19 Nov 2016
Hon. Wijedasa Rajapakse
Minister of Justice
An Open Letter to the Minister of Justice Hon. Wijedasa Rajapakshe
The Muslim community takes serious exception to the censorious remarks made by you in Parliament on 17th Nov 2016. You juxtaposed selected irrelevant issues to implicate and malign several respected Muslim organisations and the Muslim community. Your fearmongering remarks are increasing the degree of tension among all communities thereby jeopardising nascent peace emerging in the country. The impact of your statement is not confined to the Muslims alone as it affects the whole country at a time when the President and the Prime Minister are forewarning the nation that anti-government saboteurs are scheming to bring Buddhist-Muslim clash as a strategy to bring down the government. Your statement strengthened the hands of the extremist racists of the country and the aftermath ensuing racist demonstrations in Kandy etc unwittingly places you as the initiator of the collapse of the government by sheer coincidence, which I hope not.
You being a responsible Minister and an erudite Presidential Council, it is unbecoming for a person of your calibre to make sweeping generalization of irrelevant stories put together under the cover of parliamentary immunity. You are making statement in the august house of Parliament to the peoples’ representatives. It is their right to know precise facts and figures, dates and places and names so that they can contribute to find solutions to the problems to which you are seeking to address. Your generalised naming of respected legitimate Muslim organisations and with sweeping generalization of Muslim internationals schools alleging extremist indoctrination by foreign scholars, about infighting between different sects and groups and referring to an isolated story of a person marrying a young girl and that it can be a cause for communal riot and racial disharmony. All these topped with the story of ISIS, alleging that four families consisting of 32 people men women and small children, at a time that the ISIS is at its death throes and the world has come to know who trained, funded, marketed and operated them to destroy Syria to protect Israeli interest. This is public knowledge, a common phenomenon experienced by many countries and created by the geopolitical realities at the hand of their handlers. I also draw your attention regarding the ISIS matter that you are not updated. Way back in 2015 when the ISIS issue cropped up in the media, the Prime Minister convened a meeting with major Muslim organisations to which senior ministers, The Defence Secretary, the three Service Chiefs, the IGP and the Intelligence Officials participated. I participated on behalf of the National Shoora Council amongst others. We settled these issues at the highest levels of consultation, coordination and communication. We give credits to the government, the military and the law enforcements agencies and the intelligence community for their professional handling of this issue and allaying our concerns.
You will realise that in these statements, you failed the august chamber to give precise intelligible facts to inform the peoples’ representatives. Instead your collection of irrelevant, outdated and fabricated facts are of no use to the peoples’ representative but are becoming handy tools to the racist trouble makers in the country hell bent on destabilizing the nation. Do you know how many potential investors to the country your statement and the aftermath would have shooed out resulting in loss to the country. Do you know how your statements are derailing the struggling government’s development initiatives? Do you know how you are making despondency and frustration to set in the country? Do you know how your statements are scuttling reconciliation initiatives of the country? Or is this the prelude to the enactments of Counter Terrorism Act by artificially creating tension and fearmongering in the country as a strategy?
We would like to know what was the rationale behind sensationalizing something past and irrelevant in a fast changing society seeking social harmony, rebuilding, reconciliation and rejuvenating of the economy as priorities of the Yahapalana Government. We fail to understand your logic of why you did chose to make this statement impromptu. We believe that you are not updated about the issues that you talked about with concrete facts, figures and dates. Whoever shared information with you has failed the test of due diligence thereby making you to speak something not in keeping with your stature as a legal luminary if not a Minister. We sympathise with you and shall be prepared to work with you corroborating with facts and figures, inshallah (God willing), for the sake of building Mother Lanka.
National Shoora Council