By Emil van der Poorten –
As if Easter Sunday 2019 wasn’t bad enough, we had a response that was stereotypical of the JR Jayewardene era where the racist hounds of hell were unleashed on a segment of the population whose only crime was that they belonged to the same community as a handful of terrorists.
“Yankee Dick” was responsible for a massive relocation of Sri Lankan Tamils to such places as Canada, the US and the antipodes where they have contributed to those parts of the world far out of proportion to their numbers.
Before I deal with the recent fate of the Sri Lankan Muslim community let me reiterate, perhaps repeat, recent history.
When the Jihadist fringe was giving evidence of preparation for the kind of fundamentalist mayhem for which they are now only too well recognized, many orthodox members of the Islamic faith, prominent and respected members of that community, pleaded with members of this Yahapalanaya government to take appropriate action before it was too late. To no avail, despite those appeals, more often than not, being directed to those of the Islamic faith in the current ruling coalition who would have had the clearest understanding of the differentiation made by their co-religionists. Tragically, this is yet another instance of formal religious affiliations having very little to do with the practice of that faith.
Even though it might now seem as too little too late, the gravity of the decision by the mainline Muslim community not to accord the Jihadists a Muslim burial must be appreciated. After the Easter Sunday atrocity, the mainline Muslim community put action into words and visited upon the heretics the ultimate in rejection: not according the suicide bombers an Islamic burial. There is no denying the sincerity and gravity of this action.
And what of our Yahapalanaya lot? When the looters cut loose on, inevitably, those members of the Muslim community least able to defend themselves inclusive of members of a sect that had been provided sanctuary by Sri Lanka from the persecution of the very types responsible for the Easter Sunday massacre, our President reportedly sought some means of sending them away from Sri Lanka: this from a man who is only too ready to talk about our homeland being the final refuge of all that is good and great in Theravada Buddhism!
To say, “A pox on all your houses,” would be totally inadequate in the circumstances. People guilty of practicing this kind of hypocrisy and its terrible outcomes deserve something more appropriate in the way of punishment.
According to widely-circulated video, one of the major figures in Sirisena’s hodge-podge of Parliamentarians, had sought to have freed those taken into custody for looting and worse very recently. The general public expectation here is that if that stooge doesn’t succeed in having the criminals released, our President himself or one of the dozens of henchmen on tour in the Far East with him will be delegated to issue instructions, long distance, to the police that those taken into custody are to be restored to the bosoms of their families without delay.
This is the kind of country we are compelled to live in.
Is there nothing that can be done to rid ourselves of the Sirisena pestilence?