We reject continuing Buddhist-­‐Sinhala Chauvinistic trends and partiality

We strongly condemn the attacks on the Muslim community in Sri Lanka! We reject continuing Buddhist-­‐Sinhala Chauvinistic trends and partiality

There have been continuous and widespread attacks on the Muslim community in Ampara and Kandy districts  since  last  weeks  by  the  groups  that  claim  for  Sinhala-­‐Buddhist  chauvinistic  power.

Though  it seems that the hate violence and crime are subsided for now, the violence of this nature has  been  continuing last few years. Sinhala – Buddhist Chauvinistic monks, who systematically  provoke  violence against Muslim community in social media. These monks together with the groups, who are supported by  high-­‐level political  authorities,  had  carried  out  the  attacks  overtly  from  Kiribathgoda  to  Aluthgama. 

There are abundance of video pieces of evidence and  direct  eyewitnesses  that  are  reported  wildly  through the internet and other social media. However, there are no effective actions by government authorities to arrest and bring the perpetrators before the court of justice, to stop the violence, and to provide proper protection for victims of violence as well as for the vulnerable community that is continuously  being  targeted.  Despite  the  fact  that  there  is  an  island-­‐wide  enforcement  of  emergency law  and regulations by the government and a curfew  in Kandy district, there is no progress in bringing the violence under controlled; instead, attacks have been uncontrolled and continued.

Over 70 business enterprises and more than 25 Mosques were set on fire, or burnt, and or destroyed. We don't have any information on casualties and wounded. It is reported that,  in  most  of  the  places,  the  special  police  forces and the army sent for controlling the situation have acted merely as  spectators  than  being  protectors. What the past experience of declarations of emergency law shows that it had been used to silence  and  control the  victims/affected  groups.   It is also  confirmed  by the  attacks that continue today.

All  of  the  past  governments  in  Sri  Lanka  have  maintained  the  Sinhala-­‐Buddhist  Chauvinism  and  often sabotaged the peace and harmony among  all  ethnic  groups  intentionally  to  sustain  their  political  survival. The government under the  president  Mithriplana  Srisena  came  to  the  power  claiming  that  it will bring good governance to change this situation. After came into power, neither it focused on any measures that could bring unity, harmony, and reconciliation among all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, nor it brought anyone who had acted against ethnic harmony before the law.  After so-­‐called good governance government came to power, the cases filed in the court by people were also being prolonged.

The government did not attempt to control the groups such as Bhudhu Bala  Sena  that  continuously  manufacture their hate speeches and actions  against  Muslims.  Yet,  the  government  has  not  contemplated with any effective actions and practices to assure  and  confirm  its  proclamation  like  all  ethnic groups and citizens in Sri Lanka have equal rights. At least, it has not yet taken any actions on people who were publicly staging hate speeches and publishing flyers and brochures.

In fact, this kind of imprudent conduct of the government,  ‘the  good  governance’  reconfirms  that  this  government  wants  the country to be divided ethnically and to be a fertile land for hate situations to grow ethnic conflicts and violence.

This is why simple misleading and fabricated messages such as food is mixed  with  contraceptive pills and a fight between people among drunkards could also result in big ethnic collisions. This  is  the  situation  what  Sinhala-­‐  Buddhist  chauvinistic  individuals  and  the  groups  wanted.  The politicians use this situation to achieve political  power  and  to  gain  benefits  for  some  ethnic  groups.  Thus, the people belong to these groups such as general Sinhala public and constituents believe that the attacks of this kind are reasonable and valid. The position of the general public has made the situation complicated  and  worse.  Before  the  voice  of  Sinhala-­‐  Buddhist  chauvinists,  the  voice  of  democratic people among Sinhala community that condemn this dangerous situation becomes fragile and insufficient.

As all the ethnic collisions happened in the past, the one staged now is also premeditated and carried out by Sinhala -­‐Buddhist chauvinistic powers and groups.

The ethnic conflict and collision is an ultimate result of the propaganda by them that describe ethnic groups other than Sinhala as dangers and instill hatred against them among the public. Though this government does not directly support and involve in this process, we have no other way but to think that the government also assists them by not taking any bold and courageous actions against the perpetrators to bring the situation under controlled.

We, as a civil society in Canada strongly condemn the ethno-­‐racial attacks against Muslim community by Sinhala-­‐ Buddhist Chauvinists in Sri Lanka. We demand the government to end the attacks, to bring the perpetrators before the court of justice, to provide compensation for the material lost, and for the rehabilitation of the people who are affected.

We humbly request all who believe on democratic values -­‐   the public, social groups, social activists,  writers,  media  personals,  international  human  rights  activists and groups, and Canadian politicians to urge the  government  to  take  necessary  action  to  implement  these actions. We believe there are individuals and groups who concerned about the need for creating a positive and fair socio-­‐political environment, where all ethnic groups could exercise their freedom and equality while enjoying their uniqueness and  diversity  in  Sri  Lanka.  We  urge  all  international  civil societies and  groups to  voice  for these actions.

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