Colombo Telegraph

‘Wanda Pethi’ My Foot!    

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

How many of the Sinhalese people can be fooled?  I have to deliberately mention Sinhalese because the fictional ‘victims’ are the Sinhalese people. ‘Victims’ of what? The ‘victims’ of ‘wanda pethi’. Victimised by whom? By the Muslims who are targeting the Sinhalese by mixing ‘Wanda Pethi’ (tablets to make a woman barren) in the food that they eat. The alleged objective is to reduce the Sinhala population while increasing the Muslim population so that Sharia law can be introduced in Sri Lanka.

Foolishness sometimes comes out of innocence and that can be understood. However, foolishness arising from gullibility conditioned by prejudice is unpardonable. Especially, when such tomfoolery paradoxically, are from the educated lot.

New Discovery

Eureka! It seems that the Muslim Hotels and Muslim Garment outlets in Sri Lanka have discovered what the advanced medical scientists of the developed world has not; That is, a tablet by which a woman can be made barren. Many Sinhalese people including many monks have fallen hook, line and sinker to these absurd lies. In Ampara, on 27th February, a Muslim hotel was attacked by a Sinhalese mob over the allegation that they were mixing these tablets with food served to the Sinhalese customers. The customers in this instance were men and the food served obviously would have been consumed by them. One wonders how could the women become barren through this. Sounds illogical and unscientific.

Reportedly at least five people were wounded and several shops and a mosque damaged. A video clip where the cashier admits that he had mixed the tablets has gone viral. The fact is that the video recording had been done under coercion and the cashier who is not fluent in his Sinhala does not even know what ‘wanda pethi’ is. In a later recorded clip the Cashier explained what had happened. He said that he had nodded his head in admission that the hotel used to mix chick peas flour to thicken the gravy. It was after he was told by his friends at the Police Station that the issue is about mixing some tablets in food which causes infertility that he realised what all this was about.

Law And Order

The serious lapse in the enforcement of the law, interference by corrupt politicians in matters of the Police and the general lack of self-confidence in the Police force is portending disaster to this country. It is alleged that the distance between the Police Station and the Hotel that was attacked is less than one kilometre. Strangely, it had taken a longer time for the Police to arrive at the scene of crime. The attack party was mobilised without delay indicating that this was organised and pre-planned. Altogether, giving credence to the theory that there was collusion. Something that needs to be investigated. Also, the Police needs to be instructed with regard to efficiency in response time, making it mandatory.

The mission statement of the Sri Lanka Police reads:

“Sri Lanka Police is committed and confident to uphold and enforce the law of the land, to preserve the public order, prevent crime and Terrorism with prejudice to none – equity to all.”

In contrast to this idealistic Mission statement, in real life today, we find a driver abandoning his vehicle and running away from an accident site fearing for his life. We find organised racist mobs storming into a hotel and perpetrating a litany of crimes. In a properly functioning democratic state any breach of the law will be duly reported to the Police by the person affected. The Police on its part will protect, investigate and enforce the law. No citizen is expected to take the law into his hand in normal circumstances. Well, if this is how as we know civilised society functions, what then has happened to this country?  Can we call ourselves as civilised people?  Are the democratic institutions functioning as they ought to? Where is the Rule of Law? Why is the Police hesitant to arrest or file action against the monks who commit crimes? Where does one find in practise the idealistic Mission statement of the Police – with prejudice to none – equity to all. Is it reasonable to deduce that these are the serious indicators of institutionalised racism? Have the people developed an anarchic mentality engendered by the circumstances? Where is the constitutional guarantee of and, the fundamental right of equality and equal status before the law? Why is there discrimination when it comes to enforcing the law in situations where the Sinhalese are involved with the Tamils or Muslims or the Christians? 

The Constitution of Sri Lankan guarantees to its citizens, thus:

12. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds.

The demise of greats like the late Venerable Sobitha Thero and Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero who were strong supporters of the Rule of Law is a tragedy for the nation.

Mr. Prime Minister 

It was not too long before that you received the appointment as the Minister for Law and Order. The Muslim community is waiting in anticipation to see what action you will be taking on what transpired in Ampara at the Hotel. Absolutely unfounded and scientifically fallacious accusations levelled against the hotelier. Clearly, several crimes had been committed like assault, damage to property, criminal trespass, unlawful assembly, hate speech etc.

The Muslim community is looking for justice. Justice that is manifested in its true sense that is equitable justice to all sides. If there is evidence that the hotelier has mixed the so called ‘wanda pethi’ prosecute him to the maximum. In the same way arrest all those who were directly responsible for causing this mayhem on that day. Also, arrest all those who were accomplices and those who aided and abetted in the violence that took place in Ampara. Let the IGP instruct the CID to identify the persons who misuse social media to spread false news and to take stern action against them.

Mr. Prime Minister both you, as the Minister for Law and Order and the IGP need to focus investigation on the following premise. If these criminals acted as they had done because the hotelier had mixed these tablets in their food, why did they attack and cause damage to the mosque?  What could have been the possible correlation between the two? They are mutually exclusive entities. The mosque is a revered place of worship of the Muslims. The Constitution in Article 14 (1) (e) states:

“Every citizen is entitled to –  the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;”

Special Favours

How can anyone vandalise and desecrate a place of religious worship and remain free from the arm of the law? Will you enforce the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) law on these unsocial elements? The above is a more stringent piece of substantive law compared to the concomitant relevant Sections in the Penal Code. In many circumstances before there had been reluctance to indict under the ICCPR. Such unwillingness is interpreted by these racist elements as leniency shown towards them. How and when will the Rule of Law be upheld in this country. The eclectic application of the law is a violation of fundamental rights of the citizen as articulated in 12 (1) of the Constitution. 

The ICCPR states:

3. (1) No person shall propagate war or advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

(2) Every person who—

(a) attempts to commit;

(b) aids or abets in the commission of; or

(c) threatens to commit,

an offence referred to in subsection (1), shall be guilty of an

offence under this Act.

The Muslims are not asking for any special favours from you as the Prime Minister nor as the Minister for Law and Order nor any favours from the Inspector General of Police. Both of you belong to the Executive arm of this country. What the Muslims are asking for is very simple and clear.  Please establish the RULE OF LAW in this country. This country cannot afford to continue in this path of growing anarchy and chauvinistic hegemony. This has to stop.

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