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.
Mr. B Wijeyasingha Wednesday, 08 August 2012 09:05 PM
The only terrorism Sri Lanka has known came from the Tamil Hindus and the Muslims are a threat to the Buddhist culture as hey convert Buddhists to their faith. By labeling the Maha Sanga as "yellow robe terrorists" they have only marginalized themselves from the majority.
kaslana Thursday, 09 August 2012 01:46 AM
Was this the same "jihad" movement that shed crocodile tears when the Bamiyan Buddha statues were being blown up in Afghanistan?
john Thursday, 09 August 2012 03:55 AM
mr president Why did you offer a responsible ministry post to a person who is trying to split the religon!!
alex Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:40 AM
the writer talks of constitutional guarantees to practice ones religion of choice and seeking legal recourse when this is obstructed. Is that a possibility in SL? Anyone knows what the outcome would have been if any Muslim had gone to court against the Sangha sponsored mosque demolition. These are precisely the kind of reasons that give room to Jihadi ideals.
Mario Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:44 AM
Minister's statement has been misinterpreted, with anti-muslim incidents taking place in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Dehiwela and other places, it is the monks that have lead such incidents, I think minister referred to these monks and not the entire Buddhism.
Observer Thursday, 09 August 2012 05:10 AM
This Minister has insulted the Buddhist monks and the Buddhist community in the Country and he has no place as a cabinet member in this country All Buddhists must press and rally together for his dismissal as a cabinet minister The president should the immediate action
m.m.mohamed Thursday, 09 August 2012 06:14 AM
is it possible to a minister like Mr. Rauf hakeem to bring those who commit such crime to book in sri lanka whereas superior to him has been just a looker on.
Mansoor Thursday, 09 August 2012 06:40 AM
Rauf Hakeem is a political stooge and he is sparking the fire that has just died after so many mosque vandalizing incidents. Govt. is definitely aware of who is behind all these or they did it themselves, and guess what Hakeem is also part of the government too. So he instigates the Muslims further to have a go at communal Riots. We Muslims are aware that a high percentage of Buddhists including the Clergy wants to live in peace with all communities. So my unrest request from Buddhists reading this column is not to get agitated by politicized statements made by one who one wishes to stay in power and support the governments “Divide and Conquer” rule.
Amy Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:38 AM
When he meant Saffron terrorism obviously he wouldn’t have meant the entire sanga but a few black sheep in saffron robes who are instigating such hate and destroying the place of worship. For example we are all used to the term ‘tamil terrorism’ but it didn’t mean to address the entire tamil population likewise for Islamic terrorism. Someone tell me how do you call these thugs in the saffron robes otherwise?
Leelananda Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:06 AM
"Anyone knows what the outcome would have been if any Muslim had gone to court against the Sangha sponsored mosque demolition." You would have describe the out come too, without telling that you try to justify the ministers remarks, but still only place is supreme court and fight it there.
Helaya Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:28 AM
Are you joking?
Jegath Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:44 AM
Whys should the President?Is he a srilankan or a buddhist leader?There is a big difference..
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