CLASSIFIED | POLITICS | TERRORISM | OPINION | VIEWS





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DAMAGE CAUSED TO MUSLIMS BY VANNI TIGERS UNPARDONABLE.

A.A.M.NIZAM MATARA.

Historical facts illustrate that the leadership of the Tamil community, when they were weakened, sought the helping hand of the Muslims and the moment they gained some sort of recognition and authority, tried to suppress the rights and privileges and betray the Muslims. The headless Vanni Tigers are reported to be making various attempts to use the Muslims as a scapegoat to drive against our Sinhala brethren and the government in order to get their vicious objectives achieved. Such attempts in the past ended in failure since strong patriotic Muslim politicians represented the community at that time. In the current scenario the community lacks such patriotic, non- materialistic politicians and hence the community as a whole has a great responsibility to stand against these evil insinuations that could even threaten the integrity and sovereignty of the nation itself.

The Vanni Tiger’s political wing leader Thamilchelvan addressing the Muslims in Batticaloa recently has claimed that the Tiger outfit stands for the rights of Muslims as well. Speaking further he has said that his Organization acts for the goodwill of Muslims, and has urged the Muslims to cooperate with them to achieve their goals. This brotherliness, goodwill and the nomenclature Tamil-speaking people are empty slogans that had been used several times in the past in their unsuccessful attempts to hoodwink the Muslims with the hidden motive to get their desires fulfilled. Under these circumstances it is pertinent to expose the so-called goodwill, brotherliness etc, etc, they bestowed on us in the past and continue to do so even after Thamilchelvan’s infamous innuendo.

Muslims have a maternal relationship with the Sinhala community, being early settlers, even prior to the intermittent invasion and occupation of Northern areas by Thamilchelvan’s great grandfathers from the South Indian territories. Their separation from the parent communities by sea-faring European colonialists compelled the highly religious community to depend on Tamil language religious texts to strengthen their religiosity and made them gradually use the Tamil language as an adopted tongue. The Sinhala surnames still being used by many Muslims in the hill country and in North-Western areas, and Sinhalised names used by Muslims in old land deeds throughout the country, confirm that Tamil was only a language adopted for convenience by the Muslim community due to circumstantial reasons.

In the nineteenth century when the demand for a separate seat for the Muslims in the Legislative Assembly came to the fore, the Vellala leader Ponnambalam Ramanathan naively claimed that he represented the Muslims in the assembly. His claim failed to materialize and hold water due to vehement and daring opposition led by the great Muslim leader Mr. Siddi Lebbe. Similarly the great politicians of the Muslim community such as Sir Marcan Markar, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. Badi-ud-din Mahmoud, T.B.Jayah and A.C.S.Hameed always stood for the unity of this country, right to rule by the majority community, and for the strengthening of the Sinhala-Muslim amity.

In 1939 the eminent Muslim leader Sir Marcan Markar enunciated the right path for the Muslims by saying, "as a Muslim I am not afraid to state that this country should be ruled by the majority Sinhalese. Let them rule, we will help them in this task,"(Hansard 1939 Column 843). This was the bold, accurate and noble stand taken, pursued, and advocated by all great aforementioned Muslim leaders who dedicated their time and energy in the national interest, and for the progress of the country as a whole devoid of petty, personal, chauvinistic, materialistic and parochial interests. The election of Muslims by the Sinhala majority electorates such as Beruwela, Balangoda, Borella, etc., under the first-past-the-post sytem, and huge preferential votes cast for Muslim candidates in the Gampaha, Kegalle, Kandy and some other districts under the new system, signifies the Sinhala-Muslim amity and recognition of the patriotism of the Muslims by the Sinhala community. Tamil majority electorates have never allowed a Muslim to get elected from those electorates.

It was the terrorist leader Prabhakaran's mentor S.J.V.Chelvanayagam who planted the seed of hatred among the different communities in this peaceful country. Speaking in the House of Representatives on 26th November 1947 he advocated that in the event of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) gaining independence from the British Empire, Tamils should secede from the rest of the country. It was this demand they pursued under various shades and deception with the standard of “little now and much later” policy, until the evil “Vadukkodai Resolution” for establishment of a Separate State was enunciated in 1976.

When Thamilchelvan’s LTTE was harassing the Muslims in the 1980s, a delegation of Muslims met the LTTE leadership in Madras that produced a treaty in which the LTTE promised to protect and safeguard the Muslims. Within 2 years of this agreement, on 29th October 1990 the LTTE evicted more than 80,000 Muslims from the 5 districts of Jaffna, Mullativu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar, at gun-point, robbing all their belongings and pauperizing them overnight. Upto now the Vanni Tigers are not allowing these Muslims, languishing in refugee camps under inhuman conditions, to return to their centuries old habitats, despite misleading pet talks on many occasions, and even at international press gatherings.

The worst crimes committed by the Tiger terrorists in its dark history were carried out against the innocent, unarmed Muslims, and many of them became pray to these terrorist brutes when they were worshipping inside the mosques. On 4th August 1990, the terrorists stormed the Kattankudy mosque in the Batticaloa district and brutally massacred 172 Muslims who were praying in the mosque at that time. Exactly one week after this, on 11th August 1990, they stormed Eravur and massacred 116 Muslims and injured more than 20 others. Similarly on 15.10.92, the terrorist leader dispatched about 200-300 armed terrorists to Palliyagodella, Ahamedpura, Agbopura, Pamburana, the border villages of Polonnaruwa and shot and hacked to death 171 Muslims. These are only 3 major incidents, among many others, in which Muslims were brutally massacred.

The infamous MOU forced on Sri Lanka by the Norwegians three years ago, gave the license for Thamilchelvam’s gang to subject Muslims to various hardships and inhuman extortions. When the Muslims demanded protection from these atrocities the government without directly interfering requested the SLMC leader Mr. Rauf Hakeem to meet the late Prabhakaran and sort out the matters. It is the same Thamilchelvam who declared, after a few months, that the so-called agreement signed by Mr. Rauf Hakeem was invalid. Even after this toothless agreement was signed atrocities against the Muslims increased. 27 Muslims were killed in Muttur and Valachchenai and several million worth properties belonging to Muslims were torched. Treatment meted out to Mr. Rauf Hakeem by the tiger Balasingham in the presence of G.L.Peiris and Moragoda at overseas locations, during the so-called peace talks, was shameful to the whole Muslim community.

A recent report indicates that the Vanni Tigers have extorted Rs. 4400 Million from the people during the last 3 years. Whose money is this? Undoubtedly it belonged to Muslims, as it was the Muslims who underwent the trauma of extortions by tiger terrorists. Even now the Muslim farmers are unable to cultivate their own land in areas under illegal occupation by Vanni Tigers despite many representations, appeals and broken promises. In a recent show of the so-called brotherliness, the student wing of the Vanni Tigers have chased out 10 medical students 7 of them Muslims and the other 3 Sinhala depriving them following their studies at the Jaffna University.

The post Tsunami situation has indeed created certain friction and shortages between the victims and the authorities. These shortcomings are impermanent and with right representation, demand and presentation of valid justifications these shortcomings can always be sorted out. It should not be allowed for a group of brutal assassins who massacred and tortured the Muslims for over thirty years and continue to do so uninterrupted to take advantage of this situation and fish in the troubled waters and attain their evil objectives.


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