The Leader of the Opposition and former Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Saturday called upon the island’s Muslim community to stop the Arabisation of their culture and return to the traditional Sri Lankan Muslim culture.
Rajapaksa said this at a meeting with the nine Muslim leaders who had quit the Council of Ministers in protest against the persecution of their community following the April 21 suicide bombings carried out by the Jehadi National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ).
Rajapaksa said that while the Sirsena-Wickremsinghe Government has failed to protect innocent Muslims, the Muslims as a community should also do some introspection and ask what they themselves had done to incur the people’s wrath. When the ex-ministers pointed out that they had complained about the extremists to the police, Rajapaksa said that the problem was deeper than the activities of a few jihadists.
It grew as a result of the increasing Arabisation of the community and the gradual loss of the community’s Sri Lankan identity, he argued. Arabisation had alienated the Muslim community from the other communities in Sri Lanka, he said.
He made it clear that the distancing brought about by Arabisation would hamper reconciliation. When the Muslim leaders said that the Arabic element is part of Muslim culture, Rajapaksa said that Sri Lankan Muslims had their own indigenous culture and its Arabisation started only ten or 15 years ago. He said he knows what traditional Muslim culture is, because in his home district Hambantota, there is a significant Muslim community.
The ex-ministers (their resignations had been accepted by the government and gazetted) slurred over the issue but appealed to Rajapaksa, who they described as a “powerful and influential” leader, to lend his voice to the call for protecting the Muslims from persecution. To this Rajapaksa said that he is already doing it, but pointed out that the task of protecting the people is that of the government.
However, Rajapaksa told the ex-Muslim ministers that they should also cooperate. In this context he pointed out that by resigning en masse, the ministers had further communalised the issue and increased the rift between the Muslims and other communities.
The four Mahanayakes, or chiefs of the Buddha Sasana, have also appealed to the Muslim ministers to get back to their posts. (Newsin.asia)
Comments - 16
Faizal Saturday, 08 June 2019 07:45 PM
Our culture IS ARABIC. There is no separate "Sri Lankan Muslim culture"
Ignatius Fonseka Saturday, 08 June 2019 07:54 PM
You must really believe that you own this country, you are biggest opportunist and the person who’s instigating all of this. You are so racist it’s not funny anymore.
Anmanpan Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:05 PM
Hello Uncle, Islam is from Arabia and the religion is based on Arab culture. Just a mild reminder.
Raja Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:05 PM
Majority of Sri Lanka has been asking Muslims to be Sri Lanka for many years. It is good finally Mahinda also realized the importance of the concern.
Jaffna Tamil Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:17 PM
This is how strong leaders speak. No one in the UNP has this amount of conviction and energy.
Amarasiri Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:23 PM
Yes. They are not Arabs. They are South Asians. Arabs have their culture. South Asians gave their culture. Culture is not needed to go to Heaven, Hell, or to attain Nirvana or Rebirth, if they all are true or not.
SL Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:30 PM
We are afraid tgan muslims on our future. What do they say about estern province Nazariztganizisation.buddists templrs are facing lots of difficulties due to these islamic activities. Bybtge way whole businesses r in loss dlafter the attack.but these racists talk only about muskim community.
S Ranatunga Saturday, 08 June 2019 08:48 PM
Most sensible piece of advice given to the Muslim community leaders in Sri Lanka after the April incident.
Tuan Saturday, 08 June 2019 09:22 PM
Sinhalese changed to Westernization. Muslims changed to Arabization.
ra Saturday, 08 June 2019 09:26 PM
anything extremism is bad for everyone whether they are religions extremism or language extremism or cultural extremism.
Sri Lanka has Buddhist extremism and Muslim extremism. He should address those extremism to have peaceful society
Liberal One Saturday, 08 June 2019 09:52 PM
To the point as always. Arab funded campaign to instill arabic culture here resulted in the rise of extremism.
Mohamed Saturday, 08 June 2019 10:25 PM
MR is right
All these muslim jokers must go home
let people select the right Muslim MPs who say no to Wahabbism
Toss a Perera Saturday, 08 June 2019 10:40 PM
Rajapaksha regime is responsible for allowing Muslim communities to accept the Arabiansation.This was commenced in his regime.Now he ( MR ) tries to pass the ball to present regime.The present regime must protect all Sri Lankans including Muslims.
Rohan Saturday, 08 June 2019 10:54 PM
For once MR said the correct thing. This is absolutely spot on and cause of all animosity in the country.
Kalum Fernando Saturday, 08 June 2019 11:02 PM
Now he (MR) make some sense...
kathira Monday, 17 June 2019 04:07 PM
All Muslims who want to follow Arab Culture can go to Arab / Muslim countries and obtain Citizenship. Then let us know. 20 years back there is no Burqa, Shariya, Islamic Banking so called Arab culture in our Motherland. Even you mother tongue is Tamil but you don't want identify yourself as Tamils. There is no any community claims religious identity in the world except Muslims in SriLanka.
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