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Apr-28-2012 12:28printcomments

Editorial: President Must Break his Silence on the Masjid Attack!

It is sad to see the complicity of the Muslims in the failures of Sri Lanka.

Muslim community in Sri Lanka
The Muslim mindset must go further than dancing. They are compounding their historical complexities and blunders by not playing their role responsibly, to bring about justice and peace for all the communities.

(LONDON The Guardian) - The Dambulla Masjid was stormed by the Buddhist monks on Friday the 20th April. It sent shivers through the Muslim community who are collectively a coalition partner in the President Mahinda Rajapakse government.

The attack on the mosque took place when President Mahinda Rajapakse was on an official visit to South Korea. This attack once again put the government on the dock, over its insincere attitude towards its national minorities.

Such a grave attack should have invited the nation’s leader to make a public statement on the issue. But that responsibility has not been discharged so far and was delegated to the maverick Prime Minister D M Jayaratne and the government’s right-wing coalition partner JHU, whom added insult to injury by asserting that the mosque must be removed at any cost.

President’s silence on such an issue of national importance is a worrying trend that is extending from his Sinhalisation of the North and East. The legal dictum ‘silence gives consent’ confirms the involvement of the government in its fanatical crusade against the minorities.

The very President on his return from Libya in May 2009 after the defeat of the LTTE, played a hyphened drama and made a speech (after kissing mother Sri Lanka) short of a much needed political accommodation of the Tamils through power devolvement. It was a hypocritical political hype at that time, to prop up the anti-Tamil and anti minority crusade further to strengthen the state control of the minority Tamils.

The very same President failing to put a public statement, failed to call an emergency cabinet meeting to give clear instructions to deal with the mosque attack by arresting the monks and protestors involved and inquiring into the police conduct of being passive spectators when the attack was going on.

The Dambulla incident exposes government agenda of asserting the island-wide Sinhalisation process that is subtly carried out in the North and East with the ever mushrooming road-side Buddhist Dagoba’s and Buddha statues.

The President knows very well that the position protecting scrounge Muslim leaders will not go against him and if it happens there are many more Muslims waiting in the fringes to take on the positions, thus undermining any collectivism amongst them. Their religion will unite them, but unfortunately the very unity will not be translated into political will to pressurise the President.

The Muslim leaders associated with the government are complicit in the attack on the Masjid, as they too are silent partners in their association with the government and further for not packing their bags following the incident. This disgraceful behaviour is giving a blank cheque to the President to extend his Sinhalisation agenda.

The Muslim partners in the government like the Justice Minister Raul Hakeem are worried about their positions being taken over by other Muslims and as a result are failing to vociferously challenge those involved in the violence and put the government to test on the issue. Being a Justice Minister, Hakeem is even unable to contemplate judicious remedy to deal with the issue as it will put him in loggerhead with his party men and the government.

Minister Hakeem’s ability does not go further to use external sources to agitate on his behalf. Having been part of the government that is heavily engaged in extra-judicial activities, he knows his position in the government will be at stake if he agitate against its conduct.

The very Muslim leaders in the government canvassed support for the government from Muslim states on the Geneva resolution. So long as there are Muslims waiting in the fringes to align with the government, the Muslim leaders are left with no alternative than to play to the tricks of the government.

The Muslim mindset must go further than dancing with the devil and they are compounding their historical complicities and blunders by not playing their role responsibly, to bring about justice and peace for all the communities.

It is sad to see the complicity of the Muslims in the failures of Sri Lanka. The very LTTE was given birth with the Muslim Minister Badiudin Mohamed introducing the anti-Tamil Standardisation Policy in the 1970’s that damaged the Tamil community to a slavery standard in Sri Lanka.


Rajasingham Jayadevan is a London-based writer who frequently writes about the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka.

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