Social media went haywire with a video that went viral of the controversial Ceylon Thowheed Jamath (CTJ) General Secretary Abdul Razik, who was earlier embroiled in an ugly saga over insulting Buddhism, publicly expressed his support to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
During recent proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Easter Sunday Bombings and other investigations, the name of Abdul Razik was constantly being brought up as being in the payroll of the Ministry of Defence under the aegis of the then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
During a video made by a popular emerging YouTuber, Razik who came under incessant attack from the SLPP for not being arrested by the United National Government, claimed in the video that the majority of Sinhala extremists purposely and wrongfully mixed up his name with that of the mastermind of dastardly 21 April suicide bombings – National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) Leader Zahran Hashim.
He affirmed a claim made by former Defence Secretary and SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Spokesperson MP Keheliya Rambukwella on TV recently, that the Rajapaksa regime reportedly had Muslim extremists on payroll of the Ministry of Defence under the aegis of the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However Razik denied that he was one of the extremists paid by the Rajapaksa regime. Nevertheless, as civil organisations, the CTJ extended support to the intelligence establishments and the defence apparatus just like any other organization, he added.
Asked what his personal view on the most discerning candidate for the Muslim community he said the following:
“Ensuring national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty is a crucial factor for us. Former regime was able to restore national security with the eradication of the ruthless scourge of LTTE terrorism. National security has become a challenge for us once again,” he claimed.
“As an (Islamic) organization we do not have a right to express support to a particular candidate. However personally I believe supporting (one) after identifying the leadership that ensures national security…. Gotabaya Rajapaksa clearly pledges security to both the majority and the minorities. As such his leadership is most desirous.”
“However the New Democratic Front (of Sajith Premadasa) has not made any concrete pledges (to ensure national security). So far failed to promise to safeguard the minorities…” Razik lamented, expressing his dismay over the United National Party (UNP) led alliance which has traditionally been identified as the vote base of the Muslims.
“We are confident about Gotabaya Rajapaksa…”
As an addendum Razik said that as minorities they had a responsibility to discern the ‘winning horse’.
Asked whether Gotabaya was the best bet he said in the hearts of the people the Rajapaksa sibling was the best candidate to ensure national security as he was being backed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who eliminated terrorism.
“However they (the SLPP) should collaborate this through their presidential manifesto,” he insisted.
When asked whether Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka too could ensure national security in a future UNP government, he said it sounded like a joke.
“No doubt he is respected…. He was not in the opposition but in the government (all this time). Unable to ensure national security, whilst getting all those warnings and alerts all the while being in the ruling party… I see this as a joke!”
“Furthermore, the Muslim community should be able to identify the leadership that can ensure their security as well as national security and enter into a contract with them!” insisted Razik.
However he castigated traditional Muslim leaders Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) supremo Rauff Hakeem and All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Leader Rishard Bathiudeen et al saying they supported (Sajith Premadasa) unconditionally.
“Nevertheless we don’t know what ulterior agreements had been made… However we have initiated a mechanism to unite all sections of the Muslim community”
Apparently this video offended a lot of Gotabaya supporters including one of the pioneering Lankan YouTuber, who went live on Facebook attacking the initial video in which Razik expressed his support.
Attacking the new entrant for making Razik’s video, he said that this was clearly a move to split the Sinhala votebase charging that the video was done with monies obtained from Sajith’s election campaign.
“(He) has been right throughout doing a campaign taking money from Sajith. Lot of Buddhist monks (forgave earlier video allegedly degrading clergy) saying he’s a small kid. (He’s) trying to divide the Sinhalese. (He’s) paid money to Abdul Rasik. Very bad… I ask all subscribers in my page…. This must be put to stop. Ashen we will have to call your home and stop this somehow.”
He then went on to mention a number 077XXXXXXX asking his subscribers to call which undoubtedly is a veiled threat.
“If you don’t stop we must call your home and because this person repeatedly attacking. Calling (Buddhist monks as) ‘pewiddo’. We know for sure that he has taken money to do campaigns on YouTube. (He’s trying to) create false opinion. You do your politics. No problem but don’t split the Buddhists, the Sinhalese…don’t attack…. But don’t do campaigns with degraded persons like Abdul Rasik… we are totally against that. Learn to talk (properly)”
Then Iraj went on to give a number claiming to that of the new entrant 077XXXXXXX, urging his subscribers to call the young YouTuber as well.
“(He) is not a Buddhist but don’t attack us repeatedly…Stop it… I came (live) to say this. You must stop this now. (or else) from tomorrow there would be a huge opposition against you…. Even when you go out… I don’t know… Lot of people are cross with you… for what you have done… Jayawewa! We’ll see what happens!” he concluded his video with a threatening remark.
Social media experts say that as the maker of the second video was openly sharing the young YouTuber’s contact number without his consent it was an open violation and breach of all privacy laws, community standards and basic media ethics.
However when viewers tried to access the potentially defamatory video the following notification appeared.
Abdul Razik who was then Secretary of Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath (SLTJ) who was arrested with five others in July 2017 on charges of insulting religion, later on expressed their regrets over the derogatory remarks on the Buddha and hurting the sentiments of the Sinhala-Buddhists.
The complainant alleged that Razik had deliberately made derogatory remarks on Lord Buddha on or around April 13, 2013 citing that the Buddha was a cannibal and ‘triple gem’ just meant rocks or stones.
The second YouTuber Iraj Weeraratne is said to be a relative of a popular actress who were slated to be from the same caste as that of the presidential candidate whose father was a former president of Sri Lanka, who rose from scratch. It is said that that shrewd politician Mahinda Rajapaksa who knew this always brought the actress whenever he got on stage at Hambantota, in order humiliate the supposedly so-called ‘low-caste’ political rival.