Sri Lanka, like Myanmar is now a criminal state targeting minority community by misusing the majority Sinhalese criminal elements.
Though it condemns the planned attacks on Muslims and their properties, shops, restaurants, it is the state secret racist policy of Sri Lanka that emboldens the extremist criminal sections of majority Bushiest-Sinhalese populations to keep harming the genuine interests of Muslims. The state terror operations in Myanmar also encourages Lankan regime to keep a blind eye on the crimes against Muslims. .
The funny attitude of leaders of Islamic world makes the things worse for Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, India etc.
Reports say the Sri Lankan PM R. Wickremesinghe has directed the police to take action against those involved in the recent spate of attacks against the Muslim community in the Buddhist-majority country, he knows that the extremist Sinhalese are totally racist-fascist with media and government agencies fueling the anti-Muslim mindset to a very dangerous level. That is the deliberate double speaks of Lankan regime is responsible the state of affairs there.
Muslims, who account for around 9% of Sri Lanka’s population of 21 million, have blamed the attacks on the Body Bala Sena, or Forces of Buddhist power, an organisation that says the spread of Islam threatens Buddhism as the dominant religion. The minority Muslim community has been complaining of increasing attacks against them. Since mid-April over 30 such incidents had been recorded.
State criminal intolerance
Courts, judiciary, police, media lords and even government officals “share” the logic of Singhalese fanatics to hate Muslims and Tamils. That makes a state policy against humanity.
Yes, it is not only Muslims and Tamils who are the target of Criminalized Buddhist Singhalese but all others are being targeted in Sri Lanka. But Tamils and Muslims are worst affected in the ethnic cleansing of Lanka.
The crime situation in Sri Lanka would never have escalated to such a point without the direct support of the government, which is principally inclined towards the Sinhalese as they are a crucial vote-bank. It is also rumoured that the president’s brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa actively supports the BBS.
The police last week reportedly made three arrests after charges that they had turned a blind eye to the incidents purportedly carried out by the BBS. The BBS leader Galagodaatte Gnanasara remains at large despite a police hunt for his arrest over his responsibility to attacks against the Muslims. Recently, he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to prevent his arrest. Gnanasara is facing contempt of court charges. His failure to attend court is currently being probed as he had cited medical reasons and death threats against him for his failure to attend court.
Last year there were numerous reported attacks by radical Buddhist groups on Christian places of worship, mosques, and even on Buddhists who spoke out against growing religious intolerance in the country. Organized mobs led by radical Buddhist monks also attacked the Assemblies of God Church and Calvary Free Church during Sunday worship services on January 12 in the coastal town of Hikkaduwa. A mob of over 200 men and women including 20 Buddhist monks entered the church while we were worshipping in the morning and damaged the building and destroyed equipment.
Bibles and hymn books were burnt. The group threw stones at the church and damaged the building. Police were unable to control the mob and asked us to leave the church immediately,” he said, adding that damages had amounted to about US$6,400.
The attackers stormed in close to midnight, tearing through town with gasoline bombs and clubs before carting away piles of cash and jewelry they stole from Muslim families in this tiny corner of Sri Lanka. The onslaught incited by the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, a hard-line group that has gained thousands of followers in recent years, killed at least two Muslims and injured dozens more last month in the worst religious violence Sri Lanka has seen in decades.
Recently, Christians rallied in Colombo to protest against recent attacks on churches and mosques, and called on the Sri Lankan government to guarantee religious freedom for all minority religious communities in the country. “We plead for the freedoms enshrined in the constitution. The freedom of thought, conscience, religion and association should be available to all religious communities,” said Anglican Bishop Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey of the Church of Ceylon, who addressed a gathering of more than 2,000 at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Savior in the capital. “We expect the rule of law to be upheld and worry about hate speech and hate mongering against non-majority faith communities,” he said. “Christian communities face hardships in educating children in accordance with the tenants of their faith. Many children are compelled to study the majority Buddhist religion, a clear violation of our religious rights.”
Christians make up 6.1 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, while Muslims make up 9.7 percent, Hindus 12.6 percent and Buddhists 70.2 percent.
Muslims the prime target of Buddhist fanaticism
Sri Lanka perhaps is still deeply scarred by the 1983-2009 civil war between the Buddhist Sinhalese majority and ethnic Tamils, who are largely Hindus. But during the war, Buddhist-Muslim violence was relatively rare. The Singhalese monks leading Bodu Bala Sena have amassed a significant following in recent years, drawing thousands of followers. At raucous rallies, radical monks encourage violence against minorities and implore Sri Lankans to preserve the purity of the Buddhist majority.
Like politics, religion has also been criminalized by Singhalese religious politicians seeking wealth and power.
Muslims are their particular target for self advancement. In order to target Muslims for attacks, the members of the Bodu Bala Sena claim Muslims are out to recruit children and marry Buddhist women. They, like the RSS-BJP criminal duo does in India, even say Muslims are trying to take over the country by increasing their birthrate and secretly sterilizing Buddhists. Even as the country has seen rising instances of hate speech against Muslims and attacks on Muslim-owned businesses, there have been few attacks on people as well.
Rajapaksa’s government turned a blind eye to the violence as a way to shore up its core constituency — the Sinhalese Buddhist population — which makes up about 75 percent of Sri Lanka’s 20 million people. But the Sirisena government could have easily put down the majority Singhalese community’s criminal networks that harm the nation by organized crimes. At the root of the failure of the government to check the violence is electoral politics. But unwillingness on the part of the regime to safeguard Muslims has made the life of Muslims terrible.
Foreign embassies and the U.N. also demanded action. The United States canceled a five-year, multiple-entry visa held by the BBS’s general secretary, according to the group’s chief executive, Dilanta Vithanage. But he is a “big hero” in Sri Lanka. All attacks by the BBS have gone unpunished and hard-line monks, for the most part, have acted without fear of any legal repercussions.
The Sirisena government is under fire, accused of failing to protect Sri Lanka’s tiny Muslim minority and allowing radical Buddhists spewing illegal hate speech to operate with impunity for years.
The government let the Singhalese extremists grow into a monstrous fashion to shamelessly attack other communities exposing themselves as being anti-God and anti-Buddhists.
True believers in any religion won’t behave like wild beasts. Without peacefully persuasive strength and with criminal aggressiveness a religion becomes mere nonsense.
Why the Lankan regime
is so blind?
A government is duty bound to protect and help advance the genuine interests of every citizen without any animosity being shown against any sections of the society, particularly the minorities. However, most regimes misbehave with minority communities. Most governments pretend to be blind as minority people are being targeted by the majority community’s extremist gangs. .
Like India, Sri Lanka also sought to be a big power after getting freedom from UK and they target the minority communities as a matter of revenge for the British era oppressive colonist policies against them.
Apparently, Myanmar, Lanka and India shamelessly have joint agenda against minority populations, particularly against Muslims. Time and again RSS gangs unleash violence on Indian Muslims especially in the north. They desecrate mosques, burn Holy Quran, residential, commercial and industrial units and turn Muslims into penniless. This has been common occurrences and were incidents when Muslim women were stripped naked, paraded in streets and video filmed. Culprits were rarely brought to book even under congress governments. This has been happening to Sri Lankan Muslims ever since violent attacks were unleashed under the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The continued violence has raised fears that Sri Lanka could soon see echoes of Myanmar, where Buddhist monks helped incite violence in 2012 and 2013 in which Buddhist mobs slaughtered Rohingya Muslims. Still, many Sri Lankans and human rights workers are alarmed, saying the monks are creating communal divisions and giving Buddhism a bad name.
It is common knowledge that Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena, a violent anti-Muslim outfit, flourished under Rajapaksa government. He is a man of violence and openly displays his hatred towards Muslims .There are numerous police cases against him. Yet he was seen meeting President Sirisena who promised the nation to bring such people to books. This was an insult to justice and Muslims.
The Singhalese hate politics and anti-Muslim attitude continued as the physical attacks on Muslims in Gintota, Ampara and areas in and around Digana, Teledeniya, Pallekelle, Akurana, Ambatenne and other places causing billions of rupees worth of destruction depriving livelihood of thousands of families who were forced to live in fear and misery.
Should a regime shield the criminal gangs belonging to the majority community?
Sri Lanka, like India and Myanmar, views Muslims as it enemy and not as a part of the new independent nation.
Poisonous nexus of regional and global networks
Nationalist Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka are playing a key role in instigating hatred and provoking violence towards the Muslim minorities in both countries, claiming that such action is necessary in order to protect Buddhist race and culture
More than 655,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. Medecins Sans Frontieres estimates that at least 6,700 Rohingya died violent deaths, most from gunshots. The racist Burmese government has shown no interest in reckoning with these atrocities. Lankan government shows it is working.
The Hindutva communal government in India, RSS – front BJP, whose PM Narendra Modi was the architect of the genocide of Gujarat Muslims in February 2002 which killed more than 2000 besides burning their properties. Even before this government came to power the Indian RSS established close ties with racist elements here. Thus one cannot rule out their role in the racist attacks on Muslims.
Tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar have been high since violence broke out in the state of Rakhine in June 2012, displacing over 1.3 million people. At the time, Human Rights Watch documented the role of the clergy that led mobs of attackers. Deadly riots broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lanka, killing and injuring the minority Muslims. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS, the Buddhist Strength Force), a nationalist Buddhist group with a notorious reputation, is being blamed for the incident. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, the group’s leader, gave a speech around the time of the riots in which he claimed that the Sinhalese Buddhist population was under serious threat from the Muslims. This instigated further violence by large mobs, which attacked mosques and burned down shops and houses in Muslim neighborhoods.
When Rajapaksa government established close ties with Israel many predicted that it is matter of time before Israel uses racist to unleash violence against the island’s Muslims and destabilize the country. Today it appears that these fears have come true.
President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe have opened the country to USA, Israel and India. The connecting bond among these three countries is their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims. Israel’s global agenda has been to destroy Islam and slaughter Muslims as they had done, and still doing, in the Middle East
Sri Lanka has become a nation of corruption, crime and intolerance against humanity. Now the question is whether the Maithri-Ranil government has brought to the island the US-UK-Israel and Indian global anti-Muslim campaign.
As time went on the number of attacks on Muslim continue to increase while the government continued to turned blind eye. Muslims took up the matter with President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and even the top policy authorities. Sirisena argues that it is Mahinda Rajapaksa’s conspiracy to topple the government and he never uttered a word about enforcing law and order and punishes the majority culprits.
President Sirisena’s government, true to its anti-Muslim ideology, has refused to condemn the recent genocide of Rohingya Muslims. Meanwhile there began sporadic attacks on Muslims and the perpetrators were not brought to justice.
Further, the Muslim hopes were dashed as Maithri-Ranil government dismissed their interests and sentiments from the very inception. Their reconciliation rhetoric was a mere stunt to protect and promote criminal Singhalese. The anti-Muslim policy of Sri Lanka endeared itself to western powers too. Sirisena visited Holocaust Museum during his visit to Germany dismissing the sentiments of Muslims. This was followed by the official invitation to British war criminal Tony Blair who, together with US war criminal George Bush, invaded Iraq and destroyed that country besides killing five percent of the Iraqi population.
This is the question arises in view of the refusal of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to take timely precautionary measures to protect Muslims from the senseless attacks and the damage to the country by racist elements. The government has failed to ensure the security of Muslims and property in Digana and elsewhere even after it was evident that a communal riot was in the making.
Joint criminal exercises
Muslim communities make up about 10 per cent of the total population in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, both of which have a Buddhist majority. The communal clashes in Myanmar have been attributed to the 969 movement, an Islamophobic movement led by Monk Wirathu. Touted as the “Burmese Bin Laden”, his hate-filled sermons have called for a boycott of Muslim businesses and have petitioned the government to introduce stricter inter-marriage laws.
These well-planned and executed carnages on the Muslims have all the hallmarks of Rastriya Seva Sangh (RSS) attacks in India since partition in 1947.
Many corporatist foreign governments still refuse to criticize racist crimes in Myanmar and Srilanka. The Australian government has resisted calls to punish the Lankan regime and sanction Burma’s military for its ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims.
Many governments have condemned Burma for these atrocities at the United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly but have not condemned the Lankan government. .
Human Rights Watch interviewed Rohingya from the village who described in chilling detail how families sprinted to the beach as soldiers swarmed in, firing their weapons. Soldiers rounded up the men, shot and stabbed them to death, and burned the bodies in a massive bonfire on the beach. Soldiers then turned to the women and girls and beat, raped, slashed, burned and killed them.
One should not forget that Sri Lanka today is an active playground for super power politics in view of its strategic location and the ongoing super rivalry in the Indian Ocean. They are all busy manipulating to implement their agendas here often at the expense of the country.
The damage has already been done to Muslims and the island country as a whole. Anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka is on the rise and the government must take action before events spiral out of control. The state failure to hold to take action against these groups has only emboldened the Singhalese criminals further and plunged minorities in a deeper state of fear. This is not the first time such horrors have been visited upon the country’s Muslim minority. This is not a dispute between Sinhalese and Muslims or Buddhism and Islam. This is sheer bankrupt racist politics.
End majority fanaticism
Experts reveal that the network of extremist Buddhists is growing across Asia as they collaborate in countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Encouraged by the anti-Islam war by USA and NATO, the extremist Buddhists in these countries see Islam as a global force that is backed by powerful countries and money and lot of powerful institutions and covert terrorist organisations.
Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UN Dayan Jayatilake insists that the government is not taking concrete measures to curb the activities of extremist Sinhalese Buddhists in the country. Any one of the minor episodes of violence could spiral out of control and that the country could have another cycle of violence.
Analysts are certain that profound damage has been done to relationships in the island nation and that tension will remain for a long time. A high powered task force on religious extremism and violence could help improve the situation only if that is allowed to act, while foreign governments, the UN and other influential international players should be making it very clear to the government of Sri Lanka that the situation cannot continue indefinitely
Still proper condemnation is not forthcoming, but condemnations alone are not enough to end crimes against Muslims. .
Has the collapsing Maithri-Ranil government joined the anti-Muslim United States, Israeli and Indian war mongers axis to implement their evil designs on innocent Muslims in the island?
Sick of this carnage more than 95 percent of Muslims voted for President Maithripala Sirisena who pledged to bring to book all criminals and those who caused communal disharmony. But Sirisena remains a mere Singhalese ruler who takes decision in consultation with former ruler Rajapaksha.
That is the tragedy of minorities of Sri Lanka as well as the nation.
Islam is the genuine religion that beings man closer to God not against any other religions and as such false fear of Islam and Islamophobia stunts only further vitiate the atmosphere to the benefits of anti-religious and essentially atheist criminal gangs and they must end for promoting peace.
Muslims are equal citizens of Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka and have all rights to protection of their property and lives and equal treatment under the law. The governments of these countries need to make that possible.
In the face of the recurring atrocities and denials, unequivocal action from concerned countries is needed. That means targeted sanctions against those responsible, including senior military commanders in charge of the ethnic cleansing campaign, to prevent them from traveling to capitalist countries like USA and Australia, and freezing any assets that they may have here.
Continued silence by UN veto members particularly Russia and China on the genocides of Muslims in these countries would make their self prestige high in any manner.
Unused diplomacy to stop crimes against humanity is as bad as motionless dead nations.
The UN and global governments need to send a strong message to racist and anti- Muslim countries like Myanmar Sri Lanka and India that its response to ethnic cleansing cannot be “business” as usual.
The international community should be saying to the governments of India, Burma and Sri Lanka that they should be trying to shut down the Hindutva and Buddhist terror links across the regional nations.
Writer: Prolific writer, Educationist, Independent Analyst, Investigative journalist, Columnist contributing articles to many newspapers and journals on world politics.