Friday, December 28, 2012

The Muslim Tamil National Front – A counter to the Bodhu Bala Sena..

An extremely worrying development has now begun to raise its ugly head. Following on from the earlier Dambulla Mosque incident, over which the Govt. did nothing to bring to book, those who broke the law, as it was led by the powerful Chief Priest of the Dambulla Temple, we are now seeing a more virulent force that has taken up where he left off.

Recently in Embilipitiya this Bodhu Bala lot raised a stir by publicly castigating the body that gives certification on Halal, accusing it of proselytizing the Muslim faith. In that incident two Muslim businessmen were beaten up. To add fuel to the fire on this, they are the ones who accused Muslims of bulldozing through an ancient Dagoba for desecration, when in fact it was Sinhala people who did it to find artifacts.

Another body of Law Students are now questioning the results of the Law College Entrance exams, accusing the examiners of bias, by making outrageous allegations, as the Muslim named students appear to have done relatively better than their Tamil and Sinhala counterparts, in the entrance and Muslims formed a very high proportion of those in the top 50 of the batch. They have asked for a formal investigation and a protest is expected.

They are accusing the Justice Ministry of bias, something the Ministry has vehemently denied, saying that they have nothing to do with the Exams setting or marking. Accusations have now been made that the translators have leaked the papers to Muslim students. All this amounts to a hill of beans, but easily believed by our gullible people including the Law students. I believe fewer than 5% gained entrance from an estimated 8000 students sitting the exams, and all those who failed are likely to believe such clap trap, as our students want to believe anything, other than they were not good enough!! To pass!!

It is this sort of unproven allegation that is at the lighting stage of a match for racial and religious intolerance in Sri Lanka today. This is the tip of the iceberg and I am afraid IF IT IS NOT IMMEDIATELY checked by the Govt. it will get out of hand. The fire brand Azath Salley wants to be a champion of the Muslims, seeing that there is no natural heir to their cause, and for that what better way than galvanize their fear of the Bodhu Balayas as being a real threat, when at the moment they can easily be suppressed and permanently shut up.
This Govt. IS creating a problem that will get out of hand. Instead of wasting time putting a few Jaffna University Students for rehabilitation causing a further stir amongst the Tamil community, something that MUST be avoided, they SHOULD concentrate their energies in preventing this issue escalating further.

Whilst no one should be afraid of any group, be it Bodhu or Salley, they must make sure that they DO NOT get traction amongst an easily aroused population. Muslims can easily spread a message at their Friday prayers and ask all to demonstrate. This causes anxiety amongst the Sinhala people which will spill into a form of racism, that is irrationally fed by the extremists, intent on mischief.

Let the Govt. be warned that they do not ignore this, as has been the case lately. They must take it seriously and catch it at this stage and ensure the Clergy of all Religions get together to appeal for calm and clarity.

Only one incident by the Bodhu Bala Senankaya will unleash Muslim fury on a scale of which the LTTE will look like a walk in the park. If it happens the communities WILL become polarized and all the work of years on race and reconciliation, to say nothing of the development of the Country will be tested. It is the duty of the Govt. to prevent communities making insinuating statements about other communities and thereby introduce a state of fear amongst all. This then results in the need for security and the resultant lack of trust between the communities.

You can be assured this kind of talk can be led by anti-patriotic forces, looking to make personal gains out of other people’s fears, and we should not allow that to happen. We cannot afford to ignore this.

Three incidents in the span of a few weeks may not seem a lot, but the vitriol that has now spread into the blogs and the words being used there is cause of concern. The rapid spread of false information, the lack of education of the people to determine right from wrong, and the dogged belief in what their elders of religious say is a recipe for communal disharmony.

I appeal to the authorities to take steps to stop any spread of this religion based divisive talk, and request that leaders do not use this card for political gain, a tried and tested method by the Govt. to date, but one which could see the end of its peaceful coexistence.

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