Multiculturalism and National Integration failure in Sri Lanka: No more towns should end up like Kattankudy
Posted on May 28th, 2019

Kattankudy is a town in Batticoloa in Eastern Province of Sri Lanka where only Muslims live. Why is multiculturalism & national integration not applicable to Kattankudy? How is it that the nomenclatures of multiculturalism, peaceful coexistence, secularism is applicable to all, other than Muslim majority countries or in Muslim majority areas? How is it that wherever and whenever an area becomes majority Muslim only extremist fundamentalist and strict Islam prevails? It is visibly clear that wherever minorities become a majority it is only their will that rules – their dress, their culture, their religious practices, their habits is what prevails and all others who want to live with them in harmony have to silently accept, not make any fuss or shift to another town. Kattankudy is the example of what happens to a town with only Muslims. Where minorities are a minority they demand on par status & once on par they work towards becoming the majority using surreptitious methods to influence politicians and local authorities. Incrementally, Kattankudy cannot happen to other towns and it is time Sri Lanka’s leaders stop compromising the historical ethos and heritage for votes, power and personal handouts. The people of Kattankudy practice a culture foreign to the culture of Sri Lanka even Muslims who wish to follow the heritage culture are under pressure by those following a stricter & foreign form of Islam. This is nothing that can be ignored in the face of increasing Jihadist terrorism associated with this stricter form of Islam spreading to other parts of the island influencing wherever Muslims are the majority.

How was Kattankudy created?

The Unionist Association of Ceylon assisted the Delimitation Commission in the allocation of electorates to the State Council under the Donoughmore Constitution when it decided to divide the Eastern Province into 2 electorates. It was the Unionist Association’s proposal that ended up creating Kattankudy. UAC President was SWRD Bandaranaike & Vice President Sir Marcus Fernando.   

Kattankudy is just of land and inland water and has 18 grama niladari divisions for the 18 villages.

As per 2016 statistics, the population of Kattankudy is just 47,603 (13,757 families)

Vote-bank politics discriminating majority giving unconstitutional privileges to minority

The constitution is clear that all citizens must be treated equally. Before the law, every citizen must be given equal justice. There can be only one law for all.

However, politicians have diluted this. When the Proportional Representation system was introduced the initial cut off point for any party to qualify for parliamentary representation was 12.5% but Ranasinghe Premadasa reduced the cut-off point to 5% on a request made by M H M Ashraff of the SLMC before the 1988 elections. The reduction was with political intent and resulted in ethnic-based political parties with ethnic-based agendas to enter parliament and legislatively weaken & destabilize Sri Lanka incrementally to what it is today.

Not only are minorities accommodated by the mainstream political parties, but minorities representing ethnic-based political parties shrewdly align with the political parties to contest as an alliance and then demand a minority seat and a cabinet portfolio. The reduction of entry to Parliament from 12.5% to 5% is solely responsible for bringing to parliament MPs who are not representing the country or even the minority they claim to represent.

Where Muslims are majority – Muslim-Muslim conflict surfaces

Kattankudy though occupied by only Muslims is not in total harmony. Rise in Sufi mysticism has resulted in militant opposition in East – Kattankudy & Maruthamunai since 1980s.

In 2004 Sufi tombs and shrines were destroyed and Sufi leaders had to flee province. In 2009, Sufi & Towheed tensions arose in Beruwela. In Kattankudy Sufi leader Rauf Maulavi who had formed the All Ceylon Islamic Spiritual Movement was declared an apostate by the All Ceylon Jamiyatul Ulama in 1979 and Rauf was chased out of Kattankudy in 2006 & in December the shrine of Sufi leader late Sheikh Abdullah Payilvan (founder of Thareekatul Mufliheen) was attacked & his corpse barred from burial in Kattankudy.

It was on 21 September 1982 that A H M Ashraff established the Sri Lana Muslim Congress in Kattankudy (Batticoloa district) though he was from Samanthurai (Ampara district)

Ironically Ashraff spoke at ITAK meetings in 1970s and was even present at the Vaddukoddai Conference in May 1976 when the Vaddukoddai Resolution was passed for a separate Tamil state.

Not surprisingly Ashraff formed the Muslim United Liberation Front in 1977 on the same lines boasting that even if Amirthalingam abandoned Eelam goal he (Ashraff) would not. Ashraff was MULF’s legal advisor. MULF however did not win a single seat & Ashraff left MULF to join SLFP in 1980 when TULF refused to accommodate Muslims to contest under TULF banner.

When Muslims & Tamils showed such close allegiance why did Prabakaran ruthlessly and mercilessly attack Muslims inside the Kattankudy mosque in 1990. Could it not be that Prabakaran realized that Ashraff and Co were having larger plans for Eastern Province from the Tamil Eelam goal? Is it not because Rajiv Gandhi himself had other plans that he too was eliminated by Prabakaran!

An ‘alien image identity’ root cause of disharmony & self-alienation by Muslims

It was during this period that a creation of a Muslim identity resulted in wearing burka, hijab, beards, missionary campaigns, new mosques and louder demands using their leverage in business and UN/Western human rights nomenclatures. All these were part of fundamentalist POLITICAL ISLAM that drew Muslims automatically because ‘Islam’ associated with it. No one questioned its conflict with Sinhala majority culture or heritage.

It was in 2013 that Dr. Ameer Ali highlighted the reality that Muslims were self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community because of a new image problem. There can be no better example than Kattankudy to prove this.

Is the orthodox brand of imported Islam the cause of the alienation?

Dr. Ameer Ali says the new dress, new values and practices are the root cause and advises Muslims to self-introspect & ask themselves whether they want to be Muslims of Sri Lanka or Muslims in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Ameer Ali takes Kattankudy to highlight the self-alienation an area of just has 58 mosques – planting of date palms in the middle of the road to look like Arabia, halal slaughter, the black dress he says is alien to Sri Lanka and has nothing to do with Islam. He confirms that women of the 1970s wore saris. So why are women adopting this ‘confrontational image of Islam’ knowing that women did not dress in this manner earlier?

In short what it means is that anyone dressed in black attire, long fluffy beards, demanding shariah, marrying children, halal, ritual slaughter, expansion of Islamic territory (Islamization) etc are those practicing confrontational extremist Islam. It’s now upto the Muslims to remove this from society! Will they? is a question they must now answer.

Its Islam – but distortion of Islamic Scriptures

Why are Muslims ‘misreading Islamic scriptures’ – who is at fault for teaching them radicalized scriptures knowing this would result in extremism and conflict with the majority community whilst isolation Muslims? Why are Muslims inviting these radicals from Middle East to address and influence Muslims if Muslims are well aware that these are the elements leading to disharmony? Muslims should know which brand of Islam to follow but why are they following a militant form of Islam?

Can Muslims counter these extremisms which are inherently part of Islam?

When new aspects of self-alienation imported from Middle East funding radicalism in the East became known the previous government was quick to set up 2 intelligence units to monitor extremism though both units had been disbanded and the officers heading them put into prison by the present government for reasons best known to them!

The extremism and the inability to integrate when towns become turned into Kattankudy is primarily due to the Islamic fundamentalism rooted in Wahhabi Islam (stricter Quran and Hadis) This different form of Islam is not only a threat to non-Muslims but to Muslims as well and Sufi’s will guarantee this.

EasterSunday attacks was masterminded in Kattankudy. The hate for non-Muslims (though historical) was encouraged because everyone in Kattankudy are Muslims and the radical preachers of hate find the environment easy to brainwash against non-Muslims. Same thing in practiced in North Sri Lanka by TNA & LTTE against the Sinhalese. They don’t want Tamils mixing with the Sinhalese because ordinary Tamils would discover TNA & LTTE had been lying about the Sinhalese. Similarly these radical Muslims want all Muslims to hate non-Muslims. Creating only Muslim cities only facilitates this hate. No ghetto ethno-religious areas should be allowed. Kattankudy must be made multicultural as a future national policy just as North Sri Lanka.

No Government should promote any Islam that is not only dangerous to the country, the majority & the minorities as well as Muslims not practicing this stricter form of Islam. It is because the government has taken the side of Muslim leaders who are aligned to this stricter form of Islam that has led to these Muslim politicians using State power and patronage to advance their agendas at a national security risk to all citizens of Sri Lanka.

Muslims should be able to practice Islam but not Arabian culture or Arabian Islam and this message must be clearly conveyed.

Many Muslims are now openly saying that they wish to align to the Sinhala culture while following their Islamic faith. We have no issues with this.

But, we have an issue with the new identity that surrounds the stricter form of Islam that includes Shariah, burka, long beards, marrying children, female genital mutilation, halal, ritual animal slaughter, proliferation of mosques not built like mosques, madrassas etc. Having identified these elements that are not integrating and being the cause of confrontation Muslims must agree to denounce & remove them.

Going forward Sri Lankan citizens must accept

  • One Law must apply to all
  • Laws must be equal to all – minorities need not have special laws if before the Courts, everyone is treated equally.
  • Remove ethno-religious political parties or return the parliamentary entry to 5% from the 12.5% changed in 1988 as a political favor.
  • No rejected politician should be taken into parliament or given State portfolios.
  • No Government should allow mono-ethnic towns/cities as a National Policy
  • No Government should allow the heritage culture of Sri Lanka to be replaced by foreign new cultures
  • Remove the Ministry of Reconciliation/ National Integration – it has served no purpose
  • Religious Freedom to worship is a personal freedom & not institutional religious rights to convert / new cultures are not religious rights
  • Strict architectural laws that give rules & regulations for buildings

Shenali D Waduge

4 Responses to “Multiculturalism and National Integration failure in Sri Lanka: No more towns should end up like Kattankudy”

  1. Nihal Perera Says:

    Islamic extremism has become a cancer growing all over the world now. The problem is so-called moderate Muslims (if there are any..) are not doing anything to stop their Jihadists extremists.

    On the other hand, the West (USA & NATO) is mainly responsible for creating Jihadists like ISIS, Al-Qaida, Taliban, etc., for their (US, UK) proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

    Now the West is using these Jihadist groups to de-stabilize developing countries like Sri Lanka, so they can walk in with the help of their puppet leaders (like Ranil/Sirisena) to get a foot hold in the country to establish Army bases which they will use to fight China in the Pacific region.

    These attacks were NOT accidents but well-planed and supported by the West and their supporters like Saudi Arabia.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, there are both short-term and long-term plans by many players to enslave and harness Sri Lanka to serve their purposes.

    Some of these Players sometimes work together but towards different goals.

    1. The Wahabbi/Salafi Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia and Quartar, their treasuries brimming with petro-dollars, are exporting their brand of intolerant Islam, and Sri Lanka is a weak and easy target.
    Their long-term goal in Sri Lanka is to convert Sri Lanka into a Conservative Islamic majority nation. To that end, they are attemting to gain a dominant position in the Political, Economic, Natural Resource, Religious and Cultural, and Demographic areas.
    We CANNNOT fight them effectively because MOST of our expatriate workers work in Persian Gulf Oil nations and we need the money they remit to tbier families in Sri Lanka. Like a drug addict, we are trapped in their money web.

    2. India wants a compliant subservient Sri Lanka for their national security and to command our markets and our transport infrastructire. They want to transplant as many Hindu Indians as possinble in Sri Lanka, but they DO NOT WANT a Muslim dominated Sri Lanka.

    3. China wants Sri Lanka as an ally in its Silk Road plan, and its move to project Naval Power globally like the United States. The Indian Ocean is becoming the focus of the new race between the global powers that is already creating friction in the South China sea which China is increasingly moving to claim as its own. China seems to eant to plant a sizeable Chinese Colony within Sri Lanka. Expect to see tjeemergence of a sizeable Chinese Sri Lankan community within the next 20 years.

    4. The United States is frantically movin to acquire allies and bases within the Indian Ocean region and counter the growing ptrsrmce of thr Chinese. It will do that by using any and all means including using the puppet UN to destabilize countries with allegations of human rights violations and war crimes while it turns a blind eye to such infractions by itself and iys own allies in the Persian Gulf. While the US claims to fight ISIS in gulf countries, it also uses Muslim extremists to desysbilize targeted countrirs that do not comply with its demands. So, India finds an ally in the US in it fight against China but is wary of the US when it interfers with the Muslim comunities in India.

    5. The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora have not given up the EELAM struggle and Tamil Nadu and India STILL supports them in many ways. South India marches to a diffrent drummer than the rest of India as we saw in the recent general election in India in which Hindu zealot Modi and the Hindu BJP won a landslide in the North but lost to Congress in the South. Recently the TNA held meeting with the Tamil parties of the Hill Country to form a combined opposition to the Sinhalese. From the retecent statements of Sumanthiran, Dampanthsn and Vigneswaran it is clear they want what Prabhakaran the late Sun God wanted.

    6. Perhaps the worst enemies Sri Lanka and thr Sinhsla people have are the Power Hungry traitors among the Sinhalese themselves, particularly those leaders of the UNpatriotic Party like Ranil Wikunanasinghe, Avsmangala Samaraweera, Ravi Karunanayagam, Arajitha Senevirathne, John Amaratunga, and Malik Samaraweera.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Fully agree with this as Plan A.

    But what if Plan A fails (which most likely will)? Then we lose not only the north and the east but also the rest too.

    As long as executive presidency is around this will worsen. Only one EP was tagged by the article. How about the others after him? They all gave appeasements to them to bring the situation to where it is now. This trend will continue.

    We are very good at having a Plan A but never have lifeboats (Plan B). This is a sure indication of disaster.

    The Plan B (lifeboats) is bad but it can save what is really precious by making sacrifices. Titanic owners and operators considered having a sufficient number of lifeboats an insult, an unaccetable eventuality and called those who questioned as pessimists.

    If Plan A fails, Sri Lanka must have a Plan B to save all people by separating people geographically. Enemy within is far more dangerous than the enemy at the border. Sinhalese are rightfully placid, non-violent, environmentally concerned, measured in burdening the environment, unsuspecting and accomodating. They need protection.

    Please consider this unpopular fact.

    Those who don’t have a Plan B will either go extinct or will have to settle for a Plan C which will be far worse.

  4. Christie Says:

    Thanks Shenali.

    Religion is Muslim but most of Muslims are Sinhalese.

    Again I see India and Indian parasites behind these events. They know how to handle and manage poor innocent hapless people.

    Thowheed here is a franchise of the Indian Thowheed. Is not bad for India because they keep a lot of the money they get from Saudi etc.

    India is very close to Saudi and India manages its Muslims well who ever is in power.

    The Easter killings occurred during the Indian elections and was another catalyst for the Hinduthwa win.

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