By Latheef Farook –
Are the racist elements trying to provoke a July 83 type pogrom against the island’s Muslims as part of their strategy to create chaos and destabilize the government to prevent the much expected arrest of those who committed crimes, corruption and plundered the nation?
It appears these racists, perhaps encouraged by the government’s slow pace to deal with lawless elements, began to implement their local and suspected foreign masters’ agendas.
They enjoyed free hand under the defeated Rajapaksa government, torn apart communities and caused havoc. However they were rejected by the people in the last two elections and remained subdued since President Maithripala Sirisena’s election on 8 January 2015.
However during the past few months they began raising their heads openly provoking Muslims. It appears that it was as part of this conspiracy that they started their “Sinha Le”, Sinhala Blood, and sticker campaign.
Sinha LeHowever large majority of Sinhalese distanced themselves from this madness. So much so , according to print and electronic media, some even went to the extent of buying paints to erase the slogans from the gates and walls of Muslim owned houses in Colombo suburbs.
This is a very good omen for the country battered by racist wars.
Under the circumstance the question is whether it isn’t time the government wake up and deal firm with these groups to avert any potential disaster
Addressing the special session of Parliament last week President Maithripala Sirisena did warn that extremist groups are attempting to destabilize the country. He added that there is no room for extremism be it in the North or the South.
First these racists blindly criticized all government initiatives. Then they criticized President Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe while turning their attention on Muslims. Then came the attacks on Muslims.
Innocent Muslims coming out of the mosque after prayer were attacked in Polwatta. Green color Prophet Muhammad birth anniversary flags were removed and burnt near Puranappu statute in Matale. Attempt to damage the Muslim daily, Navamani, office in Colombo and the list continues.
Displaying their ignorance they even called for the banning of the Holy Quran.
Perhaps they do not understand the seriousness of such calls. Their words and deeds demonstrate that they have nothing to do with Buddhism or Sinhalese community. Instead as once pointed out by Ven Dambara Amila Thera “these racists think that the world is inside Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is not part of the world”.
Their irresponsible and lawlessness could trigger both local and international response which a small country like Sri Lanka, friendly to all Muslim countries, could ill afford.
It is common knowledge that these groups have been Rajapaksa regime’s political tools and suspected mercenaries funded by foreign forces.
There were speculations during Rajapaksa regime that these forces were funded by Israel through Norway and a German Jew even donated a building in Galle to Bodu Bala Sena at a function attended by former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Israelis, kicked out time and again during the past six decades from Sri Lanka only to re enter through backdoor are here now. Though invisible they are an influential lot today unlike in the past.
Their main agenda wherever they go is to carefully pick up racist groups to pit them against Muslims. The anti Muslim campaign in the island fits in to their global agenda and thus the rumored close link.
These groups have also been backed by certain section of the island’s mainstream media which give publicity to their activities and contribute to the growing rift between communities.
Some local columnist go all out to associate the island’s Muslims and Islam with extremism though Muslims were the most peaceful of the three communities as once pointed out by former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva. Muslims were the only community which did not take to violence despite systematic discrimination ever since independence and ethnic cleansing.
In the international scene Muslim countries were invaded by United States led European, Russian and Israeli war mongers, destroying almost developed infrastructures, massacre millions of Muslims besides throwing millions and millions into refugee camps to suffer in extreme conditions.
These so called columnists in the island never highlight these crimes. Instead, parroting the western media which, mainly owned by western weapons industries and remains integral part of the US led western war machine.
Thus the racist groups enjoy considerable support in the local media.
This paradise island has suffered enough due to racism. The need of the hour is for all to seek means to achieve communal harmony and move ahead for the common benefit of all. This is the reason why the government needs to be protected despite shortcomings.
However, under the circumstance, unless the government is firm in dealing with racist groups once again they could turn the country into a killing field .In fact Muslims en masse voted for the government to end racist attacks and ensure peace and harmony.