Cii News | 17 October 2014/24 Dhul Hijjah 1435
Anti-Islam sentiment reared its ugly head again in Sri Lanka, home to an estimated 2 million Muslims, following extremist monk Ashin Wirathu’s latest visit to this island nation. Wirathu, a Myanmar citizen, heads the 969 Movement – a racist outfit that not only seeks to entrench the Buddhism hegemony at any cost but also metes out violence against the already-marginalised Muslim community in this part of Asia.
“It’s really bad now in Sri Lanka,” Iyas Hanif, community activist and businessman, said in a telephonic interview with Cii this morning. Not long ago, he explained, anti-Islam extremists torched 50 shops and killed four people (including an infant). “We’re being targeted by the extreme racist political party organised by a Buddhist Monk. This organisation is supported by high-ranking government bureaucrats.”
The organisation Hanif is referring to is Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), an outfit packed with Sri Lanka’s right-wingers. Alongside other extremist groupings, BBS is accused of a protracted campaign to terrorise and exterminate from the island nation Muslims – who make up around 10% of the population. Pleas – from the likes of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime – to tackle terror and violence meted against minority communities, have fallen on deaf ears, according to Hanif. For a country fresh from a civil war, which plunged the country into utter mess in 2009, the BBS campaign coupled with the fascist monk’s visit and Rajapaksa’s inaction raise concerns.
There are also questions about how Colombo allowed extremist movement’s Wirathu to visit the island nation, not least since, as Hanif reminded Sabahul Khair, the Burmese monk’s terrorist group slaughtered 1,200 Muslims in the Indian Ocean region.
“This person has close links with our Bodu Bala Sena,” the activist said, explaining the covert ties between the racist Buddhist monk and Rajapaksa’s regime. “He himself, said it’s time to eradicate Muslims bit by bit, from the Sri Lankan border,” he said lamenting Sri Lanka’s political landscape (ruling party and opposition) unity in silence in this respect. The 969 terrorist grouping, which is also rejected by the United Nations among other world bodies as well as governments, has openly said that the south Asian region has to be “saved” from Islam.
It is not just violence that Sri Lanka’s Muslim community is facing but other aspects of Islam are under threat. This, explained Hanif, spans halaal food product on supermarket shelves to dress code (including hijab) as well as the beard. What is Colombo doing about all of this? “Government is shedding crocodile tears – this is politics. Our big man, President Rajapaksa, goes to Middle East countries and sheds crocodile tears for the Muslims,” the community activist observed. “He comes to Sri Lanka and he supports BBS.”
Latheef Farook – Colombo Telegraph | 15 October 2014/20 Dhul Hijjah 1435
Anti Muslim Sinhala racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena(BBS), which does not represent the mainstream Sinhala Buddhists, but had done considerable damage to pit Sinhalese against Muslims in the name of Sinhalese and Buddhism, together with Myanmar’s convicted criminal Ashin Wirathu, have declared war on Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka and in South Asia.
As part of this program the two sides, BBS and 969, also signed a special agreement aimed at creating South Asia free of what they described as (Islamic) terrorism and religious fundamentalism.
Addressing the Sangha Council meeting, organized with pomp and pageantry by the BBS costing millions of rupees on Sunday 28 September 2014 at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Ashin Wirathu, the dreaded leader of the 969 movement, the architect of the massacre of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and described by TIME magazine as the “face of the Buddhist terror” told, that his organization 969 would work with the BBS to fight so called Islamic terrorism.
Work together for what? Certainly not to promote Buddhism and establish a better Buddhist society but to kill Muslims, destroy their economies and turn them into a community of beggars as the Zionist sponsored United States led European countries have been doing worldwide, especially in the Middle East, since the collapse of former Soviet Union in 1989.
This unholy BBS-Wirathu alliance spells disaster for Sri Lanka and the island’s besieged Muslim community especially in the context of the ongoing persecution of the island’s Muslims striking at their very survival. This has all the ingredients to turn this island into a killing field once again with unpredictable consequences
The question is whether the country need or afford such mayhem for the benefit of handful of racists?
Now the question is whether this alliance is to prepare for what Jathika Hela Urumaya’s Udaya Gammanpila predicted as the” inevitable repeat attack on the island’s Muslims in 2015 to commemorate the centenary of 1915 riots”. Perhaps the attacks on Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala Muslims in June 2014 were trial balloons for what is to come next year?
BBS has already poisoned the Sinhalese minds against Muslims to prepare the climate for such an attack. As part of this program, unnecessarily digging out old wounds, certain section of the local media, increasingly under Sinhala racist and Israeli influence, started publishing articles blaming Muslims for 1915 riots.
While the world is moving ahead under the global economic changes now sweeping all corners of the world to ensure better life for people here in the island few hundreds of Sinhala racist are taking the country back to 1915.
It is common knowledge that the BBS and 969 are sworn enemies of Islam and Muslims.
They are not interested in creating a Buddhist society based on Buddha’s teachings and his message of maithri and karuna. They are not interested in fighting against social evils such as liquor, gambling, casino, corruption, prostitution, declining religious, moral, religious, cultural and family values.
Instead they are busy spreading hatred against Muslims in violation of the very same teachings of Buddha which they claim to protect. Their proven agenda is to demonize Islam, kill Muslims and destroy Muslim societies (and destroy everything that Lord Buddha stood for) as Wirathu had done in Myanmar and BBS is doing in Sri Lanka.
BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero is not a man of peace. Under normal circumstance where there is rule of law he should have been in custody for his role in the Aluthgama-Dharga Town and Berwala attacks on Muslims which reduced once wealthy families into paupers.
He is a demagogue accused of being behind the hate Muslim campaign that enjoys the support and protection of the state. Their foreign masters, perhaps, provide them with enough of money, training and guidance in their campaign to destroy Muslim societies.
On the other hand Myanmar’s Ashin wirathu and his 969 movement have been responsible for the massacre of Rohingya Muslims, burning of Muslim towns and villages, residential and commercial units besides throwing hundreds of Muslims into the sea where they perished.
This very same Ashin Wirathu was granted an entry visa which was refused to the legendary man of peace Dalai Lama who warned Sri Lanka and Myanmar not to harm Muslim minorities.
All peace loving people were shocked when Wirathu was allowed to enter the soil of Sri Lanka thrice visited by ‘Buddha’.
Several Ministers including Senior Minister A.H.M.Fawzie, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem and Deputy Minister Faizar Mustapha together with many Muslim organizations pleaded with President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to allow Wirathu to enter this country.
However, these appeals were dismissed and fell on deaf ears –perhaps Ashin Wirathu is more important than the Island’s Muslim community? Wirathu who was given a reception usually meant for heads of states, thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for granting him visa to visit Sri Lanka.
The Muslim community in general feel deeply disappointed and disgusted .They accuse Muslim politicians whom they consider as sell outs, so called moulavi thumas who have lost the confidence of the community and the so called prominent Muslims for hobnobbing with the government despite repeated humiliation and threats.
For example Muslim parliamentarians continue to remain constituent members of the government and refuse to raise Muslim issues to ensure the rights, dignity and safety of Muslims.
Our half baked, jet setting and wheeler dealer “moulavi thumas” went all the way to Geneva to defend the government not knowing what they were doing and where they were going .In their keen desire to please the Sinhala leadership these “moulavi thumas” even compromised Islam when they asked Muslims to stop reciting “Qunoot”, the most powerful weapon given by Allah, during times of difficulties.
The government also did not take into consideration the so called prominent Muslims who once invited Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to discuss Muslim issues in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere but refused to raise any issue stating that “we cannot hurt our guest.”
These very same prominent Muslims who discarded the sufferings and misery of Muslims in aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala attended Iftar parties to please the Sinhala power even before their tears dried.
Despite all these it appears the government has written off the Muslim community.
This is the reality in today’s Sri Lanka which BBS’s once reported to have resigned President Ven Kirama Wimalajothi described as a Sinhala Buddhist country and not a multi religious and multi racial country. The theme of his speech and the Sangha Council itself was open hostility towards Islam and Muslims who were the most peaceful of the three communities as once stated by former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva.
What they failed to realize is the sacrifice Muslims made to ensure the territorial integrity of the country during the three decades of LTTE separatist war. In fact if the Sinhala racists cannot live with the Island’s peaceful Muslim community in harmony, despite continuous state sponsored discrimination, they will never be able to live in peace with anyone in this planet.
In the meeting BBS submitted proposals which could take the country back to medieval age.
Suggested changes included change Sri Lanka to ‘Sinhalay’,State Religion to be ‘Buddhism’, Sinhala to be state language while Tamil and English to be recognized as state communication languages, learning Sinhala, Tamil and English to be compulsory, Sinhala race and Sri Lanka nation to be synonymous, so everyone in Sri Lanka will be called ‘Sinhalese’ and not ‘Sri Lankan’.
The other suggestions were; all minorities to be called ‘Sinhala-Muslim’, ‘Sinhala-Hindu’, ‘Sinhala-Christians’, One Race, One Nation, One Law, change the National Flag to the 1915 National Flag ,National Anthem to be only sung in Sinhala,Vesak to be National Day, do away with the Independence day, Sinhala Buddhism will be the primary culture, minorities will be able to have sub cultures as long as they recognize the Sinhala Buddhism as the primary culture, change the Sri Lanka constitution to be more in line with Buddhist values and do away with European government styles.Sri Lankan leader to be an Executive Prime Minister, but the Executive Presidency need not be abolished within the next 6 years.
This resembles what is going across the sea in India where Sinhala racists’ new found friend fanatically anti Muslim RSS (Rasthriya Swayamsevak Sang) claim that in India “we are all Hindus”.
However BBS suggestions which take the country back to pre medieval age are simply recipe for disaster of an unpredictable consequence. The irony is that they had forgotten even recent history and once again putting innocent people of all communities at loggerheads to fulfill their racist agendas.
The speakers at the Sangha Council meeting manufactured lies to ridicule Islam and demonize Muslims .In doing so they spoke their Zionist –American masters’ language of killing Muslims and blaming the victims of terrorism.
This is typical Zionist and Zionist ruled US-UK and European strategy to associate Muslims with terrorism to justify their invasion of Muslim countries, destroy their infra structure and slaughter Muslim men, women, children and the aged, destroy the society and push them into refugee camps to suffer in abject poverty as they had done and still doing in Iraq and Syria.
Here in the island too powerful forces unleashed a wave of anti Muslim campaign describing them as extremists and terrorist without any shred of evidence although top army and police officials have repeatedly stated that there are no such elements. In fact it was Sinhala extremists, who have attacked Mosques, destroyed Muslim shrines, threw slaughtered pigs into mosque and carried placards with pigs’ faces described as Allah and such hooliganism without the fear of being taken into custody.
No Muslim ever indulged in such hooliganism. However Muslims have been accused of extremism and terrorism.
In this regard it is worthy to recall what Ven. Professor Kotapitiye Rahula Thera, Director of Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies University of Kelaniya told Daily mirror on Wednesday 8 October 2014.
In an interview with Shihara Maduwage Prof Kotapitiya stated;
“Buddhism is one of the oldest and most valuable heritages of Sri Lanka. Today, at a time when there is much hullabaloo about Buddhism being destroyed, it is important to protect the true teachings of the Buddhist philosophy. In the present day, although some, including Buddhist monks, were of the view that Buddhism was slowly disappearing from the world, it was a narrow-minded view.
“A lot of people in this country and even some of the Buddhist clergy are alarmed thinking that Buddhism will lose its value in the world. They are making such a big noise, urging the masses to protect Buddhism and are sometimes even seen acting in rash, unwise and aggressive ways because of their panic. However, these are people who have no idea of what is going on in the world. They think in a very narrow way because they have not seen the world’s reaction to Buddhism. In fact, they are alarmed for no reason at all,” he assured.
He further stated that if anyone wanted to promote and preserve Buddhism, the best way to do so was not holding protests or going on religious rampages but to learn the teachings of Buddhism and study Buddhist philosophy and culture in depth. This was in fact one of the main goals of the PGIPBS – spreading Buddhism to the world through proper, structured education rather than through fear or blind acceptance