Sunday, 11 August 2013

Colombo Grandpass Mosque was attacked by Buddhist mob


கிராண்ட்பாஸில் பள்ளிவாசல் தாக்கப்பட்ட பின்னர் இரண்டாவது நாளான நேற்று முஸ்லிம்கள் மீது தாக்குதலில் ஈடுபட்ட இனவாதக் காடையர்கள்.

இந்த இனாவாதக் காடையர்கள் மீது எந்தவிதமான நடவடிக்கையும் எடுக்காமல் பொலிசார் வேடிக்கை பார்ப்பதையும் இதில் காணலாம்.

Sri Lanka Buddhist mob attacks Colombo mosque

A Buddhist mob has attacked a mosque in the Grandpass area of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, leaving at least five people injured.

Buddhists and Muslims clashed after the attack, and police imposed a curfew in the area.

Last month, a group of Buddhist monks had protested near the mosque, demanding it be relocated.

In recent months, hardline Buddhist groups have mounted a campaign against Muslim and Christian targets.

Several houses were also damaged in Saturday's clashes. Two of the injured were policemen guarding the mosque.

A Muslim resident of the area said that a mob threw stones at the mosque when worshippers were performing evening prayers, the BBC's Azzam Ameen reports from Colombo.

The police and special task force commandos were dispatched to the area and have been able to bring the situation under control, a police spokesman told the BBC. Read more from here>>>  (BBC)

Sri Lanka Buddhists attack Colombo mosque

Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said.

Two police constables guarding the disputed mosque in Colombo's Grandpass area were among those wounded and hospitalised, Colombo National Hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa said on Saturday.

"They had been hit by stones and also had cut injuries from falling glass debris," Soysa told AFP news agency. "We have two constables and two Muslim men admitted following the attack." Read more from here>>>  (AL-Jazeera)

Buddhist mob attacks Colombo mosque, 12 injured

A Buddhist mob attacked a mosque in Sri Lanka's capital and at least 12 people were injured, the latest in a series of attacks on the minority Muslim community by members of the Buddhist majority. A mob of Buddhists, who are mainly ethnic Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, threw stones at a three-storey mosque and nearby houses in a central Colombo neighbourhood during evening prayers on Saturday, residents told Reuters. Later, hundreds of Muslim residents took to the streets, some clutching sticks, to prevent any further attacks on their community, witnesses said.

Police reinforcements were sent and authorities imposed a curfew until Sunday morning. A senior member of staff at one of the city's main hospitals said 12 injured people, including two police officers, had been brought in. Three people were still in hospital on Sunday. Police appealed for calm.

"Support the police to maintain the law and order," Inspector General of Police N.K. Ilangakoon told state media. Read more from here>>> (Hindustan Times)

 Sri Lanka told to prosecute mobs who attacked mosque

 COLOMBO: The US Embassy urged Sri Lankan authorities on Sunday to arrest and prosecute those responsible for vandalizing a mosque in the national capital.

An Agence France Presse (AFP) report said the Buddhist-led mob attack on the mosque at Grandpass district on Saturday has raised religious tensions and left the Muslim minority fearing further violence.
“This incident is particularly troubling in light of a number of recent attacks against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

“Targeting any place of worship should never be permitted and we urge calm from all sides,” it added.
Sri Lankan police imposed a curfew on the neighborhood Saturday night and lifted the same on Sunday, but a police spokesman assured that hundreds of policemen, including anti-riot squads and members of the elite Special Task Force commandos, remained on alert in the district following overnight violence which wounded at least four people.

“The curfew was lifted this morning, but we have a strong presence in the area,” a police spokesman said.
There was no immediate reaction from the government to the violence. Read more from here>>> (Arab News


On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 5/1 entitled “Institution-Building of the United Nations Human Rights Council” by which a new complaint procedure was established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances. 

The complaint procedure addresses communications submitted by individuals, groups, or non-governmental organizations that claim to be victims of human rights violations or that have direct, reliable knowledge of such violations.

Like the former 1503 procedure, it is confidential, with a view to enhance cooperation with the State concerned. The new complaint procedure has been improved, where necessary, to ensure that the procedure be impartial, objective, efficient, victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner. Read more from here>>>


Muslims are the Present target group for Sinhala Hegemonic Nationalists



State institutions in post-colonial Sri Lanka has been working within the general institutional framework of parliamentary democracy, yet this process took the character of an ethnic majoritarian democracy. The latter evolved in a context of the rise of Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalism – the ideology which contained a political vision of using the state institutions to serve the interests of the majority Sinhalese community. Through this ideology, the state policies were specifically served the Sinhalese language, Buddhist religion and the Sinhalese-Buddhist culture.

The defeat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) and the regain of the LTTE controlled areas in the North-Eastern parts of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan army in the name of war against terrorism and the war for the unification of Sri Lankan territory have, in number of ways, paved way for the re-emergence of Buddhist ethno-religious hegemony and sentiments in Sri Lanka. Number of incidents has been justifying the exercise and dominance of majoritarian hegemony which really targeting minority communities and their religious, linguistic and cultural distinctiveness and identity. One of the minority groups which severely affected by these hegemonic politics is the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Muslims of Sri Lanka is the second larger minority community, comprise 8 percent of the total population are living along the territory of Sri Lanka, but scattered. They have a history of 2500 years in Sri Lanka where they have been living with majority communities in the country peacefully and maintained a harmonious relationship in every aspects of life. The history has recorded a number of incidents that the Muslim community has contributed in number of ways to unity, peace, social harmony and the national and territorial integration of Sri Lanka. However, unfortunately, during most of the nationalistic hegemonic periods, the Muslim were targeted and vehemently victimized by the nationalist groups. The major incident against Muslim community has recorded in the history was the anti-Muslim riots of 1915 which labeled the Muslims as exploitative foreign trading community similar to how Jews have been viewed in Europe. During the post-independent period also, numbers of incidents against Muslims were printed. An occurrence of a riot of the same nature as that of 1915 was the violence in 1975 when some Muslims were killed in Puttalam mosque due to a misconception that the Muslims were an economically privileged group and which fact fired the major motivation for anti-Muslim hatred. Likewise, there has been an unprecedented level of violent attacks, demonstrations and hate speeches targeting Sri Lanka’s Muslim population, mainly perpetrated by Buddhist-fascist fundamentalist groups. Those events have left the Muslims feeling afraid and vulnerable. The situation has become worse after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009.

End of civil war in Sri Lanka has been marked by state-sponsored Sinhala Buddhist hegemony, the weakening of democratic institutions and rule of law, the constriction of civil and political rights. As how the Tamils were been targeted, the Muslim community’s personal values- religion, culture, identity, dressing, personal law were mainly targeted by the Buddhist nationalistic groups. The attack on a mosque in Dambulla of April 2012 by a mob led by extremist Buddhist monks has reignited concern about targeted violence against Muslim religious minorities in Sri Lanka.

In addition to attacks on places of religious worship, there are calls to boycott Muslim shops and establishments, all of which is increasing tensions, particularly in areas where Muslims and Sinhalese are live close to each other. The incidents against Muslims are widespread across the country and have picked up momentum during the last few months. The recent attack on the store of Fashion Bug, one of the big chain of textiles owned by a Muslim merchant shows that the attackers are not only giving threats to the Muslims but also they are ready to use violence over them and their properties. One of the major victories of the Sinhalese nationalistic hegemonic agenda was the lifting the Halal certificate by printing of ‘Halal’ Symbol, as an standard of product like, ISO to the product of iteneries of daily use.  ‘Halal’ is a Muslim practice since sixth century A.D. It is an Arab term used to mean ‘acceptable’ according to the Islamic religious fundamental’. It is a must for all Muslims to consume Halal items in eating and other purpose of their daily activities.  When many merchant companies wanted Halal certificate to sell and export their product to Muslim customers and to Muslim countries, government of Sri Lanka allowed the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, the accepted authority concerning religious affairs of the Muslim Community in Sri Lanka, to evaluate and issue the halal certificates. However, by propagating as injustice practice which impose non-Muslims to buy Halal food and other items, these Buddhist nationalistic hegemonic groups, especially, the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ (Buddhist Power Force) staged number of anti-Halal and anti-Muslims programs and finally were able to remove Halal certificate from printing in the product. These incidents were mainly looked at by democrats and moderates as one of the violations of Muslims fundamental and religious rights. Thereafter, the agitators are being claiming that they are going to work hard on removing number of their personal and cultural practices of Muslims namely, the Muslim personal laws, special dress code etc. It is a major challenge for the Muslim community living outside to North-East where the Sinhalese are living predominantly, to exercise their distinct religious and cultural practices and living with fear of unwanted and unexpected treats.

Muslims in North-East, particularly in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka where they formed a considerable majority say that statues of the Buddha and Buddhist shrines are appearing in places where previously they did not exist. In both the north and the east, it is common that, wherever a Bo tree is found, a Buddhist shrine is erected. It noted a “sharp uptick” in religiously-motivated violence and said the authorities are “passively and sometimes actively” condoning extremist Buddhist groups, such as the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ and the Hela Urumaya are the main groups behind the targeting of Muslims.

During these anti-Muslim sentiments and violence, the Sri Lanka government’s failure to take decisive action to protect religious minorities from threats and violence is undermining its claims to being a rights-respecting democracy and pave the way for another ethnic violence against Muslim which may create another possible violent conflict in Sri Lanka’s near future. (Colombo Telegraph)

*Dr. V.Sivayogalingam, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Peradeniya,