Monday, June 30, 2014

Sri Lanka: Laws to suppress social media planned BASL alleges

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday accused the government of planning to bring in special legislation to suppress social media networks. The BASL noted that the legislation, which could be brought as an emergency regulation and with provisions in the Penal Code, was an attempt to interfere with social media networks through which people come to know the truth as in the case of recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala.

Sri Lanka: New [ visa] regulations for foreign invitees for non state orgnisation funtions

President Rajapaksa's Code is an eight-page memorandum [presented] by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. It calls for significant changes. He has said that the NGO Secretariat (now coming under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development) and the Registrar of Companies will be tasked “with clearing NGO requests on hosting events and arranging necessary visas for the participants.” He has proposed “to designate a focal point at the NGO Secretariat and the Registrar of Companies in order to streamline the visa process.”

Aluthgama Violence: Ministers Hakeem and Bathiudeen wanted the entire country to burn - Minister Ranawaka

Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka slams English language media and ‘citizen’ journalists on social media for fabricating stories about the incidents in Aluthgama. Those who are eagerly bashing Sinhala Buddhists as ‘racist terrorists’ are conveniently ignoring the rise of Muslim fundamentalism within the country, Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Bribery Commission DG transferred: No reasons given

Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Lakshmi Jayawickrema, has been transferred to the Presidential Secretariat with effect from 24 June. No reason had been given for her transfer.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Suspicion Over Reports : BASL to seek order to exhume bodies of Aluthgama victims

Nirmala Kannangara
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is to submit an application to court and seek an order to exhume the bodies of the Muslims who were killed during the recent riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala and investigate the circumstances that led to their deaths after suspicions were raised over the postmortem reports.
Following a meeting held yesterday the BASL said it had decided to ask the court to direct a qualified Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) or head of the Forensic Department at the University of Colombo to conduct a postmortem seeking accurate and comprehensive reports into the deaths.

Sri Lanka: STF looked on as Aluthgama burned?

A senior English teacher in Dharga town says that a group of youth stormed into her home, vandalised its belongings and broke windows and threatened her before handing her over to a group of STF personnel who were nearby. Ms. Sahabdeen has taught English to Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim children in Dharga town for 37 years.

Police call on public to identify these monks

Police have requested public assistance to identify the Buddhist monks of Bodu Bala Sena who stormed into the ministry of commerce on April 23, 2014. It has become unable to identify the Buddhist monks who are facing charges, police say. The police informed the courts thus after the case on this regard was taken up by the Fort Magistrate court. Police have requested the court for more time to continue investigations.
In complying with the request, the magistrate ordered to take up the case on June 31.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

US funds projects to undermine the government says Defence Secretary Gotabhaya

Ahead of Presidential polls:  Govt. troubled by US-funded project
The government would investigate local NGOs involved in an unprecedented US project meant to influence the electorate ahead of national level elections next year, a senior government spokesman said yesterday.

Friday, June 27, 2014

UNP raps Govt. over BBS

Alleges Government is supporting and protecting Bodu Bala Sena in spite of deadly violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela
◾ Main Opposition takes its own national multi-religious initiative to secure ethnic harmony
◾ Multi-stakeholder meeting convened in Parliamentary complex approves four proposals; further public suggestions sought

All Ceylon Hindu Congress condemns acts of communalism, religious hatred

The All Ceylon Hindu Congress (Federation of Hindu Religious Associations and Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka), has strongly condemned acts of communalism and religious hatred again being directed against minority religious groups and in particular the recent incidents affecting Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwela areas.

SRI LANKA: Why are the police allowed and encouraged to lie?

AHRC-ART-052-2014-01.jpgBasil Fernando
The video footage is fairly clear. First we see a tall policeman wearing a helmet standing with his arm stretched towards the other side of the road. Then we see a scooter stopped just next to him. There is one man sat on the scooter. Looking closer, we see that the policeman is carrying a pistol in his outstretched hand. The pistol is directed towards somebody on the other side of the road. Then we see the rider of the motorbike stretching his hand out towards the policeman, in an obvious gesture telling the policeman not to shoot.
Later, we get to know the story. The policeman shot somebody who was on the other side of the road. The person had been taken to a nearby hospital and there he died.

Sri Lankan Muslims describe brutal communal violence

World Socialist Web Site reporters this week visited the Sri Lanka coastal town of Aluthgama, 60 kilometres from Colombo, where Buddhist extremist thugs have attacked the Muslim community. The communal violence was whipped up by an anti-Muslim meeting organised by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Brigade, in Aluthgama on June 15. BBS secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, a Buddhist monk, made a venomous speech against Muslims, declaring it would be the “end of them if any of them laid a finger on any Sinhalese.” After the meeting, mobs went on the rampage, looting and burning Muslim-owned houses and businesses, killing two Muslims and a Tamil, and injuring around 60 people. The thugs continued their violence while security forces deployed by the government looked the other way.

Police fail to identify BBS monks who stormed rishad’s ministry ( form a clear video)

one of the Monks in the video
Kollupitiya Police today informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate today that they have failed to ascertained the suspects of the case pertaining to the incident where a group of BBS monks stormed the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. The Kollupitiya Police informed the Fort Magistrate that they have observed video footage given by six media institutions, but failed to ascertain the suspects of the case.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Medical reports of Muslims killed by gunfire at Welipitiya were fabricated to indicate they were hacked to death to cover up role of “Defence Personnel”

Welipitiya shops burned (Camp4justice )
In yet another instance of a flagrant abuse of the judicial process, the medical and autopsy reports of three Muslim civilians killed at Welipitiya on June 15th 2014 have been fabricated to show that the victims were hacked to death instead of being killed by gunshots. This blatant cover up by the powers that be is aimed at shielding the actual perpetrators who are suspected to be personnel from the Police Special Task Force (STF).  When Bodu Bala Sena (BBS)instigated anti-Muslim violence broke out on a large scale in Aluthgama and Beruwela on Sunday June 15th 2014 ,one of the places affected badly was the ethnically mixed area of Welipitiya which is in close proximity to the Muslim enclave of Dharga nagar.

13 BBS goons arrested over anti-muslim violence in aluthgama released after Gnanasara Thero threatens self-immolation

D.B.S. Jeyaraj
In a shocking revelation that further erodes Sri Lankan public confidence in the upholding of the rule of law and in the impartiality of law enforcement agencies ,it is now leant that 13 Bodu Bala Sena goons who spearheaded much of the anti – Muslim violence in Aluthgama have been released from Police custody due to threats of self –immolation by BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero.

Sri Lanka: All three Muslim victims of BBS violence were shot to death

Blood inside the Mosque
Dharisha Bastians
“They hold harthals now even for small, small incidents. When the LTTE was killing all communities indiscriminately, nobody held harthals” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on Sunday, 22 June
Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little scripture learning room are smeared with fresh blood. Benches and desks are strewn around, chairs upturned, as villagers bore the wounded and bleeding into the small room beside the main mosque, tending to them there until the fighting subsided and they could be taken for medical treatment.

Asma Jahangir to assist UN probe in Sri Lanka

''Ms. Jahangir is a previous holder of several Human Rights Council mandates and member of a recent fact-finding body into Israeli settlements. Her experience as a religious freedom activist is also likely to be considered relevant to Sri Lanka, as the Human Rights Council in March expressed its alarm at the significant surge in attacks against members of religious minority groups in Sri Lanka, including Hindus, Muslims and Christians. About a week ago, the coastal town of Aluthgama, south of Colombo, witnessed violent clashes in which four persons died and nearly 80, mostly Muslims, were injured following a rally of Bodu Bala Sena, a hardline Sinhala Buddhist organisation.''
Meera Srinivasan/The Hindu

Sri Lanka heading for military administration ;424 education officers too given military training

424 candidates who passed the education administration examination and were enrolled in the administrative service are being given military training at the Rantembe camp under the guise of ‘leadership training,’ Joseph Stalin , the secretary of the Lanka Teachers union revealed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Martti Ahtisaari,Silvia Cartwright, Asma Jahangir named as experts for Sri Lanka UNHRC investigation

Martti Ahtisaari
GENEVA (25 June 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Wednesday that three distinguished experts have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in March.  The investigation will look into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the last years of the armed conflict.  

Sri Lanka call to arrest reporter ( for covering Aluthgama violence)

Dinuk Kolambage
The Australian  
AS journalists around the world reel over lengthy prison sentences handed down to three Al Jazeera reporters in Egypt, a media freedom controversy has erupted in Sri Lanka after the editor of the Daily News called for the arrest of a local Al Jazeera journalist for reporting on inter-religious riots.   In a series of Twitter rants, the state-owned newspaper’s editor, Rajpal Abeynayake, accused Al Jazeera’s Colombo stringer, Dinouk Colombage, of inciting ­religious tensions by reporting on Buddhist-Muslim clashes last week in southwest Aluthgama in which four people died and about 80 more were injured.

Civil activities and freedoms curbed, five years after Sri Lanka's civil war

 Militarisation institutionalised
''Five years after the war, Sri Lanka is still in a post-war phase, the guns have fallen silent, the war is over, terrorism was defeated. However, we haven't moved yet into what I would call a post-conflict phase. And what I mean by that is that the sources of conflict that gave rise to the war are still be sustained, reproduced and even new sources of conflict are being put on the agenda. So in that respect, the trajectory of developments in over the last five years hasn't been particularly propitious, not withstanding the fact that full scale war has ended. ''

An assessment of Sri Lanka, five years after the civil war, says ethnic minorities are no better off and the sources of conflict are still being sustained.

UNP makes fresh charges against Govt. over Aluthgama clashes

Muslims in Sri Lanka (Reuters)
Chamitha Kuruppu
The United National Party claims the Government has distorted evidence of the two murders and incidents related to the Aluthgama and Beruwala riots, and alleged there is a plot to divide the communities while trying to damage the long-term friendship with Middle Eastern countries. “There is a conspiracy taking place and it is the Government that is behind the ongoing violence in the country. It is not the United States or Saudi Arabia or any other international force that is behind these unfortunate incidents,” UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera charged yesterday at a media briefing.

"US Embassy In Colombo Was Behind Anti-Muslim Violence" -- Editor, Gota's War

Veteran political commentator C.A.Chandraprema's analysis of the Aluthgama clash has given rise to the speculation that the US Embassy in Colombo was behind the whole incident and they exactly knew what was happening in Aluthgama! "The US Embassy should explain to the world how the BBS including the thug Gnanasara were given visas for a tour of the USA about a year ago, long after they had begun this anti-Muslim hate campaign. By the time they went to the USA, they had begun surrounding Muslim business houses, the attack on Fashion Bug in Pepiliyana had taken place and the BBS had declared themselves to be ‘unofficial policemen’ and had begun this process of taking the law into their own hands.

Private Sector Urges The Govt To Take Action Against Hate-mongers

Sri Lanka's National Chamber Commerce and several other organizations representing the private sector of the country have issued a statement strongly condemning communal violence in Beruwala, Aluthgama, Dharga Town and several other areas in the country. National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE),  International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka, the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) have jointly issued the statement condemning communal violence.

Bodu Bala Sena and Ravana Balakaya Receive Open Approval from Quasi-racist Jathika Hela Urumaya&silent Support From Highest in the Land.

Vishwamithra 1984
“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr

Student leader Bandara’s arrest part of witch hunt: IUSF .

Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Convener Najith Indika said student leaders were subjected to a witch hunt by the Government and this had led to the arbitrary arrest of former IUSF convener Sanjeewa Bandara.  He was produced before the Kandy Magistrate and remanded till July 23 on charges of breaking bail conditions.
“Three of our student leaders visited the Peradeniya Police Station because we asked to make a statement after the university security personnel made a false complaint against us.

Turkey condemns attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka ; Attacks since June 15 have killed at least 3 Muslims and led to destruction of businesses

Turkey has condemned recent attacks against Sri Lanka's Muslim minority, which have led to concerns among minority communities about spreading communal violence.  "We believe that necessary measures will be taken to make the people in Sri Lanka live in peace again after 2009, when the government successfully ended terrorist activities," said a statement issued by the foreign ministry on Tuesday. Muslim places of worship and shops in different parts of Sri Lanka were attacked early Saturday morning, following anti-Muslim violence on June 15 that killed three Muslims and one Tamil in the country's southwest.

Defence Secretary Gota behind communal clashes - M.P., Mangala Samaraweera

It is none other than defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who is behind all the communal clashes, charges UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera. As explained in parliament and at recent media briefings, Bodu Bala Sena has links with the defence ministry and receives money from a secret account of that ministry, he told the media in Colombo today (24). Referring to the Aluthgama clashes, MP Samaraweera said weeks following his exposure in parliament of this secret account, it became known to the entire country that secretary Rajapaksa was to open a BBS office in Galle.

Sri Lanka: Police bail for 23 of 62 Aluthgama/Beruwala riots

Police have so far released a total of 23 suspects, who were arrested in connection with the Aluthgama and Beruwala riots, without producing them in Courts, Police Media Spokesman, SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Police had arrested a total of 62 suspects in connection with the riots by yesterday.

Welikada Police Unleash Brutality Against “Working Class” Family in Ragagiriya

Last Sunday night, Arunodhaya Mawatha at Obeysekarapura in Rajagiriya looked like a battle ground as a battalion of police attached to the Welikada Police Station ransacked and destroyed the home of B. Shashi Kumar after assaulting him mercilessly following an alleged incident of a policeman ‘peeping into a bathroom where a young woman was having a bath’.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Violence against Muslims and the Character of the BBS

BBS public  meeting
Laksiri Fernando
After the organized violent attacks on the Muslim community in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga town in mid-June, the political character of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has come to the sharp focus. Some have condemned it as ‘terrorist’ and some others as ‘fascist’. All are fine as political rhetoric or words of strong condemnation of the heinous crimes that they have committed against the Muslim community. The acts in fact are both ‘terrorist’ and ‘fascist’ in soft meanings of the terms.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka: A community under siege?

Photo courtesy CNN
Ayesha Zuhair
June 2014 will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as a turning point in ethnic relations, with large scale communal violence being unleashed on a most hapless minority. This month saw the worst acts of violence targeted against the country’s second largest minority, the Muslims, since the infamous anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983. 
This month has been aptly termed ‘Black June’.

Friday Forum backs BASL proposal calling for credible investigations in to deaths in police custody

Deaths in Police Custody
Media Release/ 24th June 2014          
The Friday Forum has urged the Inspector General of Police to respond as a matter of urgency to the current public concern, including that of the Bar Council, on the deaths that are taking place in police custody. A particularly shocking recent incident involves the death of a 17year old minor after assault in police custody.

Government Minister wants US leaders be beaten and dragged on the road and killed

Minister wants bush killed!
Government Minister says American leaders must be killed for the atrocities they have committed, particularly in the Middle East. Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that Iraq and Libya were doing well till the U.S. invaded those countries and killed their leaders. Speaking at an event in Kandy today, Dissanayake said that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may have had some shortcomings but he changed Iraq for the better.

“Any organisation inciting religious hatred should be banned”: Minister Faiszer Musthapha

Aluthgama after the riots
If precautions are not taken to prevent religious tension and to bring perpetrators to book, the incidents of such nature will dampen the economy and social fabric of this country, says Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faiszer Musthapha. The Minister stresses that if the procession on 15 June had been prevented, the present developments in the country would have not occurred. “I wrote a letter to the IGP asking to take steps to prevent that march. I was assured that there would be peace and tranquillity. I believe that there was an error in that judgment,” points out the Minister, further adding, “What happened was inhumane and barbaric. As a Government Minister, I feel ashamed that this incident has occurred.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

We cannot and must not allow our Motherland to be dragged into another civil War, by a small group of extremists - CBK

Statement by former  President  Chandrika B Kumaratunga.
I'm deeply concerned about the outbreak of communal violence and Anti- Muslim attacks that occurred in several areas of the country, in the past week. I’m saddened by the loss of precious lives, the displacement of families and the wanton destruction of property. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones and their livelihoods.

Blood on Bodu Bala robe; A nation searching for new troubles and new enemies

Today the Bodu Bala Sena stands in the dock indicted with the heinous charge of attempting to return this nation to the blood-soaked barbaric age of violence from which it had risen so recently. It stands accused of repeated anti-Muslim attacks that have now resulted in inevitable bloodshed and death; and it stands condemned for outraging the religious sensitivities of the Buddhists by presenting to the world’s reproach and contempt, its distorted, savage and warped version as the sworn practical translation of the Buddha’s noble doctrine of Ahimsa.

Sri Lanka: In Ibbagamuwa Mosque and Muslim owned shops attacked

Mosque attacked
A tense situation occurred in Ibbagamuwa last night when a group,  carrying swords and cricket bats, threatened Muslim shop owners in the area and damaged a mosque. M. Mohammed, a shop owner in the area. told 'Asian Mirror' that the group threatened Muslim shop owners with them and damaged a few shops. They had also assaulted a worker who was working for a Muslim owned shop in Ibbagamuwa.
They had then attacked a prominent mosque in Ibbagamuwa and damaged its glass door, eyewitnesses said. They also said the attackers came in a Three-wheeler.

While government statements condemn the extremists, actions to hold them accountable, has been limited - LST

Attacks in Aluthgama and Beruwala 
The following statement issued by the Law & Society Trust, a civil society initiative based in Colombo
Law & Society Trust ( LST) is gravely concerned over the events that occurred in Aluthgama and Beruwala this weekend. Following a Buddhist meeting held in Aluthgama on Sunday June 15th, incidents of violence against Muslims and Muslim owned homes and businesses occurred. It has been reported that at least 3 Muslims have died of gunshot wounds, while 78 others have been seriously injured in the violence1. In addition at least nine shops and up to 40 houses have been gutted in Aluthgama, while three mosques were attacked.

Does the President have the will and capacity to enforce the law?

The President has addressed the nation and stated that the law will be strictly enforced. He has also called upon the police and other agencies to enforce the law. That is certainly a good thing to do. However, the critical question is as to whether the President has the will and the capacity to enforce the law. As the saying goes, diarrhea cannot be stopped by wearing tight underwear.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pussyfooting when the country burns - Editorial, Ceylon Today

Muslim pre-school
If the unchecked sectarian violence that erupted in Aluthgama and Beruwala a week ago left three dead, over 80 injured and thousands displaced, there was more to be seen last Saturday when a popular garment retail outlet in Panadura burned to the ground. Though people see this as sabotage, foul play or retaliation for the hartal launched by the Muslim community in Colombo and in other major towns on Thursday by unruly elements, the police say initial investigations have the fire it could have been caused by a short circuit.

Sri Lanka: Has history repeated itself? Riots in Aluthgama

Muslim victims protest
One would wonder whether history repeats itself, exactly in the same manner, observing the riots against Muslims in Aluthgama a few days ago. In 1915, the first communal riots against Muslims broke out when a Buddhist procession was interrupted by Muslims, when it was proceeding through an area where the Muslims lived in the hill capital Kandy.   The riots spread to other areas such as North Western, Western, Southern and Sabragamuwa Provinces. Death toll in the 1915 riots was 25 and more than 150 people were injured.

Sri Lanka: Nearly 300 shops damaged in Aluthgama communal violence

The violent incidents that had taken place in Beruwela and Aluthgama have left nearly 300 shops badly damaged, said the police. By June 20, there have been more than 200 complaints, mostly about setting fire to houses and business places. Meanwhlie, police have decided not to allow any meeting that encourages religious extremism or chauvinism. The decision was taken in view of the recent developments, said police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana.

Muslim homes at Thotawatte, Panadura too attacked in a midnight terror operation

Groups that arrived at last midnight in two vehicles have attacked houses of Muslims who are in a majority at Thotawatte , Panadura. The residents who phoned us (Lanka e news) said , they have been attacked with stones and missiles by these goons and gangs who arrived at about 11.30 p.m. causing damage to their houses until the glass panes were smashed to smithereens.

Sri Lanka police face media flak over anti-Muslim riots ( Police responds)

IGP - Worst among the top
Sri Lanka's media showed rare unity in condemning police Sunday for their failure to control anti-Muslim Buddhist extremists as religious tensions grow in the wake of riots in the island's south.
A day after a Muslim-owned shop was burnt down outside the capital Colombo, the privately-run The Nation weekly took the unusual step of publishing its editorial as the main story on its front page, with the blunt headline: "The IGP (Inspector-General of Police) must resign".

BBS Wants Champika Ranawaka To Be The 'Sinhalese' President

Social Media campaign
Bodu Bala Sena and several Sinhala-Buddhist organizations have started a social media campaign promoting JHU stalwart Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka as the next "President of Sri Lanka". BBS backed social media pages state  that Sri Lanka needs a 'Sinhalalese President' to rescue the nation from "various challenges" that have emerged not only from without, but also from within.  In his controversial speech in Aluthgama just before the clashes, BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara said the time was ripe to appoint a "Sinhalese President" as the leader of the country.

Sri Lanka needs a change in political leadership to break this destructive and toxic cycle

Aluthgama !
A dangerously fraught chapter in post-war Sri Lanka  by Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
The atrocity that is Aluthgama 2014 happened at the instigation of outsiders brought into the area. That much is clear. As said by stricken Sinhala and Muslim residents, ‘this had no involvement with our communities, we live next to each other; but when outsiders came and attacked, everyone was attacking each other.’

Sri Lanka: Hakeem seeks independent probe, says fascists’ arrogance has no limit

Feeling for safety, Muslims in Aluthgama
Justice Minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem last night called for “an independent and transparent inquiry” into the incidents in and around Aluthgama. He said that such an inquiry would determine not only who should be held responsible for the events, but also as to who allowed or encouraged religious zealotry. “If that process requires my incarceration as a probable offender, I offer myself willingly to the due process,’’ he said in a statement.

President Rajapaksa Scolds Rishad Badhiutheen at Cabinet Meeting and Tells his Commerce Minister to “Stop Speaking and Shut Up”

Sparks flew at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Thursday June 19th when the issue of anti Muslim violence instigated by the Bodhu Bala Sena in Aluthgama and Beruwela was discussed. Heated arguments occurred between Muslim cabinet ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Badhiutheen on the one hand and Buddhist cabinet ministers Champika Ranawaka on the other.

Is Muslim identity a liability in Sri Lanka?

Ameen Izzadeen
Rising attacks against Muslims by Buddhist supremacist groups raise questions about community’s safety.
Never again 1983! Sri Lankans had so resolved after the horrors of the July 1983 - the darkest and the bloodiest month in the island nation's post-independence history, the month that plunged this country into a 26-year separatist war, the month that brought an international shame on the South Asian country.

Muslim Council of Sri Lanka request to ban BBS

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka calls to immediately investigate the actions of all extremist groups and ban those who have been carrying out a campaign of hate, intimidation and violence against Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities.In a letter to the President, the Muslim Council said that recent incidents have heightened fears that violence will spread and that Muslims will come under attack, resulting in deaths and injuries, the destruction of businesses and homes, and the mass flight of Muslims from their homes and communities.

TNA and TNPF protest in Jaffna against attacks on Muslims

A protest against the recent attacks on Muslims in Aluthgama, took place in Jaffna today, including a cross-party groups from the TNA and TNPF, as well as local Muslim organisations, reports Uthayan.
Protestors called for the Sri Lankan government to bring those responsible for the attacks and killings to justice. The TNA MP S. Sritharan, the TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the NPC Minister of Agriculture, P Ayngaranesan, and the TNPF General Secretary S. Kajendran, as well as many others.
Protesters shouted slogans and held placards reading: "Will ethnic cleansing bring reconciliation?", "We do not want another Black July" and "people of Aluthgama, Peruvalai need justice".

Muslim Countries Warn SL Government To Stop "Anti-Muslim Violence"

Several leading Muslim countries had warned the government that they would revise their Visa regulations pertaining to Sri Lanka if the government did not take action against those were involved in what they termed as anti-Muslim violence.

Drunken BBS gangster monks arrested for breaking the curfew

Two members of the Buddhist clergy who had been travelling in a three wheeler drunk and violating the curfew that had been imposed in Aluthgama after the racial clashes that took place there recently, have been arrested by the Police.

Sri Lanka: Strange assumptions from Police to cover up BB terror

Burned motor bike
According to news reports that have been issued so far regarding the sudden fire that broke out in the No Limit fashion store, the police is currently presuming that the fire has been caused due to an electrical circuit malfunction.
Meanwhile Police have also started recording statements from four personnel who had held a party inside the store premises last night, due to the suspicion whether the fire was caused from a fallen cigarette bud.

The Tamil Civil Society Forum vehemently condemns the violence perpetrated against Muslims

The Tamil Civil Society Forum vehemently condemns the violence perpetrated against Muslims in the South West of Sri Lanka - in Aluthgama, Beruwela and other places. We express sympathy to the families that lost their dear ones and to those injured. We express collective empathy and solidarity with the Muslim community in this difficult hour and time.

After Alutgama / Beruwela ; SL Muslims at the Crossroads – 4

Gangs ready to attack
 Izeth Hussain
It is evident that after the anti-Muslim action in Alutgama and Beruwela on June 15 and the days following, the Sri Lankan Muslim problem has entered a new phase. There is no need for me to recapitulate the well-known details pointing to the government’s complicity in the anti-Muslim action. Indeed it is more than complicity, and what happened should be properly regarded as a governmental anti-Muslim racist pogrom. What happened is not novel because it is the kind of thing that has been going on for the last couple of years or so.

US creating a Taliban in Sri Lanka: Minister Champika; asks Minster Hakeem to leave the Govt. .

Similar to how the United States nurtured Taliban, which later targeted strategic locations in New York, US Ambassador Michele J. Sison is nurturing the Sri Lankan Jihadist groups thus jeopardizing the security of not only Sri Lanka and the US but of the entire world, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Sri Lanka: Anti-Muslim violence is systematic pogrom, not communal riot

After waging war against the nation of Eezham Tamils, there is a clear, systematic pattern of violence against the Muslims in the island of Sri Lanka during the last two years, said the State president of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Mr KKSM Tehlan Baqavi, in an exclusive interview to TamilNet this week. The Tamil Nadu politician of the pan-Indian Muslim political party urged the world to pay particular attention that the Buddhist extremist Bodu Bala Sena is a creation of the SL military system led by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

TNA condemns Alutgama violence against Muslims

''I have seen the video of a speech made by a Venerable Monk. It was a very vitriolic speech, a very violent speech; a speech urging the people to take to violence, insulting members of a particular community and saying that the police and the armed forces of this country are Sinhala. Consequent to that speech where the people were set up, there was a loud applause from the people. There was a procession and when the procession was taking place, shops were attacked, houses were attacked, mosques were attacked, people were attacked and a large number of people were injured; two people have died and immense damage has been caused to Muslims. ''  - R. Sampanthan

Muslim-owned store, mosque targeted in Sri Lanka

No-Limit on fire
Anti-Muslim violence in what were once idyllic tourist spots on the southern Sri Lankan coast has once again Muslim-owned store, mosque targeted in Sri Lanka
A Muslim-owned apparel store was found ablaze late on Friday, causing concern in the island nation that witnessed violent clashes between a Buddhist group and residents of a Muslim-majority town along its south-western coast less than a week ago. Police said they were probing the incident, and that they did not rule out arson at the upmarket No-Limit store in Panadura, nearly 30 km south of Colombo. Though six persons, including two guards, were at the store at the time of the incident, they escaped unhurt.

Sri Lanka: President rejects call for banning groups over Alutgama mayhem

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that proscription of extremist organisations isn’t a problem, but such action does not guarantee that there won’t be further religious strife. The President said so in response to leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, MP, (Vanni District) at last Thursday’s UPFA party leaders’ meeting at Temple Trees.

Sri Lanka: Justice Key to End Anti-Muslim Violence - HRW

''Sri Lankan authorities need to do more than arrest those carrying out the anti-Muslim violence. They need to investigate and identify any instigators. That means taking a hard look at the role and relationship between extremist Buddhist groups like the BBS and the Sri Lankan security forces. ''- Brad Adams, Asia director

Muslims will lose trust in Govt , Rauff Hakeem tels US

Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday told US Ambassador Michele J. Sison that Muslims in the country will lose faith in the government if it fails to take immediate legal action, against Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera.

Sri Lanka: Bodu Bala Sena terrorism and calling lawyer a dog

Maithri takes on the Bodu bala sena
 Having built a reputation for having been very vocal against minority religions, has been categorized as a terrorist group by international organizations such as Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).
TRAC had said they had assessed BBS on their statements, levels of intolerance towards other religions and other accusations of BBS members getting involved in acts of violence against churches, mosques and shops selling halal food.

Sri Lanka: Minister Fowzie wants violence probed; Claims could have been coup aimed at MR

Senior Minister of Urban Affairs, A.H.M. Fowzie has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to call for an investigation into the violence that erupted in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town, in order to determine if it was a coup targetting the President.

Tamil Nadu Muslims protest against genocidal Sri Lanka

TMMK protest against anti-Muslim riots 
On the 17th of June two Tamil Muslim organizations, the Tamil Nadu Thowheedh Jamaath (TNTJ) and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munneatta Kazhakam (TMMK) staged protests outside the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission office at Nungambakkam protesting the recent anti Muslim riots in the Altuhagama and Beruwela in the island of Sri Lanka. While a section of the Muslim leaders in the Colombo parliament were avoiding any overt condemnation of the Sri Lankan state, the Muslims in Tamil Nadu vehemently condemned the SL State and the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism.

Sri Lanka: muslims stage a Hartal

The Muslim community countrywide brought the economy to a standstill yesterday when they staged a hartal in protest against police brutality, targeting them in Aluthgama, which left streets deserted and shops shut. Former Deputy Mayor of Colombo, Azath Salley said police around the island had oppressed the peaceful hartals organized by the Muslim Rights Organization (MRO) yesterday. He added that police countrywide, including Maradana and Colombo Fort and the Jamiyyathul Ulama (of Kandy, Madawala and Akurana) had instilled fear in shop owners and shop keepers by threatening them against participating in the hartal.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Violence and arson targeting Muslim establishment spreads :Panadura ‘No Limit’ ; Jaffna mosque; Trincomalee hotel attacked

The secret armed group that is operating under the patronage of the Rajapakse regime ,and the Bodhu Bala Sena terrorist organization have launched attacks in three provinces across the country targeting the Muslims yesterday night (20) alone, according to reports reaching Lanka e news. The main attack has been launched on the main showroom building at Panadura of ‘No limit’ a branch of the leading garment marketing and sales chain belonging to a prominent Muslim businessman. The entire building has been reduced to ashes and the damage caused amount to many millions of rupees !

Friday, June 20, 2014

Anti Muslim Riots:A dengerous road in Sri Lanka - The Hindu

Anti-Muslim violence in what were once idyllic tourist spots on the southern Sri Lankan coast has once again underscored the majoritarianism that has dominated the politics of the country since the end of the war against the LTTE in 2009. Four people were killed and scores injured, and houses and businesses looted and burnt over two days. The violence, clearly instigated by a recently formed extremist Buddhist organisation called the Bodu Bala Sena, affected the seaside towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala.

Anti-India Hysteria in Sri Lanka

India human rightsV Suryanarayan.                                                                
Colombo is witnessing anti-India demonstrations in an unprecedented scale. Chauvinist elements among the Sinhalese demonstrated outside the Indian High Commission, shouted slogans against prime minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and demanded that India should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
The demonstration was spearheaded by the National Freedom Front, a chauvinist Sinhala organisation which is a partner in the ruling coalition government.

US creating a Taliban in Sri Lanka: Minister Champika

Similar to how the United States nurtured Taliban, which later targeted strategic locations in New York, US Ambassador Michele J. Sison is nurturing the Sri Lankan Jihadist groups thus jeopardizing the security of not only Sri Lanka and the US but of the entire world, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Inflammatory statements made by BBS leader Galagodathera Gnanasara, clearly demonstrates his pivotal role and responsibility for the violence

click to enlarge
Sri Lankan Government: Take Urgent Action to Stop Attacks on Muslims/Joint statement 
18th June, 2014
We the undersigned Sri Lankans strongly condemn the Bodu Bala Sena’s (BBS) highly inflammatory hate speech against, and brazen physical attacks on the Muslim community in Aluthgama, Beruwala, Welipenna and Dharga-Town in June 2014. We believe that the violence is directly linked to recent statements by the BBS targeting Muslims. We call upon the authorities to immediately conduct independent investigations into the incidents, and hold to account perpetrators and those complicit in such acts. We believe inflammatory statements made by the General Secretary of the BBS, Galagodathera Gnanasara, clearly demonstrates his pivotal role and responsibility for the violence. We therefore call upon the authorities to take immediate steps to arrest and charge him for the deaths and destruction in the area.