Senior Minister of Urban Affairs, A.H.M. Fowzie has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to call for an investigation into the violence that erupted in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town, in order to determine if it was a coup targetting the President.
Minister Fowzie had wanted to meet President Rajapaksa at the height of the clashes this week, but had been unable to do so as the President had been in Bolivia, when the incidents had taken place. The incidents may have been directed at the President, and it is therefore, of paramount importance that an investigation is carried out to determine whether it was directed at the Muslim community or the President himself, Fowzie had said.
Fowzie went on to say that the result of such a coup had resulted in a serious impact on tourism. There had been countries that had issued travel advisories, and a gradual decline in tourism was anticipated due to the large-scale publicity the clashes had received worldwide. It is imperative that the government finds out the aims of those involved, and it is also profound that the government investigates thoroughly the actions of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) which had been instrumental in organizing the rally, he said. The government will also have to determine a course of action on preventing a repeat of such incidents, he also said. At a Cabinet meeting, senior ministers had discussed the importance of national unity and religious harmony. The forces attempting to incite religious tensions in the country were in abundance worldwide, and the government would have to adapt measures to prevent such forces from creating further problems. It is also important that the government adapts measures to curtail funding of extremist groups in the country, Fowzie had pointed out.
By Shivanthi Fernando