15 March 2018

Enforce One Law & Eliminate Extremism in Sri Lanka  

A country must have one common law equal to all & followed by all. Those who set laws must also follow the laws they set. No one can be above the law of the land. While there should be an agreeable set of common laws, we can accept some special privileges but who enjoys these special privileges and why must be made clear. However, this cannot warrant the handful who have special immunity to do as they like. It is the lack of implementing the rule of law without bias while also implementing law with bias that has created all the problems that prevail in Sri Lanka.

People must be aware of the laws & punitive actions for its violations. People must also feel confident that violators are punished without bias. Only then people will learn to respect the laws but also abide by them.
At all times the authorities must address the Actions & Actors of an incident not the Reaction or Reactors.

What is presently happening is that laws have become a sham because not only are they broken by the very persons preaching for good governance but they arrest and punish only targeted and select people.
Traffic laws are often broken by the very rich and police are reluctant to even arrest them knowing that a phone call would entail their release. Letting off an ordinary person for a minor traffic offence is nowhere near allowing a murderer & thief free however rich/poor, influential or not he/she is!

Accumulated similar incidents create anger in people and make them susceptible to external elements who want to play mischief.

These are the instances that lead to riots and violence because people are frustrated when there is selective justice. This results in fringe groups appearing taking the law into their hands. The situation is made worse when authorities take action against only them completely ignoring the other players who instigated the reaction.

Having said that, all are searching for the reasons for extremism. Before that we need to know what the extremisms are.
The below list is compiled having sought views of both minorities & majority and can be used as a basis to eliminate extremism.

Tamil extremism

1.         Attempts to separate Sri Lanka using fictitious reasons by Tamil leaders
2.         Deeming North and even East Sri Lanka to be home to ONLY Tamils hurtful statements by Tamil leaders that Sinhalese are not welcome
3.         Tamil leaders banning Tamils from marrying Sinhalese
4.         Internationally carrying out a campaign claiming ‘colonization’ when use of such terms conflicts with the constitutionally given fundamental right for citizens of Sri Lanka right to live wherever they like
5.         Statement by Tamil leaders to the effect that Buddhist sites/structures should be removed which has given justification for mischief makers to destroy historic & heritage sites. This constitutes cultural genocide
6.         Thesawalamai law introduced by the Dutch which denies right for non-Tamils to purchase lands in Jaffna infringes on the fundamental rights in the constitution giving citizens to right to live & purchase property.
7.         Violation of archaeological & national reserve laws by erecting structures with purposeful intent to destroy or remove remnants of artefacts that proof ancient Sinhala Buddhist ruins existed.
8.         Lies and distortions against Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces

Muslim extremism

When all citizens had to follow one law, Muslim minority saw fit to demand special privileged laws for themselves – these are new customs and trends emerging after 1980s and forced upon the Sri Lankan community on the guise of religious freedom.

Examples of which are
1.         Influence of Wahhabism cult which is now considered a global security threat
2.         Mandatory for all citizens to come under one common law & to be treated equally under Constitution of Sri Lanka & Penal Codes in place, however some Muslims are demanding Shariah law, Quazi Courts (rulings to be above that of the country law)
3.         Marrying children is a criminal offence but some Muslims demand to marry children
4.         Female genital mutilation is a criminal offence but Muslims demand its practice
5.         Marrying more than one person at a time is a criminal offence (Polygamy) but Muslims demand marrying 4 or more women
6.         Legal rights enjoyed by non-Muslim divorced women are not enjoyed by Muslim women
7.         Setting up of Arabic schools/universities as funds are pouring from Arab world when Muslims do not even speak Arabic.
8.         When a statutory body to measure quality & standard of foods exist demand for a Shariah compliant Halal food labeling system based on one minority religion emerged that forced non-Muslim companies to divulge ingredients of their food items and insisted that for a fee paid to a Muslim NGO they would have to label foods consumed locally & exported overseas. Such a system did not exist before. This labeling system continues and questions why a minority religious labeling system for a fee should be charged of all especially non-Muslims.
9.         Violation of archaeological & national reserve laws. Cutting forests/trees is a crime but a Muslim MP is disregarding all laws & settling only one ethnic group inspite even the Presidents intervention and assurance that the forests would not be endangered.
10.     Driving without helmets is a criminal offence for all, but Muslims ride without helmets & no action taken by authorities.
11.     It is mandatory for all citizens to show their face when entering public places (banks, ATM etc) but Muslims are now wearing clothes that even cover the face
12.     When it is statutory to remove full face helmets citing threats to national security, some Muslim women are driving vehicles fully covered in black making distinction impossible. There have been plenty of instances where men dressed as women in robes have robbed banks and homes! Some Muslims are even demanding to sit for public exams in robes where there is a big question mark as to who is sitting the paper when the identity is not revealed and no one can question the identity too. Some Muslims are even demanding NIC photos to be with fully covered photos when all others have strict rules & regulations to follow for the photo to be accepted for NIC or Passport (showing no teeth, clear distinction of one’s ear)
13.     When there is a common banking system for all citizens, some Muslims have insisted and included Shariah Banking/Islamic banking systems that even non-Muslim banks both private & public have had to adopt.
14.     When the Government & private NGOs are encouraging planned parenthood and non-Muslim women are coerced into stopping having children after the birth of the second child, Muslims are being encouraged to have more and more children and many fear this calculated into future years spells demographic change.
15.     Biased judgments – men belonging to an ethno-religious minority with petrol bombs arrested and brought before the magistrate who belonged to same ethno-religion but were immediately released on bail however when unarmed men belonging to the majority faith who were attending a funeral of a victim of the recent clashes were brought before the same magistrate and remanded. Such biased judgements are reasons for animosity. These need to be addressed immediately. If the police, lawyers, judges, magistrates did their job fairly and without bias half of all problems would be solved.
16.     It is also alleged that the allocation of school uniform vouchers for Sinhalese children is less than half of what is given to Muslims.
17.     Coercive methods used to convert non-Muslims.
18.     Black money as a result of illegal narcotic trade

Christian/Catholic extremism

1.         Violation of archaeological & national reserve laws by erecting structures with purposeful intent to destroy or remove remnants of artefacts that proof ancient Sinhala Buddhist ruins.
2.         Setting up faith healing centres in residential areas & adopting coercive methods of conversions especially in poverty stricken rural areas
3.         Christian dominated media/newspapers/websites/journalists fanning communal flames using their pen

Sinhala extremism

1.         Objecting to separating/dividing the country
2.         Claiming there is no Tamil Homeland.
3.   Objecting to Islamization of Sri Lanka having connected the dots in the speed in which mosques are proliferating, Muslim population is increasing (refer census statistics), shariah food labelling, shariah laws, banking, insistence of halal food at all hotels, catering etc, rise in fundamentalism seen by wahhabi influence prevailing over moderate Muslims who lived peacefully previously
4.         Objecting to unethical, biased, anti-Buddhist media coverage with examples
5.       Appealing against surrounding Buddhist heritage sites with mosques, churches which end up dominating the area using influence of money.
6.     Objecting to turning Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka into a failed multicultural land when the countries that first implemented multiculturalism is now realizing it’s a total failure & reversing it. Attempts to put up mosque in SriPada, the insidious manner a minaret taller than the Dalada Maligawa is being stealthily planned giving various inducements to the temple & other influential parties to give approvals.

Government & Public Service/Private Sector  

Majority politicians break laws for votes & monetary influences, public servants do same. This has created unwanted & unnecessary problems and these must now be directly identified and addressed.
Those enjoying illegal benefit cannot cry foul and avoid or impede the veto of these illegalities crying foul and hiding behind slogans of hate speech, racism, discrimination etc.

Therefore, it is good to place the existing laws & against that list the violations and demand that the Government immediately addresses & take action

1.         Illegal religious structures often in residential areas
2.         Inaction by authorities against religious sects that lease/rent houses and with time turn/convert these into prayer centres or madrassas and then cry foul claiming discrimination when complaints are made asking for their removal.
3.         Proliferation of mosques, churches, prayer centres, kovils not in proportion to the pollution of an area. The Government must immediately address this violation & declare a moratorium on construction of religious/faith-based sites as is being done in other countries where this same menace has emerged.
4.         Usage of loudspeakers – inspite of an interim court order which needs to be seriously looked into
5.         Communalism of newspapers responsible for division of People was one of the conclusions of the Press Commission Report of 1964. Present local newspapers stand guilty of tuning their stories to fan communal tensions by generating false conclusions and assumptions against the majority.  
6.         No one should confuse free speech with hate speech. If at all what constitutes hate speech must first be clearly defined before authorities deem it fit to take selective action as is taking place presently. A perfect instance is the arrest of 2 schoolboys and keeping them in remand while arresting but releasing men who had petrol bombs in their hands. The allegation of hate speech against the 2 youth is nowhere near a threat as men holding petrol bombs. This highlights some of the biased decisions taken. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z36TBNv3j3A

Shenali D Waduge

14 March 2018

Ashroff’s separatist legacy is root cause of Sinhala-Muslim divide

When elders speak of good old days prior to 1980s when Sinhalese, Tamils & Muslims lived happily & peacefully together sans nomenclatures of federalism, self-determination, separatism, jihad, terrorism etc, it makes us wonder where have we gone wrong and who are responsible. In ignoring warnings that followed armed militancy, it is imperative that we do not ignore further warnings that may lead to bigger outcomes if left unsolved. Clearly, politicians & so-called civil society representatives who had been involved in the past have failed to provide solutions which demands the rest of the community to pinpoint where the fault lines are and address them. Sri Lanka lacks political leaders that are nation-loving in all three communities.  

Why is it that the fondness for political leaders of the caliber of Dr. T B Jayah, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. MCM Kaleel, etc does not exist for present day Muslim politicians? The short & simple answer is that the former Muslim leaders co-partnered political progress of the country sans mono-ethno-religious chants & peacefully mingled with the majority while the present lot is only seeking personal goals and setting the stage to create divisions.

The start to this legacy began by none other than M H M Ashraff himself with the formation of the SLMC towing the Muslim federal line and paving the room to invite separatist elements from overseas and bartering the country for tgreed for money. He set the foundation stone for the divide between Sinhalese & Muslims with future leaders adopting ultra-fundamentalist lines resulting in Sinhalese politicians countering with similar fundamentalism.

The shift of political influence from Colombo-based Muslim leaders to more rigid Eastern Muslim leaders began with Ashraff who hailed from Samanthurai in the Ampara District. The shift in class politics emerged.

When Colombo-based Muslim leaders were aligning with and forging friendship with Sinhalese leaders, Ashraff chose to admire Tamil separatist S J V Chelvanaygam the founder of ITAK. Ashraff had even addressed ITAK events and had also been present at the infamous Vaddukoddai Conference in 1976 that appealed for separatism. The following year Ashraff created Muslim United Liberation Front going as far as to sign an agreement with A. Amirthalingam. It is no surprise that Ashraff began promoting the demand to create a Muslim majority council in the North & East. The allegiance was no different to Hakeem issuing a condolence message on behalf of the SLMC on LTTE’s Anton Balasingham’s death which infuriated the Muslim community

How many Muslims are aware that Ashraff even fielded Muslims to contest under the TULF eelamist banner and campaigned for separatism?

According to D B S Jeyraj, Ashraff’s speeches declared that even if Amirthalingam himself had abandoned goal of Eelam, Ashraff would continue to work for it. Ironically, none of the Muslim contestants won a seat though contesting from TULF.

In fact when the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed in 1987 Naranyan Swamy’s book “Tigers of Sri Lanka – From Boys to Geurrillas” claims that the Indian High Commission had even given cash handouts to the SLMC. How many more cash handouts and by what others has the SLMC taken over the years? There are EROS links to SLMC as well Basheer Segudawood was a soldier in EROS. http://www.island.lk/2003/06/08/politi05.html

Ashraff formed the first Muslim ethno-religious political party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress on 21 September 1981 in Kattankudy during a period when UNP recommenced diplomatic relations with Israel against opposition by Muslims.

SLMC campaigned on the slogan of Islam. At the start of SLMC political rallies Ashraff would begin by shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’

That Muslims were against the creation of SLMC is clearly depicted by Latheek Farook

M.H.M. Ashraff first mooted the idea of forming a separate political party for Muslims, many Muslims including parliamentarians, professionals and others, advised him to either give up the idea or confine the proposed political party to the east…. They warned him that an island-wide Muslim party had all the potentials to harm good relations between Sinhalese and Muslims in the rest of the country…. Justifying their warnings they explained that Muslims live in small numbers in peace and harmony with their Sinhalese neighbors in hundreds of villages and an all-island Muslim political party raising Islamic slogans, may put all Muslims into one communal camp and disturb their good relations with the Sinhalese community”

This is exactly what has happened.

In the words of Latheek Farook himself

‘Muslims are disgusted with their politicians…. betrayed by their own politicians and exploited by all to suit their agendas. The selfish politics of the main Muslim political party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and its more than half a dozen splinter groups have brought nothing but disaster.”

That SLMC initially agreed to support the SLFP at the 1988 Presidential Elections but went on to support the UNP candidate caused shock to the Muslims in the South is also highlighted by Farook who goes on to say,

“This decision considerably dented the credibility and the integrity of the Muslim Congress as well as the community, which had produced leaders of impeccable integrity and were known for their loyalty to their political parties…. One should not forget that this policy, as expected, won the wrath of the SLFP towards the Muslim community that had nothing to do with this decision.”

“Furious Muslims in Colombo and other areas blamed the SLMC for harming their relations with the majority Sinhalese community. There were speculations that Ashraff was bought over by the UNP.”

 “The general feeling among the Muslims is that the SLMC is today a liability”

Ethnic-based parties have not promoted peaceful relations and calls for a national consensus for banning of all ethno-religious political parties in Sri Lanka.

According to D B S Jeyraj the first violence between Muslims & Tamils took place in 1985 in Kalmunai-Karaithivu. Jeyraj claims this tension was ‘aided & abetted by the State’ UNP government. Ashraff even had to shift residence to Colombo for fear and was accused of leaving his people behind to fend for themselves.

The SLMC has been swinging alliances depending not on what merits Muslims but the personal perks accrued to the Muslims ministers doing the horse deals unfairly using the Muslim populace as bait.

The Proportional Representation soon came to be manipulated by minority parties in forging strategic alliances in exchange for votes thereby becoming the kingmakers and calling the shots. Likewise, SLMC joined Chandrika’s PA Government in 1994 contesting some districts separately while others on the PA ticket and this gave SLMC 6 seats plus 3 national list seats. Hakeem became Deputy Chairman of Committees. Hakeem had no qualms about shaking Prabakaran’s hands in 2002 on behalf of the UNP inspite of LTTE killing thousands of Muslims.

Ashraff became Minister of Ports, Shipping & Rehabilitation. What did Ashraff do with his portfolio – he filled the Port with Muslims from the East, some not even reporting to work but getting salaries. It resulted in feuds between himself and Fowzie.

At the two extremes, both Tamil & Muslim leaders have sought separate states. SLMC’s Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood demands a ‘separate Muslim State/Province’ with Kattankudy as its centre a “Muslim province…. Will give a motherland and self-determination to Muslims’ and we cannot give up our demand”. “The SLMC stance is that Muslims need a separate Muslim Province. Our late founder of SLMC M.H.M Ashraff too endorsed it. If a Chief Ministers conference is held a Muslim Chief Minister should definitely participate in it,”  

What is clear and distinguishes past Muslim leaders from present is the caliber of their leadership & their rhetoric. No previous leader would ever misuse their position to attack the majority as leaders like Hakeem have done. In August 2012, then Justice Minister (and leader of the Muslim Congress) Rauf Hakeem at a meeting in Kalmunai had demanded President Rajapakse should defeat ‘yellow-robed terrorism’.

Then at the other end there are the likes of Rishard Badurdeen himself a refugee who had been saved by Sinhalese and today towing a very fundamentalist line taking funding from questionable overseas groups to instill a foreign arab culture disregarding the country laws & completely ignoring appeals to stop raping the forest of Wilpattu for mono-ethnic settlements.

Anyone seeking answers to what has divided the Sinhalese & Muslim communities need only to list down elements that did not exist before 1980 to realize that these new elements are the likely reasons for the tensions. In so establishing this, the next step is to question whether these non-existent elements of the past should continue or be removed to bring better relations with the majority.

Shenali D Waduge

13 March 2018

Sri Lanka Finding the Middle Path: compromising demands, reconciliation & reciprocity

In the backdrop of lies, half-truths, exaggerations and misinterpretations it is time to take some issues and deal with them head on. In batting with a straight bat, everyone should feel comforted that decisions have been fair and honest. In general, we are all in unison that politicians and political parties have only aggravated the situation. In many ways the current impasse affords an excellent opportunity to publicly bring out issues that had been kept from public attention. The best way to solve a problem is to first identify it then list reasons and finally look for solutions.

1.     Demands common to all communities not same as desires common to elite of all communities

Let us all be united in agreement that the common man - Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim desires a few simple things only – the right to educate their children & obtain a good school, the right to employment & livelihood, the right to practice one’s faith without impediment or harm to others, the right to live and purchase property anywhere in Sri Lanka.

The common Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim whatever faith they follow share these common desires & aspirations. Their demands too are common – manageable cost of living where essential goods are affordable, usable roads and minimum comforts in transport (bus/train).

These Sinhalese, Tamils & Muslims crave not for luxury cars, imported luxury goods or a fancy lifestyle. While these ordinary people of all 3 communities comprise over 95% of the populace they have never demanded a change in the constitution, a change from unitary to federal, changes in penal codes or labor laws, reduction in the military or closure of camps…

2.     Equality for All but special privileges enjoyed by elite of all communities.

But does that happen if a politician, a local associated with the UN/INGOs, an influential businessmen or rich person of any of the 3 communities is arrested. The answer obviously is a big NO. However, it is this hardly 5% who end up not only violating the laws in large measure but in weakening the country by aligning with forces that are out to destabilize Sri Lanka. It is good for the ordinary people of the 3 communities to realize and distinguish these common traits they share with each other and not fall prey for the googlys that are thrown to use them to destabilize the country.

For in all occasions that mischief occurs not only do the destabilizing agents manipulate this 95% but it is this 95% who are the victims and sufferers in the end. Nothing major happens to the 5% of all the communities. If everyone is in unison about this, let us move to the next item.

3.     What are the discriminations by Sinhalese against Minorities

The generally promoted perception around the world is that minorities are discriminated and suffer injustices. Those making such statements must qualify their allegation with examples. To make such allegations people must also produce statistics & data while also being aware of what minorities presently enjoy over and above what all citizens enjoy equally. If the minorities wish to self-alienate themselves the majority cannot be faulted.

These are psychological issues that the minorities themselves need to alienate themselves from & be joint participatory partners in developing Sri Lanka instead of adopting the ‘victim’ approach. Perhaps minorities themselves are not aware or have even listed what they actually enjoy and compare that to how minorities round the world are treated.

When anyone says Minorities are discriminated, the Majority are wondering what exactly people who make this allegation mean by discrimination.

There are 33 Tamil MPs & 21 Muslim MPs in Parliament, the Opposition Leader is Tamil, the PM’s financial advisor is Tamil, the Immediate Past President of the Bar Association is Tamil while the present deputy President of the BASL is Muslim, the immediate past and present Governor of Central Bank is Tamil, his sister is a Member of the Constitutional Council, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Press Institute is Tamil, the head of the Sri Lanka Press Complaints Commission is a Tamil, the CEO and Chief Complaints officer of the same Commission is also Tamil, Minorities represent Sri Lanka as diplomats in all foreign missions, minorities serve in the armed forces & police and numerous minorities have held position as head of police too. Talented minorities have headed various sports, reaching world acclaim, the immediate past Chief Justice was a Tamil, wholesale business is dominated by minorities as is the gem & jewellery business, some of Sri Lanka top business conglomerates are owned by minorities, 8 of the top 20 billionaires in the stock market are Tamil, some of the top CEOs in Sri Lanka’s business community are from the minorities.

When 7 out of 10 in Sri Lanka are Sinhalese, how can minorities thrive & become rich & own businesses if there was discrimination?

Examples of Discrimination by Sinhalese against Tamils

Sinhala majority discriminated – Paid Adverts ‘Tamils Only

Name a single country that has given ethno-religious minorities privileges as Sri Lanka has done http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/03/06/name-a-single-country-that-has-given-ethno-religious-minorities-privileges-as-sri-lanka-has-done/    

The Sinhala Majority even changed the national flag to accommodate the minorities adding 2 strips to depict Tamils & Muslims. The constitution has been violated to accommodate the demand to sing the national anthem in Tamil. While the argument to sing in Tamils was claimed to improve reconciliation nothing of the kind has happened.

So what is it that the Sinhalese majority have not given the minorities. This is a puzzle that the majority would like answers. Those making the allegations please come forward and give examples and facts.
Name anything legally, constitutionally and legislatively denied to minorities which legally, constitutionally and legislatively is allocated to only Sinhalese.
Name any insistence where the law and the judgment has been changed because a person was a minority

When the calls are for unbias & mutual respect - Can the same persons also explain by quantifying the number of ethno-religious day-care centres, montessori’s. international schools that are emerging at a rate throughout the island – the attempt to build a minaret higher than the Dalada Maligawa, the proliferation of mosques some now emerging after every other road! These are all abuses of freedom of religion but are Sinhalese expected to keep quiet while these structures emerge all over the island? Are these signs of mutual respect & peaceful coexistence?

4.     Shouldn’t LAW be common to all?

We are all in agreement that One Country must have ONE LAW common to all. A comment in Sinhala has been translated to bring out some factors that the minorities cannot brush aside claiming it to be hate speech. It is nothing that cannot be denied and it is something for the minorities to seriously address. New cultures & trends cannot be accepted as religious rights as they did not exist.

·      When it was mandatory for all citizens to wear a helmet when riding motorbikes, one ethnic group started riding bikes without helmets & law enforcements were not allowed to take action.
·      When it was mandatory for all citizens to show their face in public places, one ethnic group began wearing robes that covered even face (we have not seen this before 1990s) again law enforcements could not take action.

·      When common quality standards for food was applicable, one ethnic group began a new standard based on their religious belief which all had to comply with (this too emerged a few years back only) no one was allowed to object.

·      When it was illegal for citizens to cut forests, one ethnic group began raping forests and settling their people (the previous government is faulted for this) that rape continues unabated.

·      When the law declared a minimum age for marriage, one ethnic group demanded to marry children (again the authorities are faulted for not nipping this in the bud)

·      When all citizens had to come under one equal law, one ethnic group is demanding a separate Shariah law for them above that of the common law (again authorities are faulted for not disapproving this)
·      When marriage/divorce is registered & comes under one common law, another ethnic group wants to marry 4 women and have separate Quazi Courts (fault of authorities)
·      When anyone entering a public & state offices has to remove helmets, jackets another group of people demand to wear a robe that covers everything but their eyes making distinction and recognition impossible (fault of authorities)
·      When motorists were asked to remove full face helmets citing threats to national security, another ethnic group demanded to cover themselves from head to toe including sitting for public exams and having their NIC photos taken in that manner (fault of authorities)
·      When a common banking system prevailed for all citizens, another group of people demanded Shariah Banking
·      When people were asked to follow planned parenthood to assist in developing the nation by controlling population growth, another group of people began encouraging more children (statistics is evidence of increasing population of this one ethnic group and it is the fear of eventual outcome when calculated into future years that draws people’s attention)
·      There are other personal laws like Thesawalamai & Kandyan laws which cannot come above country laws or the constitution.

·      When the constitution gives right to live anywhere minority communities create ghetto areas and conclaves & declare others are prohibited to live in them (statements of Northern Chief Minister)

·      It is good to ban ethnic-based political parties belonging to all communities (such parties do not represent the entire polity and more often than not they spew hatred and division against others)

·      Do minorities sell property to Sinhalese? Enough of paid adverts to the contrary serve as examples!

These are areas that the minorities may like to work on to remove irritants that cause tensions and impede peaceful coexistence.

5.     Politicians have worsened situation

We can deduce that politicians – Sinhala, Tamil & Muslims have failed to serve the nation & its citizens fairly & without bias. Coming to politics at any cost, making promises and doing horse deals never intended to keep and falling prey to money and vote politics has totally ruined the nation.

Voters too are guilty of voting for politicians and political parties that through their manifestos and speeches set out to divide people and the country.

Voters & citizens need to be not only aware of the history of the country but aware of global geopolitics as well. The citizens and voters cannot ignore the attempts to create new states and realize that Kosovo, South Sudan are recent examples promoted by UN with the same players canvassing for same in Sri Lanka. This should suffice for people to immediately tie these demands to the locals peddling for its realization in Sri Lanka. It should immediately have citizens & voters denounce such politicians and civil society players giving them no room to promote same in Sri Lanka.

If people were aware of the games and plans played to create newly independent & separate states while also militarily intervening in nations, they would be able to connect the dots for the modus operandi in Sri Lanka.

Some of the stunts carried out overseas are virtually the same taking place in Sri Lanka. This is why it is crucial for citizens and voters to identify the politicians & others linked to these plans. To promote their hidden agenda, they need burning issues to justify interference. The minorities must realize that their lives are also at stake. To understand the gravity of the situation all they need to do is to look at life after UN intervened independence in Kosovo, South Sudan, & Libya, Afghanistan & all other nations that the UN & West have poked their noses in.
If Sri Lanka is separated what next for them – have minorities thought about this?  

6.     Can minorities save the situation?

Tamil separatism has many tentacles and ordinary Tamils are roped into silently agreeing using various reasons generally for personal benefit. Have Tamils realistically thought of life after separation? If they have not, it is a good time to start thinking.

Muslims themselves are caught between radicalism & continuing life under Sinhala culture which they have comfortably fitted in. Wahhabi faith is even targeting and murdering their own. Even in parts of East Sri Lanka, Wahhabi radicalism has ended in deaths of many Muslims. These are dangerous factors that can lead to ISIS and other jihadi presence as foreign intelligence have already warned. Even late Alavi Moulana warned about Wahhabism. Something Sri Lanka does not wish to deal with. Can Muslims deal with this on their own. Doubt so, look at the suffering Pakistan is undergoing in trying regain their nation. Global Islamic terrorism is something Sri Lanka cannot afford to ignore.

This foreign report is interesting & timely for it brings out factors that many are trying to hide under the carpet by blaming Sinhalese https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L0c8oCDd4k&feature=share

Wahhabi radicalism extension of which terror emerges cannot and should not be ignored or be allowed to be pooh pooed by Muslim politicians and others in Sri Lanka. Remember how warnings on Tamil militancy was ignored and that led to 30 years of terror. We cannot allow the same to be repeated.

Dr. Ameer Ali has clearly appealed to the Muslims regarding this.
Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community – Dr Ameer Ali

7.     Try to see things from the Sinhalese point of view too, for a change

All that the Sinhalese ask is to give due place to historically prevalent Buddhist ethos, to protect the Buddhist heritage and ensure the country is not divided or separated using any nomenclature or falsified reasons. At no time has Sinhalese ever said that minorities do not belong in Sri Lanka.(a notion some are falsely spreading)

By maintaining the historical place & cultural ethos in Sri Lanka there is no impediment to minorities right to fundamental freedoms especially right to practice their faith. The only restriction is that  No person can demand right to religion beyond individual worship if it impedes the right of the indigenous ethos/culture/heritage. These demands are few and does not infringe on the minorities in the least.

Some facts are stubborn to accept but need to be reminded. Tamils originated from Tamil Nadu, Muslims find their origins to Middle East, Christians/Catholic Sinhalese & Tamils evolved from forced conversions after 1505. Institutionalized and politicized religions are on the quest to expand and increase flocks and the heads of these religions have openly declared this to their priests giving them targets & goals. These are concerns Sri Lanka’s majority cannot ignore even if politicians do.

Globally there are 76m Tamils, 1.3b Muslims and 2.2b Christians. They all have rich institutions to protect them. The EU bloc of nations/Vatican & World Christian Churches look after the interest of Christian/Catholics, the OIC looks into the welfare of Muslims while India openly claims its interest in Tamils is what makes India interfere in Sri Lanka. This is why Article 9 to foster and protect Buddhism by the State is important & cannot be removed. It is clear that those calling for its removal are only out to remove the only weak link to the State’s historical identity of Buddhism with Sri Lanka.

Who is there to protect the 14.8m Sinhalese or Buddhists?

Look at the manner the Sinhalese have been attacked following a well-orchestrated attack on the minorities without any proof of it being racial as even Buddhist temples had been attacked and harm had come to a Buddhist priest as well. While the damaged Islamic structures will be rebuilt bigger and better using state & foreign funds, will it be the same for the Buddhist structures?

To strike a compromise all parties must accept their fault lines and agree to address the irritants.

On the part of the politicians it is important they desist from making racially hatred statements and refrain from making politically motivated decisions that create problems.

On the part of the law enforcement authorities without political interferences they must take action against any wrong doer whatever ethnicity, however rich or influential they are. Now that people are alert & will be taking note of illegalities & irregularities it requires both law enforcement authorities & public servants to not only play by the rules but not violate them for any reasons too. In the event of such violations, is there an unbiased body that people can appeal to?

On the part of public servants, they must not approve illegal structures requested through influential ethno-religious groups and take action against illegal structures that are springing up, they must not be scared by campaigns that weaken their authority using canards like racism, discrimination etc.  

On the part of the minorities, instead of always adopting the mentality of thinking and believing one selves to be victims, use the irritants some of which are globally common to reach a compromise

On the part of the majority, look into areas where minorities claim there is discrimination and see how best to address these.

If we can put the above in order, Sri Lanka can head to a better and peaceful future.

One Country. One Constitution. One National Anthem. One Common Law for All.

Shenali D Waduge