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FeaturesMuslim Council of SL is Shocked & Dismayed at Minister Ranawaka’s Diatribe Against the Muslims

Muslim Council of SL is Shocked & Dismayed at Minister Ranawaka’s Diatribe Against the Muslims

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( Ranawaka and Rajapaksa shared anti- minority Sinhala majoritarianism for a long time)

In a letter to Minister of Technology & Research Patali Champika Ranawaka the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is shocked and dismayed at your verbal diatribe against the Muslim religious, civil society and political leadership on mainstream and social media. We have restrained ourselves from commenting on the relentless allegations you have been hurling against the Muslims due to the positive interaction we have had with you and the Jathika Hela Urumaya. Your continued polemic on Muslims compels us to respond.

You state that the Muslims are buying land and property in cities. We wish to state that any citizen of this country could do so through legal means.It is regrettable that a senior politician of your caliber has picked up the hate campaign from the bloodied hands of the Bodu Bala Sena’s Venerable Galabode Aththe Gnansara Thero. Your total misinformation campaign amounts to hate speech targeting the Muslim community, and it can have dangerous repercussions which can lead to a build up of hate and mistrust within the majority community, resulting in discrimination and violence, ” the letter says .

The letter provides instances and evidence of Minister Ranawaka’s  anti-Muslim attitudes in including hate speech. It is letter has been sent on 27th June just two days before Rights Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein scheduled to  submit his oral report on Sri Lanka to the on going 32 session of the UNHRC.

The letter follows:

Letter to Minister of Technology & Research Patali Champika Ranawaka

June 27th 2014

Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka,

Minister of Technology & Research, No.408, Galle Road,
Colombo 03,
Sri Lanka.

Honorable Sir,

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is shocked and dismayed at your verbal diatribe against the Muslim religious, civil society and political leadership on mainstream and social media. We have restrained ourselves from commenting on the relentless allegations you have been hurling against the Muslims due to the positive interaction we have had with you and the Jathika Hela Urumaya. Your continued polemic on Muslims compels us to respond.

1. In one of your speeches on video on the Aluthgama violence, you claim that the Venerable monk (whose driver and a Muslim got involved in a brawl over a traffic incident) was beaten on the head with a large pole. The monk appears everywhere with no sign of any injury on his head or any other part of his body, with not even a plaster. We would like to remind you, he appears two days after the supposed attack on the monk with ‘a huge pole’. If the monk was attacked as you claim, we would be grateful if you can share the JMO’s report with us.

2. You allege that there was a mob of 3000 Muslims armed, and waiting to unleash violence on Sinhalese on the 15th of June in Aluthgama. This is a direct accusation that you are making as a member of the Cabinet, on the Police and the security forces that they have failed in their duty. This calls for an impartial investigation. We are also in possession of video evidence to the contrary , and would be please to share with if required.

3. You do not unequivocally condemn the violence by all parties on that day, which can amount to tacitly condoning the violence unleashed, and your silence as a Minister in Government in not calling for an impartial enquiry where all perpetrators are brought before the law is disappointing to all law abiding citizens of this country.

4. You allege that there are many ‘extremist’, ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘jihadist’ Muslim groups in Sri Lanka, illegally funded by foreign forces. This is a serious indictment on our State’s intelligence apparatus. This immediately calls for investigation by the State, where all such groups of any religious or political ideology, if they exist, should be thoroughly investigated, and the rule of law is upheld; we also call upon you to furnish any evidence you possess to the Authorities to carry out investigations.

5. You imply that the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (ACJU) is an organization that is funded by the Wahabi movement. We wish to state that it is transparent in all its functions, and open for scrutiny by any state institution that wishes to investigate it. We wish to place on record that the Muslim community in Sri Lanka considers the ACJU as a body of religious leaders to guide the community on religious and social matters; the Muslim community considers it their right, as citizens of this country, to be led by this institution just as other communities are led by their religious leaders.

6. You insinuate that Muslim organizations, particularly naming the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) and the Shoora Council, as detrimental to the well being of our country. We wish to reiterate that the activities of these organizations are transparent and open for engagement with anyone who wishes to learn more of them.

7. You also continue to say that the members of these organizations do not function as Sri Lankans, but as Muslims. We wish to emphasize that the members of the Muslim community, including the members of these organizations, love our country, Sri Lanka, and are patriotic as any other citizen. It is unfair of you, Sir, to insinuate that we are not.

8. You state that the Muslims are buying land and property in cities. We wish to state that any citizen of this country could do so through legal means.It is regrettable that a senior politician of your caliber has picked up the hate campaign from the bloodied hands of the Bodu Bala Sena’s Venerable Galabode Aththe Gnansara Thero. Your total misinformation campaign amounts to hate speech targeting the Muslim community, and it can have dangerous repercussions which can lead to a build up of hate and mistrust within the majority community, resulting in discrimination and violence.

We would be most grateful if you would refrain from this hate campaign and dialogue with us on any issues of concern regarding the Muslim community as we have been doing over the last several years. Your continued hate campaign will drive this country away from the progress and international recognition the country has received after a 30 year violent armed conflict. We, as equal citizens of this country affirm our commitment to work towards progress and prosperity for all in our beloved country.

Thanking you for your understanding, commitment and resolve to make peace amongst all peoples of Sri Lanka.

Yours sincerely,

Hilmy Ahamed

Vice President

CC: His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa – President
Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa–Secretary Ministry of Defense

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