(image: An armed Sri Lankan soldier on alert as unarmed policemen inspect a deserted street following sectarian clashes between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Muslim communities in Aluthgama, 60 kilometers south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 16 June 2014 –
“We are very surprised that your statement made to the media had blamed a few Muslim persons for the Aluthgama incident, while no reference was made to the real offenders. While, it would have been advisable in your capacity as IGP not to be judgmental for sake of peace, it appears that the focus of blame has been turned on the victims rather than the perpetrators of the violence. Despite the reality been to the contrary, your statement shows bias as you have singled out and highlighted the entire responsibility of the incident on the local Muslims” says Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in a letter to the Inspector General of Police Sri Lanka Police. Pujitha Jayasundara.
The letter follows:
Letter to Inspector General of Police
June, 27th 2014
The Inspector General of Police Sri Lanka Police
Aluthgama Fiasco and thereafter
We wish to bring the following concerns to your attention and shall appreciate a meeting to discuss same.
1. Violence has continued even after the Aluthgama incident and notably the NoLimit shopping premises in Panadura had suffered damage due to a fire. We urge you to take immediate measures to investigate this matter and apprehend the offenders and take preventive action against any such incidents.
2. We fear that escalation of violence will cause further loss to property, lives and tarnish the image of the country which is desperately trying to claw back into normalcy. We would all have to suffer the moral and economic consequences of continued violence which we hope will not occur.
We are concerned that the root causes to the problems related to the attacks on the Muslim community and other minorities has not been addressed and appropriate action taken to enforce justice.
4. We are alarmed that mobs instigated by a small group of extremists have been allowed to murder, terrorize, loot properties and cause arson with impunity. It is regrettable that all of the damage, destruction and murders took place while the curfew imposed by the government was in effect. The Muslims in the area claim that the curfew was imposed only to keep the Muslims indoors while the mobs could be allowed to cause maximum damage with impunity.
5. We are very surprised that your statement made to the media had blamed a few Muslim persons for the Aluthgama incident, while no reference was made to the real offenders. While, it would have been advisable in your capacity as IGP not to be judgmental for sake of peace, it appears that the focus of blame has been turned on the victims rather than the perpetrators of the violence. Despite the reality been to the contrary, your statement shows bias as you have singled out and highlighted the entire responsibility of the incident on the local Muslims. As you may be aware, there is ample information that the Buddhist monk was not hurt in the first incident and it was only due to some mysterious forces that he was admitted to the Nagoda Hospital even though he did not have any injuries. Also it is beyond any reason how a terrified community who sought shelter and protection inside a mosque against imminent violence would have the courage to pelt stones knowing its consequences. We would be pleased to provide you with video evidence that clearly shows who pelted the first stone.
6. It is also regrettable that the foremost role played by the terrorizing gang had been overlooked in your statement despite the fact they had come in a procession prepared to provoke and attack. It was a big lapse to allow the mob to pass through a trouble area. Furthermore how does one explain why a procession was allowed to stop opposite the Mosque and aggravate the people while the police did not take any action to stop them? It hardly needs any deduction to figure out their motive. Some people in the procession were carrying backpacks with stones in it? Your department’s intelligence could have easily found all the inciting statements from the web including posters posted (as attached) on Facebook and other on-line media calling for a rally to teach the “Marakalays” a lesson. .
7. In connection with the above, we would like to bring to your attention the letter sent to you and senior DIG Mr Anura Senanayake by us and several other Muslim organizations, requesting you to stop the meeting in Aluthgama on Sunday the 15th. We explicitly mentioned the possibility of violence against the Muslims based on the information posted on online media. Hon. Faizer Musthapha, Deputy Minister of Investment Promotions too had sent a letter to you and the Secretary, Ministry of Law and Order with the same message. Despite assurances given, we are at a loss to understand how a vehicle procession was allowed to proceed through a Muslim concentrated village after the meeting where Venerable Galabode Aththe Gnanasara spewed venom against the Muslims.
We have decided to place our serious concerns before you in order that justice will prevail irrespective of religion, ethnicity, power or position. We shall be thankful to meet with you to discuss the above.
We thank you for your kind co-operation and look forward to your firm action. Yours sincerely
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress
CC: Major General Nanda Mallawaarachchi