Sri Lanka Covid Crisis – How National decisions are manipulated to fuel ethnic tensions?
Posted on January 1st, 2021

The controversy associated with covid-19 remains unanswered. We still don’t know how it came and the root cause for its spread. But we do know that over 1.78million are dead. It’s a shocking number. We also know that covid makes no differentiation nor does it favor any race, religion, nationality or continent. Covid doesn’t care if one is rich or poor and definitely no one can bribe it. We also know that the world health body is just as confused as the rest of the world as evidenced by the plethora of contradictory statements issued since the outbeak.

Cremation a National Decision

The decision to cremate dead was a national decision taken in the interest of the country and not any community. It is important for all citizens to realize this. It is also important to realize that decisions taken considering the future risk scenarios cannot be reversed just to please one minority community. It is wrong for a community to demand a Govt accommodates only their demand. A Govt cannot accommodate only the Muslim demand simply because others are not making demands. While Sinhala, Tamil, Buddhist, Christian, Catholic MPs chose not to make a fuss over covid cremations only the Muslim MPs in both Govt & Opposition took the issue even overseas completely destroying Sri Lanka’s image and creating unnecessary tensions amongst the communities. The Opposition Leader is continuing exactly what his parent party is famous for.

Rightly, what should have been done was for the bodies representing the Muslim community to have issued a statement that though cremation is not an option for Muslims, in view of the contagious nature of the covid the Muslims are ready to accept the decision taken in the interest of the Nation to cremate all covid dead. They should have not resorted to playing politics with covid dead.

Covid does not select its victims. 

No one yet knows the true nature of covid. Vaccination manufacturers, too say they cannot overrule a person becoming covid infected again. All families of victims have had to forego some form of funeral ritual. A ritual is something passed down over generations. What is the science associated with rituals is another debatable topic? But, covid dead globally have had to forego customary funeral rituals. Likewise, in Sri Lanka too all the communities have had to forego saying proper goodbyes to the dead. Sinhalese-Tamils-Burghers & Muslims. So it is wrong for Muslims to present the notion that cremation is unacceptable to them and the decision must be changed.

Muslims & Burials

Nowhere, was it said that Muslim demand for burial was extremist. What people continue to say is that it is not only Muslims who had to sacrifice their rituals but all other communities as well and they saw it unfair to only demand special privilege for Muslim demands only simply because others choose not to bring undue pressure upon the government during this covid crisis. Those that allege that the Sinhalese are not giving ‘respectful consideration’ to the Muslim request, must explain why Muslims are not giving ‘respectful consideration’ to the fact that Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics & Christian victims too have not been able to say proper goodbyes to their covid dead.

It is not extremist to demand burial but it is unfair to promote notion that Govt is intentionally targeting Muslims which is why people are angry.

Muslims are carrying out a propaganda that only they are made to sacrifice their rituals. Naturally, this sentiment has angered others into even questioning the logic behind the demand for cremations. How do extremist Muslims who became suicide bombers self-cremate their way to heaven? How does Allah accept suicide terrorists directly to heaven but covid- cremations are not? What is the science in this?

Burial campaign

The argument that Muslim moderates can become extremists was a notion spread by Muslims. This statement accompanied a subtle political message our votes unlikely” next election. It could have also meant no Muslim funding for campaigns”. There has to have been a powerful underlying message seen in the manner politicians and political parties began reacting. The muttiya was put and it did its magic. Many feel the attitude is as a result of the support given by Muslims to pass the 20a.

If පාංශකූලයis not allowed, will that make Sinhala Buddhists extremists too?

There are some Sinhalese presenting the notion that to oppose burial is only showing Sinhalese as extremists and strengthening the hands of Muslim extremists and not accommodating the ‘reasonable requests’ of Muslims. What about the ‘reasonable requests’ of 90% of the rest of the population, who say protect the living before putting the dead first. Is giving burial a race to gain ‘moral upper ground’ and do extremists care whether we maintain a moral upper ground or not? This segment of preachers promotes, the notion that Islamic extremist’s sustenance can be cut off by agreeing to burials. We have to wonder what their argument for Easter Sunday is. Whether the plan was orchestrated by non-Muslim external parties, the execution of the mass murder was by Muslims using texts of Islam to justify killing people. The same texts are used globally to inflict terror & suicides missions’.

Are we to always live in fear that if we do not do as Muslims want they will inflict Islamic terror or are we being held to ransom on the threat that there is a thin line separating moderate Muslims from becoming extremists that if wishes of moderate Muslims are not given, that is a stepping stone to extremism. Translated, does this mean a Government has to only consent to do what Muslims want or Muslims will run into extremist arms!

We are also made to believe that we live in ‘stupid societies’ because we are strengthening extremists simply by saying burials are unsafe. As per this same set of Sinhalese, moderate Muslims have only Muslim extremists to turn to for a ‘sympathetic ear’ as moderate Muslims are making ‘reasonable demands’ while all others in saying consider the living above the dead are presumably making ‘unreasonable demands’! Look at how a ritual demand for a select community has caused tensions.

Some Sinhalese appear to take delight in embarrassing the Sinhalese by painting a picture that Sinhalese are objecting to burials simply because Muslims are demanding burials. The direct intent is to showcase Sinhalese as racist & extremist. These same Sinhalese say Sinhalese are ‘extremists’ in demanding cremations while Muslims are not extremist in demanding burials. How many Muslims will say anything against Muslims! So only burials for Muslims have to be regarded as important, how 90% of the rest of the population think is not important! These very Sinhalese are the actual one’s stoking tensions.

This is clear by the bandwagon of usual culprits taking to the streets against the Sinhalese funded by their dollar masters overseas. The whole scene unfolds a political agenda at play. How many of those shedding crocodile even know the victim families or have visited them to grieve & provide relief. This applies to the Muslim MPs too.

Reading this can anyone accuse Sinhalese of discriminating Muslims?

Muslims and the non-Muslims demanding only Muslim demand for burial has to be accommodated must take a step back. Covid is a global crisis. New strains and new health issues are emerging daily. In such a scenario it is best to take precautions than be sorry. Sri Lanka doesn’t have the economic viability to land itself in further economic chaos. Thus, a national decision taken to cremate must be accepted and respected. A national decision taken by a Govt can please all 20million citizens. It cannot even please all MPs in the Govt. But once the decision is taken all MPs must accept & respect it and not go on a personal campaign against it.

What good is it to argue over the dead on how the dead are to be deposed when the dangers of more dying as a result of covid lurks in the air.

If accommodating one community’s demand becomes a health risk and environmental risk to 90% of others, can a government be allowed to jeopardize the lives of others? 

Certainly, we must empathize with all the dead & their families who have not been able to follow customary rituals. But the nation is facing a bigger problem than facilitating customary rituals.

It appears cremations for Muslims are allowed!

UAE- Sharjah Ruler directs not to bury any Corona victims in Al Saja’a

There is also contention over expert opinion. One expert’s expert opinion cannot be accepted as final. Even the WHO has been changing its stand on covid. Even appointed committees cannot come to a conclusive agreement. Even scientists have differing views.

How should we draw a line over myths/rituals – science and common sense?

Shouldn’t we be protecting & safeguarding the living from falling prey to covid first?

Shenali D Waduge

3 Responses to “Sri Lanka Covid Crisis – How National decisions are manipulated to fuel ethnic tensions?”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Who are good Muslims, bad Muslims, moderate Muslims, peaceful Muslims and radicalised Muslims?

    No they are all the same.They follow the same book. Muslims are like water: at one time they are frozen ice, another time delicate snow, water – stagnant, bogs, fast flowing rivers and then steam , fog , mist and even high temperature super saturated steam. Then the basic constituent is the same water molecule.

    Likewise, Muslims behave differently under different circumstances. Whether peaceful, moderate or jihadist genocidal they all follow the same book – the Koran. When it suits them they read different verses from it. Those of the early period of the Prophet they are peaceful and for coexistence. Those from the later years Medina and afterwards more warlike and genocidal.

    Therefore it is an exercise in futility to categorize Muslims, for one can find in the same family so called ‘good Muslims, radicalised jihadist and murderous Muslims and all shades in between. The family of the Shangrila and Cinnamon Grand Hotel terrorist family is a good example. They all have one common goal – to make the whole world Islamic. For this they are willing to die, they are willing to sacrifice their own sons and daughters. They follow the Al Taquiyya Doctrine of shameless lying to hide the truth, deceive and evade justice.

    Madrasaas are the incubators dessiminators of the Jihadist germ. They must be stopped at all costs if nations around the world are to live in peace.

    How Islamists behave under different circumstances is explained succinctly by Dr Subramaniam Swamy of India. Listen to the following:

    Most Asian countries who are majority Hindu / Buddhist are under threat from Islam on warpath. These include Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Myanmaar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. It is high time these countries met, along with China and Japan to discuss the scourge of militant Islam and came with solutions to stop it before being sorry later – that is if there is any left to be sorry!

  2. aloy Says:

    To my mind this is a problem between two communities in the Middle East that is being exploited by a goddess in vengeance mode. It is a problem that we Sri Lankans cannot solve alone. Even US seems to have fallen prey.

    There has been a dormant bug in the religious code put in place by the creators which is not relevant to present day. But the goddess Kali has hacked it and put in a virus and now they act as if they have been given the proverbial ladder to the heaven.

    Please look at the following scenario:

    1) Ayatolla was given sanctuary to be sent back and take the US embassy staff as hostages and torture them for two years.
    2) Some ME people were trained and sent to play havoc on 9/11 also in the US and thousands of innocents died.

    3) Sadam Hussain was about to be given the A’ bomb and he lost his ‘’ (Donald Trumps jargon) and the country as well.

    4) Syria was also rumored to be given the A’ bomb and until today that country is battling it out with various factions and it is a hell hole. Another problem for entire europe was created by taking about a million of those people mainly from one community; they were housed and provided all facilities including training. Was this a good gesture or for them to be used in future

    6) Iran which says that Israel should be wiped out from the face of the earth was given plane loads of cash (by none other than US Prez on the behest of Kali?) to go ahead with the making of the A’ bomb which will become a very big problem for everybody.

    7) How does Ukraine coming in to the picture in this backdrop?. Is it not via Ukrain that Donald Trump and the Prez elect Joe Biden got involved in various scams?. It is involved many thing including shooting down planes. And how that country is involved in our own affairs.

    If one looks at the nexus between Kali, Ukrain, our MOF, extremists, and Corona we see many things:

    Whenever Geneva meeting is around it is Kali who takes the lead in rallying support from insignificant countries like Macedonia and some unheard of South American countries against Sri Lanka for no apparent reason.

    Quite recently Hon. Fernando Pulle charged that Corona entered SL via people of Ukraine. Now it looks as if the terrorist financing is coming to the country. Is it via a know channel to the CB and the treasury as 2 to 3 hundred million dollars a month cannot come without their knowledge.

    However they have allowed any Tom Dick and Harry from anywhere in the world to register a business office online without seemingly any fact check in the country.

    How safe are we in SL or are we also on the way to becoming like a Syria?.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    American Military Industrial Complex is in decline. Its only salvation is more wars or warlike situations around the world. Its existence depends on selling armaments around the world. It is waiting to go Supenova destroying all around them and who knows even the whole world! Not a very interesting prospect!

    During the Second World War, the then President of the US – Roosevelt converted most means of domestic industrial manufacture to produce war materials – guns, tanks, ships and aircraft and then bombs and even prohibited biological weapons – nerve agents. It was during this time that the Manhatten Project to make the first Atom Bomb was conceived and accomplished. Even almost 50% of the expenses for the project was spent for security of information Russians managed to spirit out vital atomic secrets and manufacture their own Russian Bomb. This was the beginning of the war of attrition later to be named the Cold War!

    After the war this same means of production continued and as always ‘gun running’ became their main means of livelihood. For this dark enterprise the freedom, and democracy and human rights were willy nilly disregarded. First to go was Iran’s democratically elected PM Mossadegh! Others in Latin America and elsewhere followed.

    The elder Bush destroyed Saddam Hussein’s forces but left him in power in Baghdad and immediately went on to sell arms to his neighbours in the region. He knew the game and how to make money. At the end of his Iraq campaign the balance sheet was heavily in America’s favour and a huge profit. However his idiot son went on to get rid of Saddam Hussein and made a mess of the Middle East. Now America is finding excuses to leave the Middle East with having accomplished very little. Taliban is waiting!
    The resilience of ordinary people were demonstrated by the US fiascos in Vietnam, Middle East, Africa and now in Latin America. The day of the Robber Barons are coming to an end.

    China surely will follow, only to follow the same pattern and one day wither away like all other empires! If they use the Eastern Wisdom they can stay for a longer time than the others!

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