Statement on Sri Lanka’s Inter-communal violence
12 March 2018
Hon. Chrystia Freeland
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Centre Block, House of Commons
Dear Minister Chrystia Freeland:
As a Sri Lankan Buddhist-Canadian, who has lived in Canada since 1968 and in Ottawa since 1970, permit me to share my opinion on your Statement for the eyes and ears of the Sri Lankan Government and her peoples that Canada is deeply concerned by recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka…..” Then who wouldn’t! I loved what you said, but I would have loved it more if you had only introduced the words and the majority Sinhalese” when you said …Canada calls on the government to ensure the safety and security of all minorities” You have failed me and my Sinhalese people for not saying, …ensure the safety and security of all minorities and the majority Sinhalese.”
Here’s my problem. Sri Lanka is no Paradise of Saints,. Thus it is unfair to assume that the two main minorities, the Tamils and the Muslims are Paragons-of-Virtue and that they do no wrong, and when they provoke the majority Sinhalese population and expect them to be Saints and not react to their provocation by word or deed. That is indeed the rub Minister Freeland and Canada has failed the Sinhalese community since July 24 1983 in many ways. Not good. And I could sing out reems of it. And my protest has been not to vote for the Liberals nor the Conservatives, And I have my doubts that I will ever do it in the future either. I resent the hypocrisy of both parties when dealing with the Sinhalese in my Motherland, Sri Lanka,
Are you aware of the genesis that triggered the racial riots in Teldeniya? Here it is – it was the Thursday, 22nd in February, when 4 drunken Muslim men, drunk to
the hilt, were travelling in a Tuk-tuk had attacked a truck driver for not allowing them to overtake his vehicle. It was a case of a typical ‘road-rage’ that we Canadians too are quite familiar with. The truck driver happened to be a Sinhalese, H.G.Kumarasinghe, a 41-year-old-Dad of two and one of them is disabled. No doubt this Sinhalese had been beaten savagely, who had been in a hospital’s intensive care for 10 days, and eventually succumbed to his injuries on Friday, 3rd March. And mind you, Minister Freeland, there were no rioting during this period which only began on 4th March, the day after the Sinhalese Kumarasinghe died having succumbed to his injuries caused by the 4-drunken Muslims. In this Paradise-of-No-Saints, the anger of the hard-nosed extremists in the Sinhalese community were visceral and hell broke loose. It was unfortunate. Isn’t this incident proof positive for the Canadian Government to see and admit that the majority Sinhalese community too need to be ‘ensured with safety and security’ as much as you all feel is important for the minority communities in Sri Lanka. That is where your insensitive humbug crumble.
It is also interesting to note that both Islam and Buddhism strongly reject the consuming of alcohol of any kind. So what the heck were these four Muslims doing emptying into their stomachs bottles of arrack, or may be kassippu?
Don’t you think it was appropriate for the Muslim MPs of the region and the Muslim
Imam of the region to visit the Kumarasinghe family and commiserate their pain for what had happened to their family breadwinner at the hands of intoxicated-Muslims. The compassionate words like Is there anything that we could do” would have been a healing Mantra for the Kumarasinghe family. That courtesy was lacking as well as acknowledging the violation of the human rights and the dignity of the Sinhalese Truck driver H.G. Kumarasinghe who was assaulted by the 4 Muslim drunkards. Minister Freeland, what’s wrong with our politicians. How come you don’t see it my way? Come on Minister Freeland, it is too easy to point your finger always at the majority Sinhalese community in Sri Lanka or ignore them completely. That is not right, that is not cricket, that is not kosher and as a Sri Lankan-Canadian that dishonesty is hard to swallow.
Minister Freeland, this is the same Sinhalese community who were ready to endanger their lives during the July 1983 riots, taking Tamil families into their homes to safeguard their lives, sharing their plates of rice and curry and providing them pillows to rest their heads on. My family took in 4 Tamil families in Dematagoda, a suburb of Colombo, and had the back door of the house open to run out if the Sinhalese goons who were after the Tamils during the July 1983 riots came in search of them. No one talks of these loving, humanitarian acts by the Sinhalese, Then why should they, when all of the west wants to paint the majority Sinhalese black, wicked and ugly hoping that it will translate into Tamil votes for their political parties. We Canadians are no better and we fall into this pigeon hole perfectly like a palm inside a kid-glove.
Minister Freeland, this is the same Sinhalese community that the Canadian Government wishes to ignore and point our fingers as human rights violators, whose soldiers rescued 295,873 Tamils by 19 May, 2009, from the clutches of the Tamil Tiger terrorists who were herded like unwashed cattle for 30 months from the west coast to the east coast as a human-shield, under the Jaffna-Killinochchi scorching sun. And mind you it were members of the same Sinhalese community who helped to prepare a million meals a day, hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners to feed these Tamil refugees who were housed in temporary camps. They didn’t have to, but they did magnanimously, and I am proud of my Sinhalese people back in Sri Lanka for this very reason. No one talks about this amazing humanitarian Metta act of love and generosity towards their Tamil brothers and sisters. Why should they, and why should you as it would put a damper upon all of Canadian-Humbugs, when you want to tell the world that ‘We are Holier than the Sinhalese community in Sri Lanka.” as you are after the Tamil Diaspora votes in the nine ridings of the Greater Toronto Area, and do not wish to antagonize them., That’s disingenuous poppycock, isn’t it Minister Freeland!
My question is, what if the permutation of the 4 drunken men would have been 1 Sinhalese and 3 Muslims, and the driver a Muslim, Would the riots after the Muslim driver’s death been directed towards the Muslim community? Hmmm…I doubt it.
Minister Freeland, have your Sri Lanka Desk-political advisors point out to you that this whole rioting Scenario is somewhat fishy. That the timing of these communal
riots raises questions like why does these exaggerated events point the needle of the Hate-compass always at the majority Sinhalese, coinciding with the Geneva’s UN Human Rights Council Review of Sri Lanka’s human rights and accountability of the last five months before the Sri Lankan armed forces annihilated in invincible Tamil Tiger terrorists on 19 May, 2009. This was after a 27-year long bloody war when the Tamil Tiger terrorists hijacked the right-to-life of 21 million people for all that long. The International Human Rights wallahs have difficulty to applaud the Sri Lankan soldiers for this immense heroic effort to give back the right-to-life to these 21 million people. Strange!
You know what Minister Freeland, I smell a rat here and a nasty smelling one at that. I hope I am wrong, now that the Sri Lanka Government has announced of a major breakthrough in investigations having got the commander of the Mahason Balakaya, the Sri Lankan KKK who is responsible for the racial attacks and will be taken to task.
My plea to you in good faith, Minister Freeland is, notwithstanding your party has been after the Sri Lankan-Tamil and -Muslim Diaspora for Donkey’s years, seeking their votes during the Provincial and Federal elections, please be judicious, honest and generous towards Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese community which the Canadian Tamil separatists bombard you with dishonest lies against them. I don’t claim that my Sinhalese are Paragons-of-Virtue, but then nor are the Tamil and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka who have their own political agendas which are inimical for a collective harmonious living in a multi-ethnic island, This has made the majority Sinhalese cautious to stretch their hands of love and friendship to touch those of the Tamils and Muslims, particularly those in the North and East of the island. And that’s a shame! And that is how the pappadam crumbles.
Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)