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Muslims Want Commission to Probe Hate Campaign During Rajapaksa Regime

Published: 14th February 2015 05:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2015 05:46 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: Faiszer Musthapha, MP of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Azath Sally Member of the Central Provincial Council, have asked President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a commission to inquire into the “hate campaign and violence” against the Muslims in the last four years, and take appropriate measures to ensure that all Sri Lankans are protected and treated as equal citizens.

“Your Excellency is well aware that the instigators of the pogrom in Aluthgma and Beruwela have not been brought to justice as promised by (former) President Rajapaksa,” they said in a letter addressed to Sirisena.

Musthapha and Sally pointed out that several other promises made to the Muslims had not been kept and submitted a document giving details of “hundreds” of incidents of violence suffered by the Muslims which need to be redressed by the current government.

Giving a few examples, they said that government has not kept its promise to allow the construction of a small prayer centre at Dambulla, till alternative land is given for the construction of a proper mosque. The older mosque has been under a threat of demolition by the authorities under pressure from the head of a local Buddhist shrine and Buddhist extremists from outside.

The government has not kept a promise made by its predecessor that land would be given for the expansion of the older mosque at Swarna Chaithiya Road, Grandpass, Colombo, whose expansion was halted by the threat of a major riot of the “1983” variety. That promise had been made by Dinesh Gunawardene and Champika Ranawaka, both ministers in the Rajapaksa government.

The site in Kuragala associated with the great Islamic saint, Qutab Muhiyadeen Abdul Cader Jailany, who had visited Sri Lanka over 1000 years ago, is now under threat by the Bodu Bala Sena which is planning to march to it in March. Since appeals to other authorities to protect the shrine had not borne fruit, the two Muslim leader appealed to Sirisena to do the needful.

Musthapha and Sally reminded Sirisena that 90 percent of Sri Lankan Muslims had voted for him in the January 8 Presidential election and hinted that he is duty bound to protect them.

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