Organized violence against helpless and voiceless Muslims: Maithri-Ranil failed to prevent it By Latheef Farook
| 20 May 2019
Senseless and shameful organised racist violence against voiceless and helpless Muslims in the island had shown that Maithri- Ranil continued Mahinda- Gota’s racist violence against the Muslims who pay the price for voting the two to power.
The entire episode of Easter Sunday bombings and killings have become a calculated conspiracy against the Muslim community.
For example, to begin with President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe and the government intelligence agents failed to prevent the tragedy despite repeated prior warnings from powerful sources. The question is WHY? Certainly, this can’t be an oversight. That means they allowed that to happen, perhaps, to put the Christians against Muslims to suit their western friends’ agenda against innocent Muslims.
In any other country president Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremasinghe would have resigned accepting responsibility for the carnage. However here the two failed to do so showing the rapid decline of moral values.
Handful of those who committed the Easter Sunday carnage had Muslim names and the community had nothing to do with them or their crime.
However, in the wake of this tragedy the mainstream media unleashed a full scale campaign demonizing Islam and describing the entire Muslim community as terrorists. This campaign which could be described as “Media Terrorism” went on in full force for three long weeks during which the security forces emptied Muslims houses of even kitchen knives under search operations during emergence rule and curfew.
This happened despite Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith repeatedly stating that this carnage was done not by the Muslim community but by handful of youths used by international forces. The local media which has sold itself to US-European-Israeli war mongers’ refused to raise the issue of foreign involvement
This disgusting media terrorism built up hatred and pitted Sinhalese against Muslim community.
Once that was completed on Monday May 13 very well-organized groups began attacking Muslim own property causing tremendous damage destroying Muslims economy which has been Sinhala racists main target.
However, Muslims felt a bit relieved when the Army Chief Mahesh Senanayake said that a nation-wide curfew was declared, and the military is prepared to use maximum force against groups of nationalist rioters who are attacking Muslims.
This assurance disappeared in the thin air when organized thugs began attacking and burning mosques, houses, business establishments, vehicles and whatever owned by Muslims. Multi-millionaire businessmen were turned into within hours.
These attacks and destruction continued under the watchful eyes of the forces which refused even to fire a shot in the air. It started from Chilaw before spreading to Gampaha Kurunegala, Nikawaratiya and many other places.
According to local reports violent mobs marched through parts of the Kurunegala District for nearly 24 hours attacking mosques, homes and businesses in Muslim settlements in the area with most of the violence taking place during curfew hours, raising fears of another anti-Muslim riot in the area along the lines of Aluthgama in 2014 or Digana in 2018.
Mobs laid siege to the Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Aukana, Kottampitiya areas and by evening May 13 had moved to Nikaweratiya town area driving Muslim families, now in the midst of their Ramadan fast, into paddy fields for hiding.
Footage has emerged of mobs moving through towns during curfew hours in full view of the police. Mobs burnt vehicles meters away from the Hettipola police station earlier in the day. Activists also reported that mobs stopping vehicles and beating passengers. At least three mosques were attacked in Kiniyama a Muslim village in Kuliyapitiya.
In Padiyathalawa a Buddhist monk entered a Muslim owned shop and chased out Sinhala customers before threatening the shop owner to leave Padiyathalwa.
Police arrested several suspects in connection with the violence overnight but released them within hours after the mobs threatened to attack more and more villages unless the suspects were released.
The police curfew meant nothing to the mobs, and they roamed free as Muslim families fled their homes fearing for their lives. Muslims have lost all faith in the police, security forces and the government to provide them protection.
For example, M.S. Fouzul Ameen 49, a well-to-do furniture shop owner from Kottaramulla in Nattandiya was killed due to serious cut injuries to his neck and face.
Ameen had been home with his family on Monday evening, about to end the daily fast around 6.20 p.m., when a mob begun to stone the house and smashing windows, while the family stayed huddled inside. It was when the men started to smash his vehicle that Ameen had come out in a bid to dissuade them from doing so.
“The group of about five men had turned on him when he came out 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,” said Mohamed Haniffa, an uncle of the deceased.
His 16-year-old son Ajmir is too upset to talk, as he sits 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 is too distraught after the events of the past 72 hours to talk. Now what is the plight of Ameen’s wife and children.–courtesy FT Lanka?
Minister Navin Dissanayake said that the anti-Muslim violence were organised and systematically cariied out and the government has evidence to prove the claims. He said groups were brought in from outside but had support of area politicians.
Now the question is how come the government was not aware of these gangs and why preventive measures were taken to stop the carnage? Once again, they allowed that to happen?
Maithri-Ranil government made no moves to control the violence or call in the armed forces to stop the violence.
Meanwhile report by Shamindra Ferdinando in the Island on May 18 had this to state; Deliberate attempts were made by influential interested parties to divert public attention away from the Easter Sunday carnage, a senior spokesperson for the Catholic Church told The Island.
Well organized attacks on the Muslim community in the North Western Province and Minuwangoda in the Gampaha District from Sunday (May 12) were integral part of their despicable strategy, the spokesperson alleged. "Various parties are seeking political advantage of the unprecedented crisis," the official said.
Early this week, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith urged political parties not to be influenced by countrywide.
The priest alleged that there hadn’t been contingency plans in place to counter threat posed by those seeking to take advantage of the situation. Attacks on Muslims not only diverted the public attention from terror attacks blamed on extremist Muslim organizations, but drew international condemnation of Sri Lanka, the priest said. The UN censured Sri Lanka over the situation caused by the government’s pathetic failure to thwart organized attacks, the priest said.
The Church official pointed out that the government and police hadn’t explained as to how such large groups freely raided many towns in the Wayamba Province and Minuwangoda without hindrance. "We haven’t heard of at least one instance of the police or the armed forces firing in the air in a bid to control organized mobs," the spokesman said.
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 Malcolm Cardinal 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.
An attempt has been made by the UNP and its foreign masters to lay the blame on the Sinhala Buddhist majority and the Opposition. Religious riots and chaos could enable the UNP government to get approval for the Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) and implement it so that elections can be postponed indefinitely, and a police state established to enable the UNP to remain in power. If all this fails, the UNP has opened the door for American Military interventions. Sri Lanka may end up as a battlefield like in Syria and Iraq providing a market for American and Israeli arms. The independence and sovereignty established by the 1972 Constitution will be no more. Sri Lanka will become a devastated neo colony of the USA.