The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake has clearly indicated that the country is heading rapidly towards communal disharmony due to the ignorance of the Government on racist elements taking the upper hand ridiculing peace and reconciliation.
Anura Kumara Dissanayake in his address in Parliament on Wednesday (24) had asked whether the present National Unity Government was also ignorant about those who are creating communal disharmony by instigating violence against minorities and their religions like what they did in the previous regime.
Dissanayake had gone on to say that the present trend with communal sentiments expressed openly would even lead to another ‘communal blood bath’ with anarchy taking the upper hand.
Unlike Leader of the Opposition and Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan predicting a communal upheaval, the Chief Opposition Whip’s warning should be taken into serious consideration because his political party is considered as having the popular support of the masses in the country at grass root level.
With its beginning as a revolutionary organization, the JVP is very well in a position to read the pulse of the political trend without getting carried away by the whims and fancies of the main stream political parties in the country.
So, the JVP leader has issued the warning in Parliament stating that if the government was unable to defuse religious tensions the people would be compelled to take the law into their hands.
The communal politics which had snowballed gradually in the post independent era of the country had only led to communal upheavals finally creating a separatist war which continued for three decades with immense destruction caused to human lives along with crippling the country’s economy.
However, the anarchist situation which prevailed in the country disappearing with the end of the separatist war in 2009, the new developments in the political scene creates a fear psychosis among the peace loving citizens in the country, whether another communal unrest is unfolding.
It was two weeks ago the country celebrated the International Vesak Day with the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Indian Prime Minister in his address at the International Vesak Day celebration and at a meeting in the upcountry emphasized the need of building a reconciled nation based on the teachings of Lord Buddha.
Despite the whole country celebrating Vesak extensively even in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Buddhist monk Ven. Gnanasara Thera’s actions antagonizing the Muslims with the end of Vesak celebrations have led to creating an impression as to how far the teachings of Lord Buddha have been followed and practised in the Island.
It was the racists and religious riots targeting the Muslims in the previous regime that had led in a big way to the minorities losing faith in the Rajapaksa regime.
So, as ‘history repeats itself’ the signs of religious and racial unrest have begun to emerge with the attacks carried out particularly on the places of worship and business establishments of Muslims in various parts of the country.
As the Muslim community is making an immense contribution to the economy of the country, attacks carried out on their business establishments are expected to strike a blow at the business community in the country as well.
On the other hand, hurting their spiritual feelings would even lead for them to take the law into their hands as it was pointed out by Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament.
As the country is still struggling to build its battered economy and to strengthen peace and reconciliation the individuals in the guise of spiritual figures embarking on expressing communal sentiments and fanning religious riots cannot be tolerated at any cost.
Realizing the gravity of the three decades of separatist war in the North and the East Tamil and Muslim political parties despite the differences in their political ideologies are still in a struggle to bring the masses out of the traumatic conditions they suffered due to the war in the two provinces.
By giving the right leadership, the Tamil and Muslim political parties of the Northern and Eastern Provinces played a major role in establishing the National Unity Government. The message they had given in bringing the new regime to power was that they wanted nothing but strengthening peace and reconciliation by resolving the humanitarian issues which they were faced with in the war-torn Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Despite the country still being in the scrutiny of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with the granting of two more years to implement the resolution cosponsored by Sri Lanka on improving the human rights conditions and creating a viable atmosphere to strengthen peace and reconciliation, the ‘buffoonery’ of individuals like Gnanasara Thera is likely to stir the hornet’s nest, putting communal harmony in peril.
As the JVP is enjoying the popular support of the masses at the grass root level in the Island, the party’s leader and the Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake alerting the National Unity Government on the country facing another communal backlash has clearly indicated that the majority of innocent masses in the South are against a handful of people attempting to mess around with the law and order of the country by fanning racism and fanaticism.
President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to Australia two days ago stated that his government would take severe action against those who instigate communal disturbances.
So, on his return to the Island, President Sirisena should ensure that the country is not facing a situation of ‘falling from the frying pan to the fire’, by getting rid of the chauvinist elements.