Sri Lanka police inaction against mobs could trigger more unrest, Tamil party warns
ECONOMYNEXT – Police inaction against mobs attacking minority Muslims in Sri Lanka might force the community to resort to defending themselves and trigger more violence, the island’s main minority Tamil party warned.
The Tamil National Alliance said it is deeply concerned by reports of mobs attacking Muslim homes, businesses and Mosques in several villages over the last two days.
“It is particularly concerning to hear of reports of such attacks taking place during curfew, with security forces not taking effective steps to stop the violence,” said a statement by M A Sumanthiran, parliamentarian and spokesperson for the Tamil National Alliance .
“We strongly condemn such violence and call on the authorities to take swift and severe action against the perpetrators.
“If people do not think that the government and the security forces are able or willing to protect them, they will be forced to defend themselves,” the TNA said.
“We appeal to the government: Do not let that happen. Do not let yet another community in Sri Lanka feel that in order to survive in this country, it must fight for itself.
“There can be no room for terrorism in this country – not for the terrorism that bombs churches, and not for the terrorism that attacks mosques.”
The TNA statement alluded to the Tamil Tiger separatist struggle, crushed in 2009, which started in the late 1970s and intensified after the July 1983 attacks on Tamils by Sinhalese mobs that the then-regime failed to prevent.
The TNA’s warning comes after bouts of mob violence against Muslims following last month;s Easter Sunday suicide bombings of three churches and three hotels by self-styled jihadists which killed over 250 people and wounded 500 others.
(COLOMBO 14 May 2019)
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies