Mar 12, 2018

Violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Austra-Lanka Muslim Association Inc.
Incorporated in NSW as a Not-for-Profit Community Organisation
ABN 80 076 747 489

The High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia His Excellency Somasundaram Skandakumar
Sri Lankan High Commission Canberra, 

Your Excellency,

Violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Greetings from the Austra-Lanka Muslim Association Inc. (ALMA)

On behalf of the Muslim community in Sydney, we would like to place on record our concern and
extreme dissatisfaction on the atrocities meted out to the peace loving Muslim community in Sri
Lanka. It was our fervent belief that the racial disharmony that was the norm in the past, against which we made repeated representation at that time, would come to a closure with the change of leadership/regime which was replaced by the Yahapalana government. Ever since this government took over, racial discrimination and victimization of the minorities, particularly the Muslim community, have continued unabated. Certain hard-line groups appear to be acting to instil an on-going fear psychosis among the Muslim population in Sri Lanka. The despicable yet well-orchestrated attacks which started in Ampara and spread on to Digana, Teldeniya, Katugastota, Akurana and other areas, where a sizeable Muslim population lives harmoniously with the Sinhalese society, opened the gates for further communal violence against the Muslims. These attacks were perpetrated by some Buddhist extremist groups. 

Regrettably, a personal dispute between some individuals has been used as an opportunity to incite communal violence resulting in loss of lives and, unjustified destruction of Mosques, business establishments, homes and vehicles causing extensive financial losses and psychological distress.  

Obviously these dastardly and vindictive atrocities do not augur well for the image and growth of Mother Lanka. The economy of the country is at its lowest ebb throwing the country in a state of total disarray. The Law and Order in the country appears to be in the hands of the goons who could not be controlled by the Government or Police and/or armed forces. The hatred and animosity the perpetrators demonstrate, unfortunately has been targeted against the Muslims who have every right to be part of the total populace. They are Sri Lankans too and should be treated like any other citizen in the country. It is deplorable that things are not happening the way they should. These acts of hatred, violence and destruction by Buddhist extremists has brought the country to a virtual standstill thus inconveniencing the daily lives of the law-abiding citizens. 

The 30-year war with the LTTE came to a closure in 2009, but the Muslim minority seems to be the next target of this racial hatred exercise orchestrated in total connivance with certain hardliners of the political community. Whether Sri Lanka will be able to revert to the early post-independence era that created an environment where all the communities lived in peace and harmony is questionable and seems a remote possibility. 

While the Intelligence Service of the Sri Lankan armed forces played a significant role in efficiently dismantling the powerful LTTE, failure to foresee the well-orchestrated attacks against the Muslims on this occasion has created a sense of suspicion in the minds of the Muslim community.

Our prayers are certainly with those affected in the disturbances. Ironically enough of these atrocities are being done in the presence of the security personnel who are accused to be mere observers. Is it not a shame on those that are destined to protect the citizens of the country irrespective of caste, creed or religion? Where is the country leading to, is it following the footsteps of Aung San Suu Kyi with the determination to repeat what extremist monk Ashin Wirathu and his disciples did to the downtrodden Rohingya Muslims? Only time will tell us and therefore the hapless Muslim community in Sri Lanka have to live in constant fear of being killed or their properties being torched.

We also take this opportunity to place on record our sincere appreciation towards the majority Sinhalese community, particularly the Buddhist clergy, who displayed their displeasure towards this dastardly act and extended their genuine support to the victims.

We, representing Sri Lankan Muslims living in NSW are urging you, Your Excellency, to bring this to the attention of the President, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, The Prime Minister, Hon Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Honourable Minister of Law and Order, our extreme disappointment, displeasure and strong condemnation of the continual violence unleashed against the Muslims.

To assure our community in Australia, who are concerned about the safety of their family and friends in Sri Lanka, we would appreciate if we can be informed of the constructive measures that the government would take to prevent incidents of this nature occurring in the future. 

We enclose herewith a compilation of documented incidents in Kandy as of 8 March 2018 for your

We thank you for your kind consideration.  

Rafi Mubarak                                                                Feroze Razik
President                                                                        Secretary



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