The Sri Lankan government has imposed an island-wide emergency in the wake of anti-Muslim violence in Kandy, a city in the central highlands, on March 4-5, and in Ampara, a district with a near equal population of Muslims and Sinhala-Buddhists on the country’s eastern coast, on February 26.
An emergency was in force in Sri Lanka for 40 years from 1971 during the civil war over the Tamil demand for a separate state. This is the first time it has been reimposed after it was withdrawn in 2011
They are a direct fallout of the triumphalism and majoritarianism that took hold in sections of the Sinhala Buddhist majority community after the military defeat of the LTTE, Since then, a raft of groups openly professing hatred for Muslims, as well as Christians, has come up, some of them using social media to spread their venom.
Among them are the Bodu Bala Sena, Sinhala Ravaya, Sinhale, and Mahason Balaya. The first and foremost of these, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), was formed in 2012, and allegedly enjoyed the patronage of the Rajapakse clan.Indian Express
Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara is the Secretary General of Bodu Bala Sena,
In 2014 monks from the BBS actually clashed with some Muslims because they had organized an anti Israel protest because of the attacks on Gaza The BBS monks argued with the police not to allow the Muslims to hold protest demonstration from Maligawatte to Colombo Fort.Source
Contradicting the pro-Rajapaksa camp’s accusations that the Bodu Bala Sena was created by the then main opposition, the UNP and funded by Norway in order to destabilize the Rajapaksa regime, former Ambassador to Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka said that it was Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Israeli government which was responsible for it
Speaking at an event held in July 2014 to show solidarity with the Gaza, Jayatilleka said that the Defence Ministry led by the “Pro Israeli younger brother” of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has encircled the “Pro Palestinian” ideology of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Detailing the manner in which Israel had interfered with the country through its influence on Gotabaya Rajapaksa,Jayatilleka said Sri Lanka had used the Israeli prototype for post war rebuilding, resulting in the resurrection of the call for an Eelam.He said the then government had a “secret agreement with Israel”. (Note Maninda Rajapaskshe lost power in January 2015)
“During the period of 2008–2009 there were many delegations which visited Israel by top Defense Officials. Minister Champika Ranawaka was also once there but that is no surprise. They were offered advice for Post–Conflict Homeland Security by the Israeli government. These Defense Officials accepted that proposal. That is the prototype they used in Sri Lanka giving rise to the resurgence of the call of Eelamists……..” he said.
“THE DEFENSE MINISTRY AND THE FOREIGN MINISTRY IS ISRAELI OCCUPIED TERRITORY” HE SAID.
This article in June 2017 is based on a 2014 video See Dayan Reveals Gota’s Post-Conflict Homeland Security Plan; Gota And Israel Behind BBS’ Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
In a rejoinder to the article published by the same paper Ambassador Jayatilleka refuted the allegation that he had insinuated that Gotabaya Rakapaksha was the progenitor or mentor of the BBS but added that he stood by his comments on the Israeli influence on SriLankan Govt
Let me recapitulate what is in the video and the report which everyone can check. I criticized the rise of Islamophobia and the BBS. I also criticized the influence of Israel in the design of the postwar order in Sri Lanka. I criticized Gotabaya’s presence at an occasion on which the BBS monks were present and worse, his (passing) defense of the BBS in his speech. I retract none of what I said. However, none of it adds up to your headline—and it cannot, because I never believed that Gotabaya was behind or was responsible for the BBS!
The font of Sinhala racism for the past few decades has been none other than Champika Ranawaka (with Gnanasaara in his ranks). Who originated the Islamophobia of the postwar years, having revived the Digavapi issue? As I state in the speech, part of which is in the video, who in Cabinet visited Israel repeatedly during wartime? Not Weerawansa, but Champika Ranawaka…and Gnanasara was not in his team.
During MR’s Presidency, who opposed the BBS in Cabinet and called for the banning of its Maharagama meeting? Dinesh Gunawardena and Wimal Weerawansa. Who was present on stage at that meeting which was dotted by BBS goons in black T shirts? Champika Ranawaka. Whose name was disclosed by the LSSP’s Prof Tissa Vitarana as opposing in Cabinet any action against Gnanasara though the report which was commissioned by Mahinda Rajapaksa and chaired by Tissa Vitarana recommended such action? Champika Ranawaka.
Ranawaka and the monks seem to be the new version of the old Sinhalese chauvinist body the JVP
The Israelis are playing their old game The elite politicians and military are being stoked using the national security threat whilst the common Sinala is being keyed up using unscrupulous and corrupt monks like Gnanasara and Islamophobia
It seems the Sri Lankans have learnt nothing from the time the Israeli Army trained and armed both the SriLankan Army and the LTTE