Colombo Telegraph

Will Sri Lanka Become A Killing Field Again?

By P. Bertie Ranaweerage

Bertie Ranaweerage

According to Karuna Amman there had been only 80 LTTE  armed cadres by July 1983. JR who did almost nothing to protect the Tamils and their properties during the Black July Days in 1983 had no alternative but to send  those who managed to save their lives to the Northern and Eastern provinces. It is in the public domain that a large number of  Tamil youths who were sent to the North and East willingly joined the LTTE either to get revenge on the Sinhalese or on the belief that Eelam was the only remaining panacea  for all the problems  the Tamils. Karuna further said that  the number of  armed cadres of the LTTE had gone up to 40000 by the time he left the LTTE.

The Sinhala extremists and their leaders such as Elle Gunawansa, and Cyril Mathew who plotted and launched the Tamil pogrom in 1983 never in their wildest dreams  did think that the terror they unleashed on the Tamils would result in a 26 year disastrous internal war. Hence we have to ask ourselves now whether the terrorism of the blood thirsty BBS would  push the Moor /Muslims to extremism which may result in more destruction more violence and more bloodbaths .

Nobody never ever thought that this government would  do what  JR and Premadasa did  during the Black July days in 1983. We do remember that JR did not utter a single word against massacring of Tamils until the thugs and murderers had finished their job. Like wise the MR government took no meaningful measures to stop the Aluthgama mayhem and the President waited from June 15 to June 21 to make an appeal to the public to desist from attacking the others on the grounds of religion or ethnicity.

The recent  brutal attack on Watareka Vijitha Thera, after kidnapping him at night allegedly by the BBS thugs, has once again proved that the BBS is a fascist organization which does not tolerate those who speak  for inter ethnic harmony. It incidentally reminds us of  the cruelty  of the ‘ Patriotic Army ‘ of the JVP that  killed those stood for the 13th amendment  from 1987 to 1990.  Unless the BBS is stopped immediately by proscribing it and  incarcerating its junta  for years  there is no doubt that it will continue its terror against minorities. We can expect more attacks on Muslims’ property and more Muslim deaths. Not only they will attack the minorities but also the Sinhalese who are against them.

As the rulers continue its mollycoddling of the BBS it is continuing its attack on Muslims. The latest news is that they had attacked  ‘NOLIMIT‘ textile shop in Panadura owned by Muslims. And it will not be the last attack against Muslims and nobody will be amazed if they hear of another attack tomorrow morning.

It is tragic for the entire nation because the government has not understood the gravity of BBS’ fascism and its consequences. When  Muslims are continually attacked it may  push the Muslim youths to take up arms for the  protection of its community. Muslim extremism which has turned Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Nigeria to a living hell will definitely extend its tentacles to Sri Lanka taking the advantage of the present situation here. Though killing others or committing suicide is a sin that opens the path to the hell for Buddhists, it is said that killing in the name of Islam is a sure path to the heaven where beautiful virgins, delicious foods ,drinks  and mansions  are in abundance .It may well could be one of the incentives that drives Muslims to kill enemies and ‘heretics’. Hence pushing Muslims to arm themselves will culminate in unimaginable tragedies for Sri Lanka. Not only it will be disastrous for both the Sinhalese and the Muslims but also for the economy of the country. In the event that the Middle East countries decide to limit the recruitment of workers from Sri Lanka the impact on the economy will be catastrophic.

Yet it is only a day dream if we expect the government to ban the BBS as it is an invisible ally of it. The President has already said that the BBS would not be proscribed in response to the requests made by Ministers Hakeem and Rishard Bathiudeen. In future elections the BBS probably field a few candidates under the UPFA and will do whatever possible to bring the UPFA and the incumbent President back to power as its future depends on the generosity of the Rajapaksa government.

The UNP has not so far understood that the BBS will be a major threat to it during future election campaigns. My belief is that the BBS will be used by some leaders of the government to attack the UNP election rallies and disrupt them. They will not hesitate to use petrol bombs and guns to attack the UNP rallies. Without understanding the gravity of the threat they are living in a utopian world dreaming that Ranil or Karu would be elected or would be allowed to be elected for the office of the Presidency next year.

As fascist BBS’ popularity is increasing among the extremist Sinhala Buddhists who are ready to kill in the name of Buddhism, it has posed a threat to the future of the Jathika Hela Urumaya and Wimal Weerawansa’s National Freedom Front. That is why Wimal Weerawansa threatens the government that he would resign unless his 12 resolutions are implemented.  They have already been forced to resort to various politrics in order to prevent their voters from deserting them and turning to BBS in case the BBS contest. Hence we can expect blood curdling  ‘patriotic ‘ speeches from both groups in future as Parliamentary elections and the Presidential election are to be held in 2015.

Mr. Hakeem, Minister of Justice and  senior Minister Mr. Dew Gunasekara have asked why the government failed to stop the mayhem in  Dharga Town, Beruwala, Welipenna and Aluthgama. It is pity that  they  have forgotten that they themselves area  part of the government.  They surely must know that the Rajapaksa government did not want to prevent it as its power is based on Sinhala Buddhists and it has to please its voter base to remain in power and regain power.

The violence against the Muslims could have been prevented not only by the government but also the parties of the Opposition , particularly  the UNP and the JVP. They could have launched an effective  propaganda campaign against the BBS’ fascism  to convince the public its destructive agenda and  rally people against the BBS’ madness. But the UNP failed to do so as  it has become a confused  and stranded political party in the political wilderness sans a road map .With regard to the JVP it  was not interested in  launching a campaign against its erstwhile comrades  as it feared that it would erode its  Sinhala Buddhist vote base.

The Muslim Congress and the Muslim Ministers too could have prevented the onslaught against the Muslims to a certain  extent had it acted decisively at the right time. it is not wrong to assume that they hesitated to act decisively simply because Muslim Ministers did not want to say good bye to the privileges they have been enjoying  being a part of the Rajapaksa government.

Now Sri Lanka has arrived at a critical juncture. Another civil war is being prepared by the BBS, Sinhala Ravaya and Rawana balaya By not condemning this extremists, Chief Priests of Malwatta and Asgiriya and prominent Buddhist priests such as Maduluwawe Sobhtha Thera are contributing to a future civil war here. Unless the government  understand that the BBS’ non-stop attacks on Muslims will force Muslims to arm themselves and retaliate, nobody will be able to prevent  this land becoming a killing field once again.

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