wearing a beard and Muslim attire. The stories and fairy tales are endless and there is a strong possibility that these powerful hate messages relayed through the social media are believed by the ordinary Sinhala masses, in the backdrop of the usual anti-Muslim stories being carried by the mainstream papers and some TV stations both in SL and beyond. Any Muslim activists opposing their hate campaigns like Azath Salley or Anver manatunge are branded as extremists. Again there is resemblance to what is happening in Western countries too, when Muslim activists in the West opposing these Islamophobic groups are branded as extremists. Many complaints have been made to the CID to investigate into these characters and groups and their funding sources, which has vested interests to work against the government’s resolution to promote national reconciliation . To date there is no visible action being taken against them. Still the government seem not realizing that these hate groups are extensions and arms of political lobbies following MR/ JO agenda to acquire power.
Ven Gnanasara in particular, who had his halcyon days during MR regime period continues to maintain his preeminent status as the lead actor in the anti-Muslim movie even after Yahapalana government came into power, spitting out hate and venom in every breath he takes. There have been fluctuations seen in recent times in his dramatic behavioural styles. At times he goes silent ( recently when Wijeyadasa Rakapakshe spoke to him) while other times he assumes his usual role in demonizing and stigmatizing the Muslims of Sri Lanka and their religion in the worst type of verbal diarrhoea any civilized person will not stoop to, let alone a man in robes preaching the peaceful message of Buddha. He has now once again regained his walk-in tours acting as the unofficial policeman accompanied by his henchmen, He went to Batticoloa some time back to lend his hand to another racist abusive monk Ven. Sumana. Recently, he attempted to provoke and anger the Muslims by insulting the God they worship when speaking about Kuragala. Most recent outburst was when he went to Polonnaruwa and made a much worse insult using filthy language insulting the God worshipped by the Muslims.
This is a clear offence according to the prevailing penal code which will warrant an arrest in order to be tried and punished under the law, apart from this type of loose talk being acts of grave provocation which are likely to attract various types of reaction from the Muslim community. Hate Speech in NOT freedom of expression. Incidentally he is already on bail for insulting the Quran and his recent outbursts should be viewed as violation of his bail conditions and should be dealt with according to law as well. Furthermore, this rouble rousing monk once again at a recent Press Conference repeated his oft quoted Thaqiyyqa concept ( Muslims using deceit to dubiously earn the goodwill of the majority) as having mention in the Holy Quran and used by Muslims in SL to take the Sinhala people on a ‘jolly ride’. This misquote put him under arrest then and his repeat performance will no doubt be insulting to the court which found him guilty.
Why is therefore the government’s AG having double standards when the same law enforcement came hard on Razeek, SLTJ Secretary when he allegedly made some insulting remarks on The Buddha, which action was clearly condemned by the mainstream Muslim community. What will happen if some ‘hard nut’ among the Muslims react aggressively without any forethought of repercussions. In fact, Muslim religious leadership continue to caution the community to keep their cool and avoid being emotional. The country will recall that the Muslim community maintained their cool and controlled the temper among their youth in the face of grave provocations then by the BBS and their elk during the MR regime. However, there are limits to these types of controls. Muslim community too has its’ fair share of non-violent extremists and there are concerted efforts being made within the community, to deal with the issue effectively. There should be even handed approach in law enforcement .
Yahapalana government should realize that the country went through a period of hell , throwing the whole process of law of order and law enforcement to the winds, particularly MR’s during the second term of office. His man Mohan Pieris was appointed as AG first and then was made the CJ of the country and the course of justice became a course of injustice. Gota made the police and the armed forces virtually to be his private army. DIG Anura Senanayake did ‘illegal’ errands for his big boss and now under investigation presumably for one of his contract jobs – Thajudeen murder. Senanayake allowed many culprits who instigated the Aluthgama mini violence against the Muslims to go scot-free including our infamous man in robes Ven Gnanassara who stirred the whole hornet’s nest by his extremely provocative speech.
All the ministers and MPS and even other councillors at that time, maintained extreme silence and even at times connived with these goons avoid being in the bad books of the higher ups in corridors of power. Aluthgama riots was but one of the repercussions of this corrupt violent political culture. People particularly the minorities –Tamils and Muslims as well as even Sinhala Catholics lived in fear and anxiety and their sense of insecurity made them pass many a sleepless nights. Such was the situation in the so-called Paradise Isle during the reign of Maharajanoo. MR was at the helm, averse to what UN and the international community said about maintaining law and order and protecting minority rights.
Come January 2015, thankfully the whole nation was blessed with a God given opportunity to go to the polls and reject both the racist prone MR regime as well the hate groups which sought power like the BJP (BBS Political wing) and voted decisively to put in a new government which promised the electorate that they will end this violent, corrupt, hate promoting political culture and to take all measures to usher in a national reconciliation culture. Two and a half years down the line, the lofty promises of the Yahapalana government to usher in a political culture devoid of violence and hate as well as promote national reconciliation leaves much to be desired. It is comical that the government is waiting for a disaster to happen along the lines of Aluthgama to take action, and thus has been turning a blind eye to these grave instances of provocations. Even Myanmar body of Buddhist clergy has imposed some sort of ban on Ven Wirathu , a bold step which Sri Lankan Mahanayakes may not venture to take.
In this context, the government should wake up and take effective action by hastening the placing of the Hate Speech Bill in the Parliament, by bringing necessary measures to monitor social media for hate attacks by hate groups against any ethnic community and to apprehend the culprits who have made their full time profession to spread hate and animosity against the minorities specially anti-Muslim hate and to send a strong message to the nation that racism, Islamophobia or hate against the ‘other’ will not be tolerated. Further, the national reconciliation initiative which the government has initiated to promote among the youth and school children should be hastened too as well.
It is being said that ‘Strong government doesn’t mean simply military power or an efficient intelligence apparatus. Instead, it should mean effective, fair administration – in other words, ‘good governance.’ Let the Yahapalana government prove it in deed rather than more by verbiage. Let the government ensure that all communities can live without fear and sense of insecurity, which they are expected to ensure as per its’ international and constitutional obligations ,without missing another historic opportunity to usher in an era of peace and harmony.
More importantly, time is already overdue for Muslim civil leadership like MCSL, Minerat , bodies like ACJU, Shoora Council, SLTJ and YMMA +other regional bodies etc ( along with what is left of the Muslim political leadership) to come together to pressurize the government as one voice, to address this common threat against the community and to safeguard the constitutional rights to live as equal and dignified citizens without expecting mere sympathy from the powers that be. More importantly, it is also important at this juncture for all progressive intellectuals and civil leadership and HR activists of all communities ,along with the bystanders ,to join hands to fight this orgy of hate & violence against the ‘other’ and safeguard constitutional rights of all communities to practice their religion and cultural practices without fear in a peaceful Post-war Sri Lanka . This is the NEED of the HOUR which task is too important to be left in the hands of the petty politicians who will only wake up and act if their interests are served and not if it will serve the country at large. Otherwise, we will be a laughing stock of the international community and also incur the curse of the future progeny for leaving their homeland ( and ours) to them in an utter mess and making it another Somalia.
Azmi / May 18, 2017
Good article. But sadly our politicians of any hue (Blue / Green / Red / Orange / etc etc) really do not care about the people who voted for them. They are given a Carte Blanche to pillage and plunder the country and its wealth and resources. They are actively doing that at present and this current upheaval by the monks in one such encouraging act to profit by better margins.
Do not forget, Ramadhaan is just around the corner and we have not forgotten the Grease Man story either. So all these rabble rousers are busy doing their job. We, the muslims should become true muslims and then unite to face these fellows.
Whether it is the President, Prime Minister, Minister, MP or whatever position; NONE of them care a damn about muslims in this country. They are all Sinhalese, Buddhist first and then Sri Lankan. They are well versed in the religion of islam and its is very easy for them to provide islamic edicts on any topic through their proxy called the BBS.
These people think strength comes from numbers. Certainly not !!! Battle of Badr is a clear evidence of this. إِنَّ بَطْشَ رَبِّكَ لَشَدِيدٌ.
jimsofty / May 19, 2017
If you get devine intervention to kill people and to derstroy other religions cultures, why there is no devine intervention to Afghans who destroyed the Bamiyan buddhas. How long they are suffering ?.
Why people are not thinking about why muslims are killing each other and has become a nuisance to other religions too ?
Kailainathan / May 18, 2017
It is the elected governments responsibility to maintain law and order !! Take necessary action against those !! Who ever it is !! But in this country the governments are protecting those culprits!! Also harboring them !! Some e cases the government its forces ministers supports are involved !! Since independence it’s the same !! They the governments are responsible!! For today’s situation!! Other words we the citizens at responsible!! We elected them to power !!
M.Hade Sharef / May 18, 2017
Work of JO to even with yahapalana
Minhaj / May 18, 2017
What can you expect, they waited 1 year under silence and knew that this government is a spineless one. Now they gained power to start the problem right around the Ramadan period. This country will go nowhere in the development topic while they have goons like these.
Time for action / May 18, 2017
When can we finally have a proper Islamic terrorist organization who can terrorize the actual people who unjustifiably harms the Muslims, in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, there are 1.8 billion muslims around the world, all we need is a little bit of effort and organizing, once you start giving them back the same medicine things will automatically stop. Let’s hope this happens very soon
Al-faqurlah / May 20, 2017
Do not try to play the fool with Sinhalese. This is what Prabaharan tried and failed. At least Tamils who respect Buddha will be saved by him. Muslims who hate Buddha will end up worse than Tamils, floating in Indian Ocean like Rohingyas. Where is the so called Islamic power which is unable to protect Rohingyas. An Islamic holocaust world wide is in the offing if Muslims do not stop behaving like stupid fellows. Time you start shouting “Buddha hu Akbar” to save your skin (not what you had lost).
ranjith(sprrw) / May 18, 2017
going through comic article of this muslim writer I feel he thinks that sinhalese are like old chinese with hair knot.he should know that even old chinese get their hair cut now. his main purpose is to cover up all the wicked actions of local muslims in the name of their worshipping god. destructions of old buddhist heritages, encroachments of buddhist temples properties, distribution of ladies costumes or sanitary towel with hidden sterilizing chemical gels are only a few thing I can mention here. on top of that he speaks on hate speeches. lamenting five times a day over the loudspeakers ‘ there is no god but allah only god that has right to be worshipped’ he should explain what is it. is it a call for nonviolence or violence. why does he not rate that as hate speech. this is a country with buddhist majority with all other religions. each has their particular gods or human being that have every rights to be worshipped. then which religion should be banned here as religion that does not respect others. surely Islam.
in his holy book says his worshipping god revealed that all people of other faiths are wild animals. the writer should explain why others should respect such a god. do others not have rights to call such a god as monkey or donkey or apes or whatever the animal names. as such he can not cover up all thing with islamophobia or hate speech blanket.
as we all know all the abrahamic religions does not have individual goals. they have only team goal. that is to make entire world submitted to their god doctrine in whatever the way possible.as such my conclusion is all the wicked acts are being committed by muslims community here is the acts planned by ACJU, SOORA COUNCIL, MUSLIM COUNCIL AND YMMA.
writer just trying to cover up all with islamophobia blanket. muslims came here as refugees when muslim power collapsed in south india. arabs came and went as traders. present muslim community is not descendants of arab traders. arab traders came here were christians not muslims.historical evidences vouched for it. south indian refugees now trying to destroy our heritages and build mosques on them. must be chased out to their original land south india or pakistan.
jimsofty / May 18, 2017
Muslims are good at minimizing what they do and blame others. Muslims want their women to cover up completely but they sell fashion -ware to women of other religions. Muslims are at the fore front for importing narcotics. Muslims know buddhists are against killings. but, Muslims want to make Sri lanka a meat exporting country and make Sri lanka a rich country by that (I am talking about an article published by muslims in CT. It is a Muslim claric from ACJU or something who is a polygamist who says women are inferior to men. It is muslims who bulldozed the Somawathi Chaity and build meat stals and muslims houses on top of that. fortunately, CBK govt had to go.
This author says the Eastern University is not a big Mosque. The better word is a A Muslim school, when built, which trains more clerics. Muslims throwing rocks at the pocession in Aluthgama and some muslims asking others to stop it etc., are Videos available. For this author just a one incident. Similar incidents had happened in many places in Sri lanka.
There Masters thesis on what is happening in Wilpattu and yet, the politician is busy cleAning the whole area from Wilpattu to Mullative including Kilinochchi area. His intention is building a political dynasty for him in that area and settling muslims in that area. It says, they are brining Rohingya muslims to settle here and some are smuggled to overseas countries.
Why this author can not talk intolerance against other religions particularly buddhism as that is the major religion in Sri lanka.
Muslims are using the democratic systems all over the world to islamize those countries. They are doing the same thing in Sri lanka. So, some buddhists object to that. Because of that, muslims rally around here to defend Islamic – aggression in Sri Lanka.
We are also aware how muslims are discrfiminating and harassing other muslim groups in Sri lanka.
John / May 19, 2017
Last week another ship load of illegal Muslims arrived in sri Lanaka, they were Burmise Rohingyas from India, when they were in India, Indian authorities didn’t treat them well, so they came to where his holy highness Gnanasara thero and his BBS very active. Muslim politicians and organisations want government to give these illegal Muslims housing, free health care, free education, etc. Soon, Muslim lawyers and Muslim JPs will give these illegal MUSLIMS fraudulent birth certificates, so they will vote for more Muslim politicians.
John / May 19, 2017
-“The Muhammedans, an alien people,. by shylockian methods become prosperous like Jews. The Sinhala sons of the soil, whose ancestors for 2358 years had shed rivers of blood to keep the country free of alien invaders … are in the eyes of the British only vagabonds. The Alien South Indian Muhammedan come to Ceylon, sees the neglected villager, without any experience in trade … and the result is that the Muhammedan thrives and the sons of the soil go to the wall.”— The Great Anagarika Dhamapala
ekelbroom / May 19, 2017
Brother Lukman Harees, you have stated that “The much maligned ‘unofficial police’ hate goons are back in action …”
Did they really ‘go away’ after 08th January 2015 ? Have you not as a thinking Muslim realized as yet that they were very much a part of the regime-change plans imposed on our Motherland by the West and India ?
With impending Local Government and Provincial Council Elections due to be held this year, is it really surprising that the anti-Muslim groups have once again been resurrected if only to remind the minorities of the horrors experienced during the tenure of the previous Government ?
In fact you have also taken the opportunity to vent your fury at the previous Government for the resurgence of anti-Muslim sentiment. Yet, why do you hesitate to point your stiff fingers at the present Government, too, for their inaction and seemingly-passive support ?
The Muslim Sri Lankans have not fallen from the frying-pan into the fire. They have failed to realize (or maybe they refuse to acknowledge) the fact that they are still very much in the frying-pan. Their problem is that they are waiting for someone else to extinguish the fire or at least reduce it’s intensity. This will not happen since it is in the interest of various external and internal players to keep the fires burning merrily.
The heat from the fire will begin to reduce if and only if the Muslims themselves take the initiative to do so. Can you identify one single contribution that the Muslims have made of their own volition during the past 3 – 4 years towards the establishment of peace and harmony by effectively addressing the concerns, apprehensions and fears of the Buddhists in our Motherland ?
Concerned citizen / May 19, 2017
You have made some valid points, however can you please list down the apprehension and concerns of the Bengali migrant Buddhist of this beloved motherland of ours
One cannot find solutions unless there is a problem in the first place
Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam / May 20, 2017
Sinhalese are not Bengali migrants. Originally they were not Buddhists either. Their core genetic material is South Indian (Tamil and Malayalee). In fact Tamils have more Bengali genetic input (29%) than Sinhalese (26%).
Concerned citizen / May 19, 2017
If you actually analyze, these Bengali migrants doesn’t have any apprehension but only sickness which is called jealousy, pure jealousy, and there is no cure for it, if you think there is one, please suggest
As Buddha said” Tanhaya jayathi soko” until these people come out of this, this sickness will never get cured, guaranteed.
ranjith(sprrw) / May 19, 2017
concerned citizen or ekel broom or whatever if you have backbones challenge us as bengali migrant. we firmly say you muslims are descendants of south indian refugees and dutch slaves of malay and javanese. bengalis are mongoloid. but we sinhalese are australoid as such no comparison is possible. there may be few tribal australoid pockets in west and east bengals. that was migrant people from east indies around seventy five thousand years ago to escape great toba volcanic eruption.which took place in sumatra. as such indian cluster or indian database is bullshit. humans were out of africa. as such cluster and database should be african not indian. india was not a place here hominids primate of humans evolved.w e know our ancestry very well. though you claim arabic one. it is a bullshit.you all are south indian refugees like ones nowadays in europe from middle east.
Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam / May 20, 2017
You are correct when you say that Sinhalese are Australoid, but you seem not to know who they are. Austral refers to south, and those classified as Australoid have dark skin and wavy hair, a group of people lived from Mesopotamia through Indus valley and as far as the present Australia. Australian aborigines migrated from east indies through Papua New guinea. Also Bengalis are not true Mongoloid as what you are saying, but a hybrid Dravido-Mogoloid group. For Sinhalese to deny any Bengali connection is absurd as in the genetic studies it was found that 26% of their genetic material is Bengali. With modern technology you cannot cheat about your ancestry. Tamils are more Australoid than Sinhalese due to their complexion.
concerned citizen / May 19, 2017
Ranjith( S) pprrw
Here are the evidences —
1) Mahawamsa on the origins of Sinhala
2) The many genetics studies done on the origins of sinhala-just google and you will find all the evidences
3) The recent research published Yes, the Sinhalese have their origins in Bengal, Odisha | The Indian …
And finally, to double confirm all this, i suggest you pay visit to present day Bangladesh, so you can where your language, culture and the religion originated.
After this, I suggest you tell all the racists including the Hog thug monk Ghanasra also to visit Bangladesh, so they can realise where their ancestors came from.
jimsofty / May 19, 2017
Write now what is ahppening is Muslims ministers are stealing from everypossible side. When investigations are started, they stop those things. Becuse, of that, these guys come and start scolding BBS. Because that is a diversion tactics for muslim ministers. Lskmann Harees and there is another guy – Ameer
Ali – you all are writing to devert the attention from mulsim ministers stealing abusing their post.
there are newspaper articles which say, rishad Bathiuddin is part of a people – Rohingya muslims – smuggling campaign. Rishad Bathiuudin also had imported 250,000 metric tons of ricer fradulently as he was the Mionister for Sathosa.
So, probably, you are being paid as an NGO. YOu all earn money by bashing Sinhala – buddhists. Because, we all know, all over the world you people are like pbarbarians. Sunnis kill shiites and vice versa. Sunnis spread all over the world as salafis or wahabis are destroying Christians and Hindus alike.
You people are trying to islamize Sri lanka. there will be a breaking point or the threshold of what you are doing. Sinhala buddhists will take action.
It is an open secret that people are are destroying Europe.
LANKA NITIZEN / May 20, 2017
Replacing Mahinda was like treating the symptoms ,not curing the ailment, The infection is the foreign hands involved ,Gota at-least was slowly kicking them out by bringing them under the preview of Defense Ministry.
There are no Freemasons or Illuminati conspiracies ,these are all bogus conspiracies theories created by this dangerous religious extremists undercover who is setting the whole world on fire and shedding blood everywhere to fulfill their agendas and not to forget their pockets.
Freemasons or Illuminati conspiracies are their bogey man creations , form of alibi to divert everyone’s attention.
There are agents from every single religion who sell their souls and their religion and their own people for money .
It will one day be exposed but by then many innocent lives would be lost and many nations will be destroyed.
You need to go the roots and uproot them permanently,The government must only allow established religious authorities who have been here of old to take care of their people and allow only non religious organizations like Lion’s Club etc to function as NGO and not let them deviate from their constitution which does not allow it to be coined with any particular religion ,they are all 100% Humanitarian organizations.
Be like China , be friends with all nations trade freely , but do not let them bully sri Lanka into letting their warped inhuman agenda to be established here.