Sri Lanka must curb incitement against minorities, says Minority Rights Group International
Posted on June 17th, 2014

Hanna Hindstrom Asia Information Officer

The Sri Lankan government must act quickly to prevent further violence against its religious minorities, Minority Rights Group International said on Tuesday.

At least three people died and 78 were injured on Sunday after an anti-Muslim march organized by the hardline group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) – or Buddhist Power Force – sparked some of the country’s worst sectarian clashes in decades.

According to media reports, riots erupted shortly after BBS leader Gnanasara Thero delivered an inflammatory speech calling for the destruction of Muslims in the coastal town Aluthgama. Locals had reportedly asked for the rally to be cancelled over security concerns.

‘The government appears to be giving a free rein to recognized hate preachers, instead of protecting its religious minorities from violence,’ said Nicole Girard, Asia Programme Coordinator at MRG.

‘We are deeply concerned that violence could spread to other parts of the country unless perpetrators are swiftly brought to account and steps are taken to prevent the spread of hateful and inflammatory language.’

Three mosques and dozens of homes and shops were torched by Buddhist mobs chanting anti-Muslim slogans. Local Muslims have accused the police of failing to protect their property, despite the imposition of a curfew.

Tensions in the coastal town have been on the rise since last Thursday when there was reportedly an altercation between Muslim youths and a Buddhist monk’s driver – creating the pretext for Sunday’s rally. Aluthgama residents told the media that most of the rioters were ‘outsiders.’

In recent years, BBS has led an increasingly vocal campaign against Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, including calling on the government to formally ban halal food and encouraging citizens to boycott Muslim businesses.

Sri Lanka has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which explicitly prohibits the advocacy of ‘national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.’

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged to hold an investigation into this weekend’s riots and hold perpetrators to account before the law. However, the government has been slow to clamp down on hate speech and incitement to violence.

‘President Rajapaksa has promised to address the growing scourge of hate speech that has plagued Sri Lanka for years,’ added Girard. ‘It is high time for his government to fulfil this promise by enacting stronger protections for religious minorities and prosecuting individuals inciting hatred towards them.’

12 Responses to “Sri Lanka must curb incitement against minorities, says Minority Rights Group International”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Please listen to Ven Wirathu. What he says is 100% true for SL too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvF6YLsy2M4

  2. rohanana Says:

    Most of you focus on what happened after and put the blame on the people who reacted. Why is that none of you talk about WHY WHY WHY this happened? Mainly because then you will find the culprits are a handful of Extreme Muslims. I have Muslim friends who blame the Muslims because they see the cause of the problem and they know what they were told in Mosques. Have you ever thought this all could be part of the extreme Muslim organisations to get what they want and spread their radical extreme Islam? See how majority of you idiots have sucked up to that. Please look around the world and see why Muslims are involved in all wars and inter religion clashes. That is the nature of Islam as Muhamad was a warrior who killed many hundreds including women and children for whatever reason. Check what is happening in UK and many other European countries. What is happening in Nigeria and other countries? Why Muslims are killing Muslims? Let me give you an example. Go to Gampola Babile road and see what the Muslims have done in the name of Allah. They have built a Mosque over this hundreds of year old PUBLIC ROAD making all the Sinhala people including monks to walk under their feet. What do you call this? Illegally built the Mosque and houses on Paddy fields. So how come Muslims are allowed to break the country law and not others? Four Mosques built within 2 kilometers screams at 0430 in the morning disturbing babies, old and the sick. We have very kindly wrote and asked them to stop it or at least keep to one speaker but not them. The law is clear where it says you can’t have speakers before 0600hrs. How come Muslims are exempt from Sri Lanka law? I am not saying violence is good but it could make people open their eyes and brains to realise what really is happening in the country or this could be well organised by the Muslims to mislead idiots. What I advice is lets stop the instigators and there will be no problems.

  3. Sooriarachi Says:

    Sri Lanka must also curb incitements against the majority.
    Apparently the Aluthgama incident arose from the assault on a Buddhist monk on Poson day. This is the sort of incitement the LTTE terrorist tried many times by killing Buddhist monks, Sinhalese farmers, bombing the Temple of the Tooth etc but the Sinhalese quite rightly avoided retaliation. So incitement can be both ways and a true trouble maker would try to incite the minority to attack the majority, hoping for uncontrollable retaliation. Fortunately these tactics may not work as the average Sinhalese, Muslim, Tamil, Burgher have lived together in harmony for centuries and it would be hard to break this inter-racial bond.

  4. douglas Says:

    Sooriarachchi: You have very correctly put this whole incident in the correct perspective. There are so many groups, within and outside, very handsomely funded by foreign agents who are bent on “disrupting” and bringing once again the “misery” that we in Sri Lanka underwent for three decades.

    Even this writer very expressly states that the ugly incident took place immediately after the “fiery” speech of the BBS organizer. The writer- Henna Hidstrom Asia Information Officer, conveniently and very subtly avoided tracing the “immediate” cause, that of a Buddhist monk was assaulted. This fact being “HIDDEN” all the players, including the Government authorities, have set aside this “FACT” and now pointing fingers at the Buddhists population. Can someone inform us why this BBS organized a rally in Beruwala?

    It would be very important to bear in mind the latest “Alert” issued by the Interpol to the effect that the “Al-Kidea” operatives have entered Sri Lanka and grouping to establish “Drug Cartels” in the South Asian region. Connected with this, the people of Sri Lanka must know of the “Influx” of “Refugee” claimants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India registering with the UN Refugee Agency and “LET LOOSE” without a trace to mingle with the rest of the people. Even our Government is not aware, where these “REFUGEE REGISTRANTS” are. In one case it came to light one of them has already established a “HOTEL” and employed these “Refugee Claimants”. Very strangely the “Hotel” closes its business operations at an early hour in the evening and the “Praying Sessions” starts with a big gathering behind closed doors.

    The above fact is also connected with the “BIG TIME DRUG PEDDLING” going on in the country with the NOT SO SECRETIVE involvements of the “VERY HIGH PRIESTS” in the political field.

    As pointed out by Sooriarachchi, this is WORSE than the LTTE “INCITEMENTS”. Our country will be made a “SAFE HEAVEN” for DRUG BUSINESS and the entire majority population, including the young upcoming, would be subjected to a “PSYCHOLOGICAL INSURGENCY” very soon.

    One thing that is very clear to these “BIG PLAYERS” such as the Diaspora, NGOs, Human Rights Watch Agents etc, is the majority Sinhala population are a “STUPID” (MODAYAS) lot who can be “BOUGHT” with money and DISINTEGRATE to conveniently work according to their agenda and win their aspirations. Unfortunately, we have established a very HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT for that movement to flourish well.

  5. Nanda Says:

    Douglas,
    We are the stupid Modayas. They are the smart Greedy Perethayas.

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    ‘The government appears to be giving a free rein to recognized hate preachers, instead of protecting its religious minorities from violence,’ said Nicole Girard, Asia Programme Coordinator at MRG.

    THAT IS WHY I PUSH FOR A BUDDHIST NATION AND NOT A SECULAR NATION IN SRI LANKA. Under the laws of a Buddhist Theocracy Islam will have no right to spread and demands would be made why Buddhism is prevented in Islamic nations? If Muslims are allowed to convert and multiply as citizens of Sri Lanka then why cant the same be applied to Muslim nations? there cannot be two completely different “right reasons.

    The Muslims cannot excuse their intolerance of other faiths in 50 odd Muslim nations while demanding equal rights to spread their faith in Non Muslim nations. If Sri Lanka became a Buddhist Theocracy then laws can be set to protect Buddhism as the only and main religion of the nation island. Without that Colombo will give into alien faiths till Buddhism becomes a minority faith in Sri Lanka. It is already a minority faith in Colombo and Jaffna, two of the most important cities in Sri Lanka.

  7. Marco Says:

    Sri Lanka must curb incitement. period!

    A small and insignificant traffic accident with a bit of pushing and shoving blown out to tragic outcome (instigated by a hate speech by a thug) that has been splashed across the world with many utterings of disgust. Interestingly the Defence Chief of Pakistan postpones his trip to SL (believe the spin from Defence LK if you must) and Travel advisory note from Australia.

  8. Nanda Says:

    President should sack Prime Minister and all subversive Muslim ministers and ask good government ministers to run those ministers.
    Kill 2 birds in 1 stone. Cut down cabinet size to a number “manageable” by the President.

  9. Nanda Says:

    “The Muslims cannot excuse their intolerance of other faiths in 50 odd Muslim nations while demanding equal rights to spread their faith in Non Muslim nations. If Sri Lanka became a Buddhist Theocracy then laws can be set to protect Buddhism as the only and main religion of the nation island. Without that Colombo will give into alien faiths till Buddhism becomes a minority faith in Sri Lanka. It is already a minority faith in Colombo and Jaffna, two of the most important cities in Sri Lanka.”

    Very true. This the core to problem. This Islam problem is common to the whole world. Leave aside BBS, there is a lot of material, 10 times more against Buddhism in the web. It is the same in other media within the country, running underground, with the aid of Muslim drug lords.

    “President should sack Prime Minister and all subversive Muslim ministers and ask good government ministers to run those ministries” should be the immediate measure that should be taken followed by further action.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Parliamentary resolution against UNHRC investigation DEFEATED 144 to 10.

    Excellent!

    Only 10 out of 12 Tamil TNA MPs voted for the damn thing.

    But 18 UPFA coalition partner MPs did NOT vote again. These clowns must be investigated. UNP abstained from voting. The LEAST UNP could do.

    So now SL should NOT cooperate with any UNHRC Pee-Illey inestigation.

  11. Nimal Says:

    SL must strive for racial and community harmony and punish severely who engage in activities that makes communities insecure or threatened.

  12. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Nanda: Sack these Muslim ministers and appoint Buddhist ones instead.

    The Muslims have a voice that is heard in 50 Muslim nations, in the UN and in the west. The Tamils have a voice in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, the UN to many western nations. the Christian minority have a voice in 126 Christian nations, 15 of them have made Christianity a state religion including England (Google predominantly Christian nations in the world Wikipedia). They also control (and not just have a voice) the UN and other international bodies.

    The Sinhalese Buddhists HAVE NO VOICE outside of Sri Lanka. If they were a minority in Tamil Nadu they would not be heard like the way Sri Lankan Tamils are heard. If they were a minority in some Muslim nation they would be hounded out of existence while Muslims in Sri Lanka continue to grow. Abroad Sinhalese are simply taken as “Indians” and lose their identity to India.

    Even in Sri Lanka Colombo is forced to represent all the people and not just the Sinhalese. That leaves only the Buddhist Sanga, papers like this, and a few local outlets for the Sinhalese Buddhists. Under these circumstances it is imperative to fight any incursions into the Sinhalese Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress