This is in response to Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka’s interview about ISIS’ presence in the island and alleged Muslim involvement published in the Daily Mirror of June 1, 2017
Time and again, top police and intelligence officers and several others clearly and repeatedly denied the presence of ISIS -- a fascist entity allegedly created by the United States, trained by Israel and funded by their client state Saudi Arabia as part of their ongoing murderous global campaign against Islam and the Muslims -- in the island.
Yet, sections of the mainstream local media, joining the US-Israeli war mongers, continue to use the canard ISIS to demonise the Muslims, and deceive and cover up the crimes perpetrated on the minorities in Sri Lanka by the BBS racists. Perhaps, it was as part of this campaign that Minister Champika Ranawaka had reiterated his allegation claiming that ISIS is present here and Muslims are involved with it.
First and foremost, this is not a subject that comes under Minister Ranawaka who is in charge of Megapolis and Western Development. This subject comes under the ministries of Law and Order and Defence. But, the first thing a presidential or prime ministerial hopeful ought to have done is to urge the police to arrest those violent Sinhala extremists attacking the minorities, as he did when a building in Wellawatte collapsed.
He did not voice against these Sinhala extremists. He did not even participate in the adjournment motion in parliament where several Sinhala and Tamil members condemned the attacks on Muslims. The joint opposition also did not field a single participant. Minister Ranawaka probably had his reasons.
But without batting an eye lid and even before investigations commenced, he publicly called for the arrest of the Muslim owner of the Wellawatte building who obviously did not spend millions on that structure wishing or hoping for it to collapse on himself. In fact, that man himself narrowly escaped. But in a more horrendous man-made disaster, the Meetotamulla garbage dump, in which 32 innocent persons died, no one was dealt with, although responsible people made accusations openly. Coming as he does from the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the policies of which are fairly well-known, Minister Ranawaka’s slip is showing. Aspirants to high office in this country must be clever enough at least to veil their racist dispositions to the world at large. After all, he is in the watch list of the global village. Minister Ranawaka’s terrorising statement dragging the BBS, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) and Thauhid Jamaath into this canard of ISIS involvements in Sri Lanka is extremely irresponsible and frightening. Irresponsible because Minister Ranawaka is simply trying to add fuel to fire to the ongoing tense ridden racist attacks on Muslim Mosques and businesses. Frightening because with this allegation he is indirectly trying to justify the ongoing attacks on Mosques and Muslim trading establishments during the past one month and a half and pave the way for yet another July ‘83 type bloodbath, this time against Muslims, in the country.
A repeat July ‘83 on the Muslims will not destroy altogether the two million strong Muslim community of Sri Lanka. July ‘83 did not destroy all the Tamils. The Tamil diaspora, the result of the ‘83 riots is perhaps more powerful internationally than even the LTTE. It is internationally harassing and thereby humiliating every post ‘83 government of Sri Lanka, to this day, in search of justice. The then President J R. Jayawardene’s failure to take action for the first five days after riots broke out in July ‘83 until India’s call and the follow up visit the very next day of Indian External Affairs Minister Narasinha Rao led to the subsequent unceasing Indian pressure on Sri Lanka which resulted in the controversial July ‘87 Indo-Lanka Accord, a dubious honour to Sri Lanka mishandling its racial riots.
If the BBS wants to add the Muslims now and the Christians a little later to its terror list, the noticeably weak national government and every moderate Sri Lankan will surely pay a heavy price.
Minister Ranawaka probably does not know the country’s economic plight, sinking in internationally unacceptable levels of debt vis a vis our GDP. Today, more than 50% of Sri Lanka’s real foreign exchange comes from Muslim countries, from foreign employment (85%) and exports of tea (70%). Over a million Sri Lankans are voluntarily employed in Muslim countries. Let us not show the world that some fools are running this country. Muslims have already paid a heavy price at the hands of the LTTE for not supporting the division of the country or even the merger of the North and the East. Muslims will not want to face another calamity at the hands of the violent extremists from the South. Perhaps, this may be his government’s ultimate target to divert the country’s attention from its miserable failure in many fields. Add to that distressing list is the government’s failure to arrest even one single person connected to the nearly 30 complaints made to the police relating to attacks on the Muslims or the nearly 20 other incidents of attacks on Christians. Nobody here or elsewhere will believe that the Sri Lanka Police is comprised of nincompoops!
In view of the seriousness of the situation, not only the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and its leaders and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), but several other leading Sinhalese intellectuals, monks, columnists and others warned the government to act quickly to bring to book the culprits and avert another disaster which would only benefit the racist forces hell-bent on destabilising the country.
The minorities, particularly the Muslims, are living in terrible tension and fear for the last two months. The severe monsoon rain storm that killed over 200 innocent Sri Lankans and devastated thousands of families came in the way of the BBS conspiracy during the Holy Month of Ramadhan. The armed forces, civil society and the media did a splendid job. They covered up the naked kings of the country. But the utter inefficiency of the political bigwigs got nevertheless exposed.
It was under such frightening circumstances Minister Champika Ranawaka in his recent interview with Daily Mirror stated:
“Unfortunately, today we are not focusing on the real issues in our country. We have the best example with the bombing in Manchester, UK. It was a radicalised youth operating alone who exploded. How many such lone wolves are operating in this country? Top foreign intelligence agencies have been warning Sri Lanka on this threat. We have not paid enough attention. The BBS, Jamiyyathul Ulama, Thowheed Jamath are visible. Legal action can be taken against them when they break the law. But the threat I mentioned earlier is invisible.
“It is proven by intelligence agencies that persons radicalised by the ISIS are operating in Sri Lanka originating from various countries. And, the foreign elements – especially from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Maldives are operating in Sri Lanka in hundreds. We know that. It will become a serious threat in the future to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.”
Minister Champika Ranawaka should disclose the people involved and prove these allegations which have all the ingredients to inflame the growing tension. As a responsible citizen of this country, he should spell out the details of every ISIS element, including their identity in writing to the Inspector General of Police, promptly, with proof. I am certain the entire Muslim community will support the minister and the police to deal with them according to law. If there were foreign elements here, it is easily within the powers of the government to deport them if the allegations are true. I believe he will not complain because his utterances on ISIS are pure fiction.
But, we urge the minister not to fall prey to the false so-called ‘intelligence reports’ emanating from countries that want to sell their weapons by creating conflicts amongst an otherwise peaceful people. The government cannot be misled by false Indian, Israeli or US media propaganda or dubious intelligence reports against Muslims. The ISIS bogey is used by the West to legitimise the use of forcible intervention in third world countries, especially Muslim countries, to create conflicts. The canard is also planted to justify the supervisory take-over of the country’s security apparatus by foreign organisations and to enable discreet non-resistable interventions in all the internal affairs. Minister Champika and all his ministerial colleagues have forgotten that Muslims in the island remain one of the most peaceful communities despite systematic discrimination in every possible field. There is no problem between mainstream peaceful Sinhala Buddhists who follow genuine Buddhism and the peaceful Muslims in the island.
The JHU mindset is not something unknown to people. Their agenda is not far from BBS. In fact, BBS took over from where the JHU left in their hate Muslim campaign.
Minister Champika also cited the Manchester bombing, warning that such radical youths could emerge here too. Minister Champika perhaps may be not aware that the 22-year-old Manchester bomber of Libyan origin, Salman Abedi, is the direct outcome of United States-European-Israeli barbarism on Libya.
Libya was the richest African country where the people lived happily in peace and harmony. It was the US-Israel-UK-French bombing and destruction of Libya to plunder their wealth which turned Libya into a killing field, forcing people to risk their lives and flee in unsafe boats in search of safety and refuge. These young ones who had seen the unbearable misery caused to them turned into suicide bombers. In fact, it is a clear message to those racist hooligans who have all the potentials to turn this country into another living hell.