When Will the Hate Campaign End?

Indrajith De Silva

The Tamil extremists are at it again. This time they are targeting a Buddha statue in Trincomalee. It does not matter to them that the Buddha statue has stood where it has for more than a decade, or that it was recently renovated on account of the upcoming Vesak festival. What matters to them is iconoclasm; already several grenades have been lobbed at the statue in stark imitation of the Taliban. They have no respect for the Buddha and make no bones about it. But this should come as no suprise to many Sri Lankans, as the campaign of hate against Buddhist religious sites in the district has a long and checkered history. And the politicians of the Tamil National Alliance - usually vociferously loud over banal matters - have remained exquisitely silent.

The aim of the Tamil extremists is to strike fear into the Sinhalese population living in the district and eventually drive them off like they did to the Muslims of the Northern Province. They want to ethnically cleanse the Eastern Province of non-Tamils and set up rule under the overlordship of their leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. The Tamil Taliban of Trincomalee want to rule with absolute power and have a deep desire to see the Sinhalese and Muslims defer to them in all matters. And they will not stop until their facist goals are established.

Tamil extremists have ordered a shutdown of Trincomalee town to push their agenda of hate. Anyone who disobeys it is attacked violently. Businesses that have refused to bow down to their dictates have been bombed and destroyed by assailants. Already a member of the Sinhalese community has been brutally killed by these fanatics. The rising tide of fundamentalism has been nurtured and encouraged by certain Tamil politicians as well as the LTTE and they must answer for all the violence and bloodshed that is taking place in the town today.

If this problem is not dealt with seriously, and in an effective manner, it has the capacity to spiral out of control into terrifying proportions where members of the Sinhalese community will not be able to walk around Trincomalee town without watching their backs and worrying about being lynched by extremist Tamil mobs. The racist idea of a mono-ethnic "Tamil Homeland" (of which Trincomalee is supposedly a part of) is probably a major driving force behind the acts of vandalism and terror being perpetrated against the Sinhalese community.

It is in the interests of all peace-loving Sri Lankans to take a stand against the acts of terror being perpetrated by these extremists in the name of "Tamil nationalism." The Tamil Talibans of Trincomalee must not be allowed to raise their ugly heads and destroy communal harmony and brotherhood in the district. Their narrow-mindednes and fundamentalism must be defeated. As Sri Lankans, we cannot afford to let the canker of extremism grow and bear fruit on our soil.



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