“A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll” By Groundviews

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to even increase in Muslim population and property ownership by Muslims, groups such as the Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya have taken it upon themselves to educate the Sinhala Buddhists on these concerns. While these groups declare to be non violent, speeches given by them at various rallies, defamatory references to individuals and the attacks on Muslim owned businesses in the past few weeks give the impression of a situation of vigilante groups gathering strength.
It is in this context that Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives created an online questionnaire to gauge the views of people on this issue.
Topline Results
  • More than 75% of respondents also believe that it is realistic to think that Sri Lanka might see another Black July.
  • 75% believe that the Defence Secretary’s association with the Bodu Bala Sena have strengthened the power of the group to continue their vigilante activities.
  • With majority of respondents labelling groups like the BBS as ‘intolerant’, on the issue of Mobitel including a song (for sale) by the BBS in their mTunes library, around 42% believe that Mobitel should remove the song from their library, that people should not have anything to with businesses that support groups like the BBS and that calling for a boycott of Mobitel is necessary to send a clear message that people will not tolerate anyone supporting groups like the BBS.
  • 60% of respondents believe that the Media should not give a voice to groups like the Bodu Bala Sena.
  • With regard to the highly controversial Halal issue, majority do not believe it is the win-win solution as claimed by those who were involved in arriving at this decision. 40% of respondents believe that it is unfair by people who buy only Halal products while around 30% believe that this decision is only a temporary solution that would aggravate the anti Muslim issue further.
  • Faith in law enforcement is low, with around 40% of respondents believing that vigilante groups engaging in raids and attacks on private property would never be arrested.
Access the full results of the poll, read the report and see the related data visualisations here.

source: Groundviews

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