Sri Lanka : A Letter from the Terrorised Muslims of Sri Lanka

0
162

A Letter from the Muslims of Sri Lanka – after Buddhist Mob’s Terrorism and Devastation

To those who are concerned about the Muslims of Sri Lanka, May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you. We, the Muslims of Sri Lanka would like to give you a brief overview of the violence that took place against us on the 16th of June 2014, resulting in the killing of Muslims and the blazing of several of our Mosques and properties.

Muslims make up more than 10% of the total population of Sri Lanka. We used to face regular persecution and maltreatment during the war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels between 1983 and 2008. During this period, Muslims were forcefully removed from their homes and their possessions were often appropriated by Tamil Tiger rebels. This resulted in the displacement of many Muslims from the northern parts of the country to other areas, forcing them to live in refugee camps.

When the war ended with the defeat of the Tamil rebels in 2008 (note that the Muslims were supporting the government during the war), Buddhist groups comprised of racist Buddhists and led by extremist monks began to emerge, driven by the desire to exterminate Muslims from the economic and political scene. These groups began to push forward their racist agenda and extremist ideology and this resonated with a large part of the Buddhist community. These groups focused their rhetoric on convincing the community that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, that rights should not be given to non-Buddhists and that all minorities should obey the orders and teachings of Buddhists because they are ‘the people of the nation.’ Unfortunately, these extremist groups were, to an extent, supported and protected by the national authorities through the latter overlooking or even condoning the activities of these groups and their inflammatory, anti-Muslim remarks and attacks against their properties and their mosques.

On Monday the 16th of June, 2014, a dangerous turn in events occurred. Extremist Buddhist groups had organised a festival that was attended by their leaders who are of the most extreme monks. During the event, speakers used the centre stage to launch scathing attacks against the Muslims, inciting the Buddhist attendees to burn the homes, shops and mosques belonging to the Muslims. As soon as the party ended, monks marched forth at the head of droves of extremists to the surrounding majority Muslim regions of Aluthgama and Dharga Town, torching houses, mosques and shops owned by Muslims. Other groups of mobs looted houses and shops before the very eyes and ears of the local police who stood sedentary, watching the events unfold. Muslim residents found no refuge but to flee to the surrounding forests other safer areas. Accounts of eye-witnesses suggest that local police did in fact impose a curfew in the area, but applied it squarely on the Muslims whilst extremist thugs came and went and continued their attack until late in the night.

When Muslim residents returned the next morning, they found that their homes, shops and cars had been set ablaze as were some of the mosques. Five Muslims were martyred in the incident, three of whom were shot while trying to protect the mosque from the arson attack. To date, not a single arrest has been made and not one charge has been levelled at the instigators or participators despite some compelling evidence appearing in videos spread on YouTube and on other social networks.

As a result of the attack, five individuals were murdered, 148 homes were burned, 83 shops and businesses were looted, 17 mosques were attacked, and almost 2250 individuals become refugees. Material losses are estimated at $23 million. Surveillance camera recording of part of the attack during the night.

Surveillance camera recording of part of the attack during the night.

 

Al Jazeera English’s second report on the attacks

 

Images of the devastation after the looting and burning

10494762_285456471637151_4310019618926336923_n

10492291_285456384970493_669543027036720069_n

10478535_285456294970502_4528532247354208556_n

10472735_285456738303791_5787555707861489233_n

10464129_285456411637157_3254126031796395043_n

10447032_285456341637164_8951034244467058650_n
10440625_285456348303830_8908779081882047765_n

10438418_285456351637163_6955366899998365807_n

10409215_285456324970499_6361728386426225356_n

10406476_285456528303812_6590025456622975746_n

10403207_285456428303822_9052407999464883393_n

10394495_285456371637161_259453249401434073_n

10393833_285456318303833_229873786642771925_n

10384937_285456441637154_7902550369853813669_n

10306459_285456454970486_8329642585519738115_n

10301209_285456751637123_2244060298658589249_n

10469085_285456664970465_3566311866100114860_n

10444764_285456718303793_4857483279966436574_n

10405564_285456608303804_2277194912894986990_n

10351526_285456644970467_3214883103491852844_n

10304793_285456708303794_7338853133926128252_n

10304793_285456628303802_8936436156101999179_n

10488346_285456584970473_8942930551692333570_n

10449902_285456514970480_7323227663660220363_n

10441982_285456581637140_3375131746477659661_n

10439443_285456631637135_5344296505930661644_n

10433783_285456484970483_3930729500465734131_n

10427348_285456548303810_769540085141803982_n

10420107_285456648303800_1860981270848843661_n

10371739_285456541637144_8270852963483483484_n

10455858_285456544970477_1472859089095256169_n

Strikes (19/06/2014) in protest against the attacks and the silence of authorities and their failure to take concrete steps to protect minorities.

10433207_646903292045922_1163716118443839153_n

64674_646903285379256_5486196367733624166_n

10446702_646903315379253_2055500571669937502_n

10450428_646903312045920_337637612049518046_n

10464272_646903305379254_3409286963490359885_n 2

How can you help the Muslims of Sri Lanka?

1. Through your supplication. Particularly as the month of Ramadān is around corner.

2. Through disseminating this message far and wide along with the attached material.

3. Through applying pressure for those who have the means to do so on NGOs, humanitarian organisations and on Sri Lankan authorities to bring these perpetrators to justice. From the Muslims of Sri Lanka

Source

LEAVE A REPLY