By Kishali Pinto jayawardene
There is a cheery though dangerously complacent view articulated by senior Muslim politicians, (and echoed by others),that the recent communal violence in Ampara and Kandy was perpetrated through organised attacks by ‘outsiders’ on Muslim residents of those areas.
Only part of the truth
As is often the case, this explanation is only part of the truth. Certainly thugs masquerading as monks and racist organisations wrapping the banner of ‘Sinhala Buddhist militants’ around them, (surely an oxymoron if there ever was one) engaged in illegal hate speech and were responsible for bringing organized mobs to attack innocent people. The Government has assured that the ringleaders have been arrested but more needs to be seen than mere arrests.
The legal system must be allowed to work unhindered and at its fullest strength. Convictions must ensue for hate speech and for incitement to violence as well as the committal of violence on persons and property under existing laws that are more than sufficient for the purpose. As importantly, members of the police and the Special Task Force (STF) complicit in the violence either though acts of omission or commission need to be severely dealt with in terms of the criminal law. That needs to be yet seen.
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