Misinformation campaign in media about Muslim armed groups in East
Posted on October 18th, 2009

by M. M. Abul Kalam

Need and necessity for Muslim home guards in the East arose in 1990. It was the worst year of ethnic cleansing of Muslims both in North and in East. After ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the North by the LTTE, and massacre of nearly 400 innocent Muslim men,women and children by the LTTE in the EastMuslim political leaders made representations to the govt. and introduced the home guards system to protect vulnerable and isolated Muslim villages from the LTTE and other Tamil militants.

It was a supplementary or rather complementary role to the local police and the STF. The LTTE and other Tamil armed groups named it as Jihad.

Attempts are now being made to portray Muslim youths in the East and in some other parts of Sri Lanka as anti -social and illegally armed elements and they have links with armed Muslim militants outside Sri Lanka. Lakbima English weekly on 21/06/2009 carried a lead news to this effect and it was soon followed by an Indian Journalist P.K. Balachandran tiltled “Now, Sri Lanka goes after Jihadis in the Indian Express of 22/06/2009.

Time and again some elements in Sri Lanka and India and LTTE and other Tamil armed groups were trying to portray the SL Muslim youths who were enlisted in to home guards as an organized and powerful militant group with links to militants outside Sri Lanka.

During the failed last Geneva talks, LTTE theoretician late Anton Balasingham made such claim and he even said that Jihadis with Al Qaidaa links are operating from Muttur and Kattaankudy and wanted them to be disarmed along with other Tamil para militaries. Few months after that fake LTTE claim, the Muslims from Muttur were ethnically cleansed from their hometown by the LTTE in the same way, they expelled the Muslims from the North.

It was almost the same time in 2006 where the LTTE closed the sluice gate in Mavilaru. The hapless Muslim refugees walked nearly 20 miles and sheltered in Kantale. The LTTE set up check points on the way and picked up the Muslim home guards who were working with the govt. forces. If there had been Mulsim Jihadis in Muttur as claimed by the LTTE, the Muttur Muslims need not have fled from their home towns. Thanks to the SL Army and President Mahinda Rajapaksha, the Muttur Muslims were resettled within few months with the elimination of the LTTE from Trinco district.

Lakbima English weekly on its 21st Sunday lead news stated that The Sri Lankan government was moving against armed jihadis, a new menace in the Eastern part of the island country, which just ended a long drawn out war against the LTTE.

Lakbima stated further “… although earlier accusing fingers were pointed at the TMVP and LTTE cadres that they were carrying out the recent abductions and crimes in the East, it was in fact the Jihadi militants who were behind most of the crimes that took place recently”.

2nd July deadline is set by the Police in the East to surrender all illegal weapons possessed by all armed groups/militants. However, the Lakbima weekly had stated that it is a deadline set only for the Mulsim Jihadis.

Indian Express on its 22/06 edition quoted the above Lakbima news and added its fiction. Quoting or rather misquoting the official Indian sources, the Indian journalist had this to say:

“Official Indian sources told The New Indian Express that presence of Jihadis had begun to cause concern to both Sri Lanka and India. India was glad that the Sri Lankan authorities had, at long last, begun a crackdown on the Tablighi Jamaat members, who were getting funds and ideological inputs from abroad especially Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the sources added. There have been instances of the armed clashes between Jamaatis and Tamils, a community the Eastern Muslims have been at odds with over questions of land for the last two or three decades”.

It is clear from this misleading news that the Lakbima and some vested elements both in Sri Lanka and in India are trying to implicate the Muslim youths for crimes committed by the TMVP or the Tamil armed groups and white wash the TMVP with ulterior motive.

Indian Express on this edition quoted the Lakbima news and added its fiction. It also supported the attempt to whitewash the TMVP and attributed to the Muslim youths. The Indian Express said ” The Sri Lankan government was moving against armed jihadis, a new menace in the Eastern part of the island country, which just ended a long drawn out war against the LTTE, claimed a front-page report in the weekly Lakbima news on Sunday.

Quoting or rather misquoting the official Indian sources, the Indian journalist had this to say:

“Official Indian sources told The New Indian Express that presence of Jihadis had begun to cause concern to both Sri Lanka and India. India was glad that the Sri Lankan authorities had, at long last, begun a crackdown on the Tablighi Jamaat members, who were getting funds and ideological inputs from abroad especially Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the sources added. There have been instances of the armed clashes between Jamaatis and Tamils, a community the Eastern Muslims have been at odds with over questions of land for the last two or three decades”.

Lakbima news quoted unnamed intelligence sources to say that there could be about 500 jihadis in the three districts in the Eastern parts of Sri Lanka. Batticaloa alone is believed to have 250 of them.

The Lakbima weekly has also tried to white wash the TMVP by its ex-parte finding that the Muslim armed youths were responsible for the crimes and abductions took place in the East recently. “In recent months,

It said so: ” Eastern parts have witnessed a spurt in crimes such as abductions and extortions. At first it was thought that the perpetrators were members of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal, a breakaway group of the LTTE. Later, the LTTE itself was blamed. But investigations later revealed that jihadis were behind most of these crimes”.

Two TMVP members of Mawadivembu who were wanted by the police on robbery charges surrendered to Eravur Police on 23/06/2009. They had allegedly attempted to rob some houses in the area but went missing when the villagers were out to capture them. Eravur police said they recovered two hand grenades from the suspects. What the Lakbima and the Indian Express going to say for this.

The Police investigations have proved the involvement of the TMVP in recent abductions and killings. The famous kidnapping and killing of a budding young school girl Vidusha in Batticalaoa in March this year was by the TMVP and the culprits were shot dead by the police. There was a similar kidnapping and killing of another young girl by the TMVP.

On 19/06, Security Forces commander (East) Maj Gen Srinath Rajapakse, the Security Forces and the police held a meeting with moulavis and Muslim politicians and civil society leaders at the Hisbullah Centre, Kattankudy.

The Lakbima said that the Defense Ministry had given the jihadis time until July 2 to surrender their weapons. “Thereafter, we will have no mercy on them,” the paper quoted a Defense Ministry official as saying. The Muslim dignitaries who had attended 19th June meeting with the Security Forces had admitted that some Muslim youth were armed and promised to persuade them to give up their weapons.

Apparently, Pakistan also stepped in to give money and training to radical Islamists here. According to Indian sources, the South Eastern University at Oluvil in the district of Amparai has become a hotbed of radical Islamists, the Indian Express said.

A few months back Dr. Ramadaas of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Tamil Nadu also made similar allegations against Eastern Muslims and Mr. Kaayal Mahboob, Tamil Nadu Secretary to the Indian Union Muslim League gave him a fitting reply. Please see PSM update- Link given below:

http://www.peacemuslims.org/Tamil_Nadu_Muslim_League_slams_Dr._Ramadaas_and_PMK_on_LTTE_issue-20-952.html

It is crystal clear from these allegations that some forces both in Sri Lanka and in India want to put the Muslims in the East into trouble and to create communal unrest and tension. They want to achieve their sinister motive by portraying Muslims as another community fighting against the state.

Muslim community in Sri Lanka is the only community that never took up arms against the state. They are always for national unity, amity, peace and co-existence.

It is because of their resistance that the LTTE and other Tamil militant groups failed in their agenda of creating a mono ethnic region in the merged NE provinces. The Muslims paid heavy price for that. They were ethnically cleansed from the North and lost thousand of lives , lost their business and economy. It is unfortunate that still there forces targetting the Muslims even after the end of the LTTE.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2019 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress