According to the Tamil Mirror online, the sister on line of Daily Mirror online, the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem, at a meeting in Kalmunai had said that President Rajapaksa should defeat, ‘yellow robe terrorism.’
Whatever possessed Minister Rauf Hakeem to condemn the Maha Sangha in such a manner, it can hardly be empathized with nor can it be easily forgiven. The statement comes to light at a time when the political leaders, the clergy as well as the people of this country are trying to lay aside their differences to make a fresh start to live in peace. When it comes to the Minister’s word, neither is there any justification to it, nor does it enhance harmony. So much for being the Justice Minister, he also has resorted to make sweeping statements to gain mileage.
Meanwhile, a national Tamil daily reported a statement made by SLMC candidate, SLM Hassen, in which he has threatened to start a jihad movement against the so-called disassembling of mosques by the government.
Tragedy is not the word.
Following a religion and taking part in religious activities are fundamental rights of any citizen assured by the 1878 constitution. Hence, if the right of the Sri Lankans who follow Islam has been violated in any given way, the Minister would best know the legal procedure to mete out justice. If incidents of such nature have occurred, they should be condemned and the saboteurs should be brought to the book without a delay. Yet, under no circumstance should it be that, statements without solid evidence are made on public platforms; for they are flammable enough to set the whole country on fire.
Besides, Buddhism has been an extremely tolerant and liberal doctrine which invariably grants the freedom for other religions. If the so-called ‘yellow robe terrorism’ had been prevailing in the island, Sri Lanka would have been a country with a monolingual and mono-religious citizenry.
Whether he likes it or not, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is part of the present government, and he himself is a minister with an important portfolio. The privilege of being among the rulers comes with the responsibility to safeguard the unity of people. Intentionally or otherwise, creating a rift between the communities and allied parties is the last thing the government would want at the threshold of the Provincial Council elections. It is in fact, a cheap publicity stunt coming from a senior politician who has been singing the song of harmony in all three languages.
Clearly, his pragmatism has failed him.
The Maha Sangha or the clergy of any other faith in that matter do not deserve to brook such contempt. Before things get severely out of shape, an apology is required.