The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has today called upon the President Maithripala Sirisena and the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct a thorough investigation, punish all who may have violated the laws of the land, and ensure that no more Sri Lankans are misled in to joining any terrorist movement.
“Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, the Bodu Janatha Peramuna (BJP) and candidate for the Kalutara District, has launched his political campaign by once again attacking and branding every Muslim as a terrorist. His clarion call for the Sinhalese to “wake up”, his ominous augury “Abasaranai” to the Muslims in Aluthgama and the hate speech on 15th of June 2014 that led to the riots against the Aluthgama Muslims destroyed the peace that existed between the two communities. Now, his verbal diatribe and racism meant to help him to step in to Parliament, seem to get more vicious and venomous as the symbol for his new party, the cobra. He has now condemned every Muslim Civil, Religious and Political organisation as sponsors of terrorism in Sri Lanka. The media reports of the death of a Sri Lankan following a twisted ideology while fighting with IS (ISIS) has given him the ammunition to call every Muslim a terrorist or sponsor of terrorism.”
The Sri Lankan state’s power to narrate the war and characterize the enemy is an expression of “triumphalist nationalism” and is a selective remembering of war. Based on photographs taken during several field visits to these sites by both authors between December 2012 and January 2014, we analyze the relationship of war and tourism and how a particular Sinhala nationalist remembering of the war and landscape of memory are being constructed in post-war Sri Lanka. Today, Sri Lanka is a former war zone where the Government’s troops defeated the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) and ended 26years of violent conflict in May 2009. The end of the war came at a huge cost to civilian life in the northern part of the country ; the UN estimates that over 40,000 people were killed, most of whom were Tamils who form the majority in Northern Sri Lanka. Despite the end of military conflict, war continues by other means, and its representation encapsulates anationalist politics of victory that at once vilifies the defeated LTTE “terrorists” and excludes Northern Tamils from the Sri Lankan polis. The LTTE’s former hideouts, training facilities, weapons, and vehiclesare now tourist sites on display for public viewing.
Activist Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said collaboration between various international intelligence agencies on the issue of international terrorism did not throw a surprise.
“If there is any hard evidence of a sustained LTTE exercise abroad, I suppose the report is relevant, for the political objectives of those groups [among Tamil diaspora] are well within Sri Lanka,” said Mr. Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a think tank based in Colombo.
“On Tuesday afternoon, in a near-empty courtroom in Brooklyn, Suresh Sriskandarajah admitted he provided support to the Tigers knowing it was designated as a terrorist group, saying he met his co-accuseds while visiting Sri Lanka.”