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Mon, 27 April 2015 10:47:39
Sri Lanka citizen group calls for halt to anti-Muslim nationalism
08 Mar, 2013 06:53:29
Mar 08, 2013 (LBO) - Friday Forum, a Sri Lankan citizen's group has asked the administration to take steps to stop rising fascist-nationalist actions directed at the island's Muslim community.
"The Friday Forum urges you to act immediately and decisively to counter the increasingly venomous and strident anti-Muslim hate campaign launched by a few extremist groups claiming to represent the majority Sinhala community," the Friday Forum, said in a letter addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"As you are aware, this campaign has intensified over the past several months.

"The country has witnessed attacks against mosques, and the circulation, on social media, public posters and web-sites, of obscene and vituperative messages that are offensive to religious beliefs.

"It has witnessed anti-Muslim public rallies and processions, including a call to boycott Muslim business establishments."

An extreme nationalist organization called 'Bodu Bala Sena', had been at the forefront of anti-Muslim activity in the island.

The call to boycott Muslim businesses is similar to the Judenboycott of Germany. Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has previously been the target of nationalists, which triggered a 30-year war ending in 2009.

In 1983, a Kristallnacht style pogrom led to the escalation of the ethnic conflict.

"The possibility of violence against a particular community, and the dangers of ethnic cleansing are very real," the Friday Forum wrote said.

"The horrors of the 1983 ethnic riots constantly remind us how human life and personal security mean nothing, when there is incitement to communal violence and hatred.

"Hate campaigns inevitably result in a deep sense of fear and vulnerability among members of the targeted community, giving rise to a fear psychosis.

"Such a situation not only deeply harms that community, but also imbues a whole society with suspicion and propensity to communal violence."

The Friday Forum welcomed comments made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Trincomalee in February calling for communal harmony, but said not enough was being done.

A hate campaign was rapidly being set against Muslims through the media.

"In any situation in which there are efforts to incite communal tensions, the primary responsibility of removing such threats and reassuring the community under attack is with the government," the Friday Forum said.

"The people elect the President and other representatives in the expectation that they will ensure an environment in which all citizens can live assured of their human rights including equality, personal security, dignity and religious freedom.

"Failure of a government to provide this is a serious breach of its responsibilities and has, in the past, had tragic consequences for our country and our people.

"We urgently call on you as elected Head of State to address the nation denouncing the current anti-Muslim campaign and its sponsors and detailing the measures the government will take to deal with the hate campaign against Muslims.

"Only such steadfast and resolute action, rising above narrow identity politics, can safeguard the peace and further an environment of communal harmony and security in our country."

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5. Murad Fahmy Mar 28
Please note that the majority Theravada Buddhists which is 70% of the total population of under 21 million in our tiny home land of Sri Lanka, is a tiny minority of 150 million or 2% in the rest of the world of 7.3 billion, and if this militant hatred action gets out of hand by a few extremist Buddhist monks, being sadly allowed to call themselves firstly Buddhists and secondly monks, contrary to the teachings of the Buddha ‘The Enlightened One’, it is not only the majority peace loving Buddhists that will be victimized but also the rest of Sri Lankans including all minorities; Hindus (13%), Muslims (10%) and Christians (7%).

So this petition to the President of Sri Lanka is not for the protection of rights of the minorities only, but also for the protection of the majority.

4. Champika Mar 22
@Kotas, have you have learnt nothing from the ethnic war which destroyed last 30 years.
Halal certification has been practiced many non-muslim countries even Thailand is boddhist country where they developed world Halal Science University to reach world halal market.

those who convinced by budu destroy sena are brainless and baseless, as result of halal certification sinhalese company earned more and took more muslim market who has more buying power if the racism stops halal certification, muslims will start to buy from them and produce their own food where as sinhala companies will severely effect therefore please use your brain

3. shameer Mar 09
Seems mayya's name will be written in bold for eradicating ltte & replacing it with jihad.
2. Enver Hoxha Mar 08
The truth:

1. Kotas Bappa Mar 08
Im a regular reader of LBO. but never thought that LBO will allow such stupid articles to publish on the web. people are here to read some good business stuff not about stuff that a citizen group says. And every citizen has a right to avoid products , being in a group they like and talk about it. Its not racism.Who is talking about Muslims Hate campaigns on Buddhist? the harassments on Buddhists, Hindus and Catholics ? if we did something thats racism. and if they did something its normal.

Its not a hate campaign, We Sri Lankan do not like to buy Halal products.Thats it.