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Two nations poles apart!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on May 26, 2019 with No Comments

New Zealanders had responded to the Christchurch mosque massacres with an outpouring of interfaith solidarity – women came out wearing head scraves, crowdfunding millions of dollars, donating halal food and even offering to accompany local Muslims who were scared to walk the streets and even offering prayers in Mosques alognwith those who were affected with their near and killed in an attack on two mosques that had left 49 people dead.

Turn to the other side of the globe, where there is a sense of understanding that the despicable communal violence by organized mobs against the Muslims in the Muslims in the North Western Province and Minuwangoda last week was not only politically instigated but also a deliberate attempt to turn public focus away from the shock and horror of the Easter Sunday attack on the worshippers and tourists. A total contrast to the kind of support that was offered in New Zealand. While New Zealand offered support to the affected, in Sri Lanka Muslims have been brutally attacked as some Muslims owing alliance to ISIS were part of the Easter Sunday. A serious question being asked countless Sri Lankans is, were tht epolice and the security forces inactive when a large group of men went on the rampage for two days attacking Mosques and Muslim shops despite curfew being in force?  Sri Lanka’s Army Commander’s  reply that the forces were thin on the ground in the areas where the attacks unexpectedly erupted and that it took time to deploy additional troops to contain the violence. However, his explanation is not satisfying.

Political instability that the island nation has been facing for over a year now is too behind the attacks that many in the island feel was planned. The modus  operandi was simple. The attackers had a core agenda- inflamce communal passions, thus taking the country back into fear and create a ground where political instability already existing in the nation can grow manifold. They have been successful in creating that creeping fear. Those visuals of attackers who were seen exhorting people in vehicles passing by not to take victims to hospital, rather asking them to “drag them through the streets like dog” has left an exceptionally bad impression about the nation.

Also the statement by the Minister of Finance that  Sri Lanka not being a Sinhala Buddhist country but a nation where Sinhala Buddhists are in majority, show partisan view of this elected representative. Also his assertion has come at a time when the country is in uproar and tempers are running high. He would have done a great justice to his nation and the countrymen by not making the ill timed statement.

The Island nation Sri Lanka that was a favoured tourist destination was trying to come out of the hardships of the Easter Sunday attack. Now these latest attacks on Muslims have left a great void to be filled. All the communities need to introspect and look for ways by which the camaraderie among all the communities is restored. The Easter Sunday attack was a nefarious design to avenge the attack at the mosques in New Zealand and create unrest in Sri Lanka. An attack in which the native of Sri Lanka had little role to play, however by attacking Muslims, it is playing to the wicked design of the terror groups. Sri Lanka could have learnt few lessons on how to handle crisis and how the communities bind, but it failed to do so. Perhaps the two island nations are not only geographically apart but also are poles apart.

 

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