Need of the hour is a Sinhalese leader who could think for the whole country above destructive racist politics.
Monday October 21 marked sixth month since the senseless Easter Sunday bombings of churches and hotels slaughtering innocent men, women and children. Up to date the country remains clueless as to who the real perpetrators were.
All what has happened was a Muslim religious lunatic Zahran and his associates who were funded and protected by the previous and the present governments of being responsible.
This tragedy could have been averted if the government had acted promptly when the authorities were informed of the bombings by several Muslim organizations and individuals to all relevant authorities providing names of the individuals involved and the places targeted.
The government miserably failed to prevent the disaster.
Instead there were reports from many sources including former minister Keheliya Rambukwella saying that Zahran and his associates were paid by defense officials when Mr. Gotabhya Rajapaksa was Defense Secretary. Meanwhile under present Maithri-Ranil government even court order to arrest Zahran was prevented by so called “TOP” which not many people are aware of.
Time and again Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith accused international forces of being responsible and reiterated that the Muslim community has nothing to do with this. Several ministers also said that “this was an international conspiracy against Muslims.
However the country is yet to know who these international forces were.
Dismissing all claims in the worst ever anti-Muslim violence in the known history of this country, the government and its Sinhala supremacist partners accused the entire Muslim community without any evidence.
They promptly unleashed violence of unprecedented scale striking at the Muslim community’s political, economic, religious, cultural and social life. As a result Muslims, 95 percent of whom voted Maithri-Ranil government to power, were overnight projected as extremists and terrorists.
The conspirators reported to include politicians, some Sinhala business establishments, and Buddhist monks used by these conspirators to terrorize Muslims. One of them in the forefront was visited by President Sirisena in his prison cell and released and entertained for tea at his office.
Equally involved were professionals with their own hate filled agenda. The classic example was the misery caused to Dr Shafie of Kurunegala Hospital due to professional jealousy.
Media, as integral part of this conspiracy, undertook a fierce campaign selling lies and deception poisoning innocent Sinhalese minds against Muslims.
Under normal circumstance in any normal democracy it is the duty of the government of the day to protect its citizen. However here in Sri Lanka, as it has been in India, governments sponsored violence on their own minorities and the perpetrators were never brought to justice.
Analyzing reports the inevitable conclusion is that the massacre was a well-planned and effectively executed conspiracy to blame Muslims, just because Zahran and his team happened to be Muslims, demonize, terrorize, subdue and turn the community into an outcast.
If we are to go by Professor Rajan Hoole’s book “ Sri Lanka’s Easter Tragedy-WHEN THE DEEP STATE GETS OUT OF ITS DEPTH” the ultimate target is to demonize and deprive Muslims of their citizenship rights and turn them into stateless people as the government did in 1948 to estate workers of Indian origin in Sri Lanka.
What the Muslim community fail to understand is that why should Maithri-Ranil government do this as the community as a whole voted made them president and prime minister on a pledge that they would bring all lawless and criminal elements in the Rajapaksa government to book, restore justice and confidence ensuring safety and security to all including Muslims.
They have miserably failed to fulfil their pledges. Instead virtually handed over the country to the very people whom they claim to bring to book.
In the aftermath of the end of LTTE war in May 2009, all in the country expected politicians to learn lesson, bring communities together and work towards a better future for all.
However to the shock of everyone anti-Muslim violence began under Mahinda Rajapaksa government and continued under Maithri-Ranil government on a greater scale for their own personal benefits.
For example violence against Muslims in Gintota was allowed to happen despite a team led by Professor Sarath Wijesuriya informing President Sirisena of the planned attack.
Then came the fictitious food poisoning claim at Ampara followed by violence at Digana, Akurana and surrounding areas of Kandy looting ,burning Muslim owned residential and commercial properties and desecrating mosques burning Holy Quran in March 2018.These crimes took place under the watchful eyes of the forces.
Then came the Easter Sunday bombings and killings on April 21.
Every Muslim man, woman and even children, were treated with suspicion, hatred and bitterness almost everywhere. So called search operations using emergency regulations have become nightmare for innocent Muslim families who remained petrified. Not only hospital security but even shops and super markets forced Muslim women to remove traditional shawls.
The community resisted security forces entering Mosques and houses with their boots taking dogs. There was no need for forces to enter with boots and take dogs inside.
To Muslims worldwide there is nothing more sacred than the holy Quran which was revealed to the entire human being through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muslims always read the Quran with ablution. Thus simply tearing copies of Holy Quran and anything and everything written in Arabic was unwanted provocations.
For three long weeks after the carnage Muslim houses and business establishments were emptied of their even kitchen knives under search operations using emergency regulations.
Search operations resembled Israeli search operations in the occupied Palestinian areas while violent attacks burning Muslim owned properties and even killing innocent Muslims resembled the Hindu fascist RSS, BJP, VHP, and Shiv Sena and Baring Dal attacks on Muslims in north India.
Muslims were deeply wounded and hurt. However to help ensure the security of the country they fully cooperated with security officers in their search operations.
Once Muslims were disarmed organized racist thugs began setting fire to houses, mosques, business establishments, factories and other such places aimed at crippling Muslim economy during curfew hours. This was done under the watchful eyes and the cooperation of security forces.
It was the Holy Month of Ramadan and the fasting Muslims were forced to flee to nearby jungles and paddy fields to protect themselves.
For example M.S. Fouzul Ameen 49, a well-to-do furniture shop owner from Kottaramulla in Nattandiya had been at home with his family to end the daily fast when a mob begun to stone his house and smash windows it was when the men started to smash his vehicle when Ameen came out to dissuade them.
“The group of about five men had turned on him and slashed him with a sword. He had fallen to the ground grievously hurt, after which they had poured turpentine that was lying around in the wood workshop on his face and left.
His 16-year-old son Ajmir was too upset to talk, as he sat quietly clutching the National Identity Card of his late father. His younger siblings are too young to fully realize the gravity of the situation unfolding around them, while their mother was too distraught to talk. Now what is the plight of Ameren’s wife and children?
In article in The Island on 18 May Prof Tissa Vitarana had his to say;
It is clear that the extremist jihadists were allowed to build itself into a sophisticated terrorist unit that could carry out the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks. That there was some expert guidance and direction from abroad is likely. But it is clear that the intention was to engineer an anti-Muslim backlash from among the Sinhala and Tamil Catholic communities. This objective has been checked by the great leadership provided by the Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and by the restraint shown by the Buddhist and Hindu clergy. It is clear now that the UNP is trying to repeat what they did in 1983, but this time against the Muslims”.
Maithri-Ranil government has become a disaster.
It was the racist politics which ruined this country which was a shining example for all third world countries, during its independence in 1948, for political and economic stability and communal harmony.
Countries like India, Maldives and even Singapore were far behind Sri Lanka. However today due to racist politics Sri Lanka is one of the most mismanaged countries facing acute political and economic crisis while communities remain divided.
Unfortunately country is further sliding into chaos as the forthcoming presidential elections is fought on communal lines aiming at majority votes and simply ignoring minorities.
Sri Lanka, as pointed out by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith this week, is an island blessed with everything. Even the presence of different, race, religions and culture enhance the island’s heritage. It is a rare privilege to be born as Sri Lanka
People of all communities-Sinhalese. Tamils, Muslims, and Christians – lived in peace and harmony for centuries. Even today there is harmony and understanding among average Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. It is the racist politics destroyed these rich values.
Thus the need of the hour is for a Sinhalese leader who could think for the whole country, bring communities together and move ahead to uplift this country from the current political chaos and racist politics, economic collapse and social problems.
This is what most Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Christians long for since independence.