|BBS leader: You Shut Up
Condemning the unruly disruption on Wednesday (9), Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), called for a Commission of Inquiry to look into the incidents against minorities in the country. “The ACMC calls upon the authorities to enforce the law to everyone alike and appoint a commission of inquiry into the post war incidents against the minorities in general and the Muslim community in particular,” said Minister Bathiudeen in his ACMC statement of 11 April in Colombo.
Minister Bathiudeen’s ACMC’s current national standing is three parliamentarians, three provincial council members in the Northern Province, three provincial council members in the Eastern Province, one provincial councillor in the Western Province, two Urban Councils (Kinniya UC and Kattankudy UC), two Pradeshiya Sabhas (Oddamavady and Museli), a municipal council member (Kalmunai), etc, making a total ACMC representation in the country at 62 representatives.
The ACMC statement is reproduced below in full:
The All Ceylon Makkal Congress vehemently condemns the disruption in an unruly manner by the Bodu Bala Sena of the press conference organised by the Jathika Bala Sena at Nippon Hotel last Wednesday (9) under the very eyes of the police officers.
The impunity with which they were able to get out of the hotel not only after forcing the organisers to call off the press conference even before it started but also getting them to tender an apology under duress, in the presence of the Police, calls into question the uniform applicability of the law to all citizens of the country.
The BBS has for the last two years been running amok targeting the minorities in general, and the Muslim community in particular, and the failure on the part of law enforcement authorities to call a halt to the dastardly behaviour of this organisation has emboldened its members to intensify their acts even in front of media cameras.
History has it that the Muslims of this country have been a patriotic community. The simple reason that over 100,000 Muslims were forcibly evicted from the Northern Province with two hours notice in 1990, beside the massacres of Muslims in the Kattankudy mosque, Eravur, Alinchapothana, was their refusal to lend support to the LTTE’s Eelam cause and their allegiance to their motherland.
When peace dawned in 2009 in this country, the Muslim community too entertained hope of enjoying the dividend of peace like any other community not knowing that it was mental agony and distress that was in the offing for them in the form of the Bodu Bala Sena that was to come out shortly targeting Muslims in particular and the minorities in general.
The BBS made its public entry with its first strike on the Muslims in the form of raising an issue in relation to Halal certification, a process which had been in practice for years. Abuses beyond all human norms were hurled at the Jamiyathul Ulamah disregarding the fact that it was the supreme religious body of the Muslims in this country and that the virulent attack on it will hurt the susceptibilities of the Muslims.
The onslaught on the Muslims by the BBS continued unabated taking different forms such as ridiculing the dignified attire of Muslim women, attacks on mosques, on Muslim business establishments etc, castigation of Muslims, and bundles of lies which culminated in the utterance of the falsehood that in terms of the Quran Muslims are required to spit at the food before given to a non-Muslim.
What remains to come to light to date is the objective behind the utterance of this falsehood and the sudden eruption of this hate campaign against Muslims subsequent to the conclusion of the war and the interested force behind it.
A question that cries out for an answer here is whether the BBS is running a parallel government like that of the LTTE during its existence to strike any place at any time with ease without a question from the power that be and go scot free.
The purported mandate of the Government of the LTTE was said to have extended only to the north and the east whereas the self-assumed mandate of the BBS government seems to extend to the whole island.
Their audacity to publicly declare themselves an unofficial police force has not been brought into question. A few days back a BBS team had gone to the north and lambasted officials there and upbraided the already battered Muslims in the most indecent language which is unbecoming not only of the clergy but even of an ordinary person.
At least the so called government of the LTTE was challenged by the law enforcement authorities but the government of the BBS appears to be above the law.
Therefore the ACMC calls upon the authorities to enforce the law to everyone alike and appoint a commission of inquiry into the post war incidents against the minorities in general and the Muslim community in particular and ensure that the much-longed peace for Muslims dawn in this country at least now.
Rishad Bathiudeen MP
Leader-All Ceylon Makkal Congress
Minister of Industry and Commerce