ECONOMYNEXT – Manipulative groups are promoting hate and violence in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks which will set back the country by generations, State Minister Harsha de Silva said, in the wake of anti-Muslim riots promoted by nationalists.
"The recent developments around the country make it clear that there are groups who are taking advantage of people’s anger and pain in this moment of vulnerability to promote hate and incite violence," Minister de Silva said in a statement.
"If we give into these manipulations and get caught up in a divisive, racial conflict, the economy which we have been managing and reviving with great difficulty will hit a setback that generations to come will struggle to recover from."
Police have arrested several nationalists who have also been involved in inciting violence against Muslims in the past.
Critics say in Sri Lanka nationalism is taught as part of ‘free education’ in school and also in religious instruction and children grow up with casual nationalism ingrained in their belief system.
Lately kids are taught Tamil but the nationalist teaching and revisionist history remains.
Easter Sunday attacks were carried out by Islamist groups which had apparently been taught Pan-Nationalism and extreme monotheism through religious sermons and indoctrination whole abroad.
De Silva said the Easter Sunday bombings were not carried out by the broader Muslim community.
"First, we need to start seeing Easter Sunday attacks for what it is: a terror attack and not an attack by Muslims.," de Silva said.
"And two, we must lend our full cooperation to law enforcement to do their job.
"I urge my fellow citizens not to fall prey to those who are looking to manipulate you to incite hate and violence towards our own people."
"I make this request from you out of great concern for the economic ramifications we and generations to come will face if we do not handle this critical moment in our history. As your representative, a citizen, and a father I believe it is my duty to make this request." (Colombo/May14/2019)