The Sunday Leader

Dambulla Mosque Cannot Be Relocated – SLMC

By Indika Sri Aravinda

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) decided yesterday that its stand on the mosque in Dambulla is that the mosque must remain at its current location.

The decision was taken following over 3 hours of deliberations which also saw heated arguments among the SLMC members.

SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem speaking to reporters after the meeting in Colombo said that the SLMC was saddened by the events which unfolded in Dambulla over the mosque issue.

He said that he will meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to convey the position of the SLMC on the Dambulla mosque.

“We have taken a public position that the mosque should not be relocated without consensus among the Muslim leadership,” he said.

The government has already decided to shift the mosque following pressure exerted by a group of Buddhist monks in the area.

Thousands of Muslims around the country staged protests after Friday prayers  against the decision to relocate the mosque.

48 Comments for “Dambulla Mosque Cannot Be Relocated – SLMC”

  1. MKV

    Its better to move the mosque to avoid another ethnic problem.
    Even though Sri Lanka is a democratic country (Supposedly) its a Buddhist country. Its better to allow them live their way (Unfortunately) .

    • peaceboy15

      if the mosque is removed today, tomorrow it will be another mosque/kovil or a church… is anyone ready to dance to the music?

    • tony

      Who said that Sri Lanka is a budhist country? the majority can be budhists but other religions have the right to practice their faith. It is sad to hear budhist monks rioting while the budhist values teaches otherwise

    • Peter Australia

      Cowards they say die twice before their death, so may it be with yours. If you had a deep faith with taught tolerance to all, where has the Great Lord Buddhas teachings gone down the drain. The country was never owned by the Budists alone, there were others who lived in it too. There were the Muslim tradwers wh came to these shore hundreds of years ago as did the first Sinhala. Lord Buddha too came form India. so whats all this Budism about. Get real for God Sake.

    • Cry-Lanka

      Why not removing medhamulana buggers for the betterment of the country? this was deliberatly created to make another ethnic unrest. Whts the urgency right now after 60 years of existance of the mosque. We had one racist banda and its enough no need another banda in Srilanka which Srilanka cant affored to have. You cannot simply relocate a religious place of worship, let alone minority or majority, just because gota & percy wants. Go and fly a kite, the bottom line is people are fed up with this rawdy rajapakse clan.

    • Salman

      If they doesn’t want a masjidh near there temple… PLS kindly ask them to remove their temple…
      Pls don’t talk stupid…
      Next day they will cum to ur hm and will throw u out… Thn what will u do…
      Will u say this is the Buddhist country so v will to allow them in their way??????

      Pls bro don’t think with a short view… Try to think with the broad context…;)

    • SAHIB


    • Tomsamusa

      Why not ask them to relocate the place of worship to iran or Saudi Arabia!
      Is this Democracy or sacrilage of the term secular nation.

    • kudu

      Can I erect a statue in front of temple trees on the sidewalk (Pavement)
      is there a law saying I cannot
      Who or which department is responsible for this
      I say this because
      there are more than a dozen statues that have been built on the sidewalk (pavement) in the colombo north district
      and the elected officials are blind to this

    • Lankan

      Muslims attend to daily prayers and Mosques are located in their locality so that they will have ease of access 5 times a day. Re-locating to another location will not solve the issue and it will pave the way for extremist agenda. Sri Lanka had been home for Muslims for over 1000 years and they have coexisted with all communities in harmony. 99% of the Buddhists do not approve such extremist actions and so does the Buddhist teachings. If the goverment gives into their pressure now, this will happen to all mosques and kovils around Sri Lanka. This will be a start of a new communal problem where one has just ended with the expense of over 50000 lives!

      Brothers and Sisters, we are going to live in this world for a short period. Let’s live in peace and make it a better place for our future generations!

    • Mala

      Sorry you need to go back on the history. Srilanka wants to make it a Buddhist country. They will do anything achieve that.
      When a child is naughty, you advice the child, you take away their best toy. you threatened the child, you make boundaries etc to make the child behave better. You do not allow the child continue to be naughty & one day you will pay the price for letting him loose

    • Lanka Baudaya

      I agree with MKV that the Mosque should be moved out of Dambulla. According to Divisional Secretary’s statement there are no evidence that there is a Mosque in exsistence and this Mosque been built illegally with large sums of Money obtained from Iran and other Muslim countries. A commission should be appointed to find those responsible for building this Mosque on crown land and be punished.

    • Steffi

      True, unfortunately we have to live those pig terrorists :/

    • SAM

      HELLO MR MKV,Give up the extremism in the name of religion,Srilanka is a country multy ethnic,multi lingual country in which every citizen has equal rigts to lead a life.PUT BESIDES YIUR EXTREMIST IDEA.LEAVE OTHER COMMUNITY TO LEAD GOOD AND EXAMPLERY LIFE.

  2. yakolis

    Rauf Hakeem is the Minister of Justice who is globe trotting at the taxpayers’ expense. The Ministry of Justice has mediators. Why doesn’t Hakeem appoint a mediator, or mediators, to settle this dispute, without beating about the political bush and playing communal games.

    • Obama

      The response to the Dambulla insident is ample proof that SL government does not respect human rights. Perpetrators of crime go unquestioned. And whats most disturbing, get rewarded with promise of meeting thier demands. I call upon the SL government, to act wisely. Alleged bias Executive interference on matters that fall under court jurisdiction should be avoided. Or else, get ready to face sanction when your case on the NE conflict comes before the UNHCR. Even the few moslem countries that supported you will now have to think again. (please dont claim the CIA paid Sumangala Thero to bring about this situation)

    • Roshan

      Dear Editor

      I hope the views expressed by the two commentators before me are not representative of the majority of the people in the country. Some of the views expressed under the guise of comments are not worthy of a civilised people.
      They cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Buddha. The first commentator seems to be intent on promoting another ethnic problem, as if he has had not been satisfied enough with the one that we had before.
      While comment is certainly free they should be restrained and not inflame.

      Where is it said that it is a Buddhist country? The majority of the people may be buddhists but that does not make it a Buddhist country. Buddhism may have to be given a foremost place but it is not the state religion. There is nothing to this effect in the Constitution. What it says is that the State may foster Buddhism but it should protect the rights of all religions.

    • kudu

      someone is erecting a statue inside the Elie House Park
      Muzzamil the Mayor is scared to act
      this country has gone to the dogs
      including the Colombo Municipal Council

    • Mohamed

      We are already a disputed country, with wonderful good names for us around the world after Geneva. Even the Minister Hakeem was tried to get the support for Srilanka. We know how Muslim countries worked with us. ( But yakolis can not say the tax payers money wasted. its not for his business he went there.) We Muslim in the country paraded in support of Rajapakse government. It is the photos of Muslim they showed to the world during that time in the website. Now comes the prize for that support to remove the mosques. Democracy for all to live, not to harm one and other to live. The democracy can be at work only when a minority is respected, not when the are harassed. No one can say the mosques came to be there overnight. Then why did the authority get the tax from them? CEB and water bills been paid. How they give lines without checking the ownership and deeds? All are there. Eye witness, even Sinhalease brothers in the area are giving evidence to prove its existence for so long. And Muslims did not take the land of the sacred area. It is reported in many media that the land does not come under the particular area. Even the particular monk has participated in events at that mosques and praised the protest they had against the Kandalama Hotel project which many religious groups objected earlier. Why the suddenly a drama? If so, why not go for the legal way to do it? This is democracy. But before that, all the attackers have to be identified to be fair by all, you see. Even the right thinking Sinhalease in Colombo and other parts of the country feel this is injustice, but they will openly say it because of the type of democracy we have here. That is democracy as you say. We repent for many years after 1983 riots. Why create problems on communal basis in this country. This is not politics, but we have to be more human than the beasts.

    • Observator

      Friends, when a country has no law and country is in the hands of uneducated foolish members of a family, not only fake buddhist monks but also ghosts like “Grease Yakas” can be seen in power to do anything. Who pushed forwarded and manuplated yellow robed men asking to kick out “Ban Ki Moon” from “UN”, who pushed and forwarded Muslim youths after prayers against United States for the militery actions and resolution package separately when kicking out Gadaphi and Srilanka, who allowed Buddhist Monks to sit in the parliament and raise up the hands to support any thing and everything of the government foolishly. They are the people who are responsible for those incidents.This is not the last more episodes have to come in near future.

    • info

      So Yako we have to assume that you want a buddhist mediator appointed to look after muslim affairs ??? Very smart muchang, very smart.

    • Hakeem is a “THOPPI PIRATI” he ( a Justice Minister) will not fight for JUSTICE
      and will want only to keep his job.

    • kudu

      there is a mosque in muthuwella in colombo 15
      state land has been encroached upon
      valuable teak trees have been cut and sold
      by the mosque
      this land serves to support the water tank
      which is now exposed
      it is an extremely dangerous situation
      during the monsoon rains the earth is washed away
      and the main road is flooded
      the CMC officials have been advised
      who are responsible for the administration
      widespread corruption is the main cause

  3. jamis banda

    The Buddhists and Muslims have been living in harmony ever since this mosque was constructed and now commercialization of sacred dambulla where people used to relax their minds has only ended in unnecessary conflicts. Businessman are to be blamed and not the politicians they have now decided on relocation of the mosque due to pressure. Relocating the mosque would be the ideal solution where the Muslims can pray in peace. Mr. Hakeem should agree and at the same time convince the Muslims rather than start an unwarranted communal war. Allah is so merciful and he is above all and the sole owner of the universe we are here only on a short journey so allow the Lord of the universe to decide. We must win the confidence of all the people of this country immaterial of their religion. Hope Mr. Hakeem who is an intelligent man would soon take the right decision and win the hearts of all the people of this beautiful country our Sri Lanka.

  4. The Govt is playing with fire and this country will never learn it seems. This nonsense of sacred areas must stop the whole country must be declared sacred and protected by all.If not so we already would not have most of the country as one. A big lesson learnt last 30 years is not got into the head. The is a multi religious and multi ethinic country what ever anyone says and if not it will be the end of Sri Lanka. How about the mosque next to the kandy temple and even in Kataragama? Better the priest of Dambulla first remove the Kasippu dens etc and the cricket ground etc in his area where liquor is taken and he would be doing something good. Send Mervin Silva he has at least some sense in these matters to put the priest right.

  5. Robert

    This is an unwanted matter to create a communal problem by the monk who
    are too greedy for looting the properties of the minority people in this country and
    he do not know the consequences of this incident. I would like to bring to the
    notice of the priest who involved in this incident that in any case if the mosque in
    question is demolished there is possibility of the anger of the muslim countries
    all over the world, specially the middle-east countries, where the sri lankans are
    employed in millions and earns foreign exchange to this country and if this demo-
    lition of the mosque go head then this country will have to face the following
    consequences, such as :
    1. Sri Lankans who are not muslims employed in the middle-east countries will
    be driven off from their employment,
    2. Buying of tea, rubber etc. by the middle-east countries will be stopped and
    3. Selling of oil from the middle-east countries to Sri Lanka will be stopped.
    Can this country able to stand for these type of actions, while the people now
    suffers due to increase of the oil price in every respect, can this country effort to
    face these sufferings ? Please explain these matters to the Priest who took part
    in the demonstration for god sake.

  6. MYH

    It is better to move the move the mosque to different place, but if this happens the monks are not going to stop anytime sooner… i think its better to do this in a civilized manner, solve it in the court …

  7. Does your moderation work like the snail or like other reputed international papers?????????????

  8. Kapilavastu

    It is indeed very very strange that in this modern era, whether it be Buddhists, Muslims, Christians or Hindus, they cannot seem to get away from their stone-age mentality.
    Another thing I would like to query, how long has the mosque been there? How is it that the Buddhist monks came to know about it only last week? Is there some sinister hand behind this.
    The Sinhala people had been accused of discrimination against the Tamils – After two decades of war – Is the Sinhala community trying to establish the veracity of this accusation, that they do not tolerate any body, whether it be Tamils, Muslims, Christians or Hindus. There was a wave of attacks on all churches in the recent past.

  9. LIMA

    who say sri lanka is a buddhist coutnry, which idiot say , if it is buddhist country , then do you find buddhist monks beign drug deaalers , womanizers , alcoholics , fathers children at their will , robb others , commid murder ,
    this country belongs to the citizen of sri lanka born in this part of the earth , no body can claim it is a buddhist country , mind you that.

  10. move the cricket stadium whihc is not scared to bodisum

  11. Mervyn

    Mr. Hakeem, to avoid further antoginisms between you should provide the following information to the public domain ( to the Newspapers, Internet, and to the Govt. ). That is:

    (1) The date this piece of land that your followers are planning to construct the mosque was purchase.
    (2) The name of the party who sold this piece of land to the reponsible people.
    (3) Does your responsible people posses a deed of ownership to this piece of land, (please provide the No. of the deed)
    (4) When was it egistered in the land registry, reference the change of ownership of the land (pl. provide the resgistration No. assigned by the land registry).
    (5) Were your people aware of that this piece of land belongs to the Buddhist Sacred Zone, Dambulla.
    (6) When they became aware that this land belongs to Dambulla Buddhist Temple, did they in writing inform the responsibe authorities that an illegal sale of land had taken place and they should revert it back and refund their money.
    (7) When did you submitted the plans to the respective approval authorities, knowingly that this land does belongs to the Sacred Zone of Dambulla Buddhist Temple.
    (8) Was it approved by the proper approval authorities, if so who approved it and when.
    (9) When did the responsible people informed the Chief Incumbant of the Dambulla Temple in writing that your people are planning to construct a mosque at this location which was purchased from the name of the previous owner.
    (10) What was his reaction, did he approve it in writing, if so when (please provide copy of the original).
    (11) If it was purchased for a sum why can’t your people construct it at another location in the same area but outside the demarcated Sacred Zone , Dambulla Temple.
    (12) By insisting that your people now with your knowledge, that they are going to construct the mosque at this disputed location, are you also plannig to support to spread the ANTAGONISM further. Please answer these question to clear the confusion and if your responsible people had done this illegal act knowingly, then inform them they should not be arrogant and accept the alternative to avoid undue disturbances. You being the Justice Minister of the Govt. you should take the inititative to educate the people to behave intelligently within the leagal frame work.

  12. Mahesh Perera

    Muslims why did you vote this government ? Are you still planning to vote for them in coming elections ?

  13. Ariyapala

    Muslims will never relocate.

    There are allready 3,000 mosques built in Sri Lanka.

    Sinhalese can jump into ocean.

  14. The present Dambulla Mosque is a do or die Question for the Government, and specially when the answer is a “yes” or “No” to a question, mostly, 90% of the time the answer given is wrong because, it was not thoroughly stuied inittially.

  15. Mohan

    UN allowed Sri Lanka to investigate their own War Crimes. Do we need any court system anywhere in the world, then.

    Sri Lanka has a permission or will have the permission from UN to even destroy the Mosque.

  16. No wonder people are loosing interest in your paper and your sales are dropping by your lethargic attitude towards your readers. Kick your moderator out he must be working for your competitor. What a shame the Leader has gone to now?????????????

  17. vintage voter

    SLMC !!!!!!! THEY ARE SPLIT IN TWO !!!!





  18. jaliya

    We should protest against Muslim businesses. We call upon all Buddhists to refrain from doing business with Muslims, who seeks to profit from us and rob our lands on the same time!

    • das

      Any lankan who has not lost touch with reality (or ostensibly pretending to be ultra-democratic) would agree that Muslims are a very communal minded racist lot, and would even defend even murder if the murderer is a muslim and the victim is a non-muslim. Hence this issue would simply not get the sympathy of any non-muslim.

  19. union

    Why did saffroon thugs are behaving like blood hunts?

    • atheist

      If there is no evidence of a mosque relocate it.

      But the saffron wearing thugs and the people involved in this should be brought before court for their unruly behavior. I heard a Mr. Gamanpilla saying that if there is religious violence the blame should go to the law enforcement agencies not to these saffron wearing criminals who take the law into there hands.

      Otherwise it will be a bad example. I also have concerns about law enforcement in this country but yet I do not go about enforcing it in my way.


  20. kudu

    mini temple being built inside the Elie House Playground
    taken over by the CMC as a storage depot
    for widening the Aluthmawathe road
    CMC officials have been advised
    Mayor has been advised
    still work continues
    CMC workers using thuggery and Intimidation
    against the citizens in the area

  21. farzan

    good job

  22. Fusion

    As a Buddhists I am saying this out loud! The mosque should NOT be relocated! In fact Buddhists should help refurbish it. I honestly hope the GoSL won’t bow to those robbed thugs & lunatics in Dambulla. Did lord Buddha and his disciples go around shouting hatred and demanding the demolition of non-Buddhists structures? WTH!? These fake-monk infestations in civil life, including entering politics has become a real menace to this country.

  23. samarasekara


    why muslim congers seeking the solution beyond the low?

    Because nothing but they aware if they go to caurt it might prove that they illegally encrouched in sacreat dambulla viharay’s property and it may leads an unfavourable decision as they they got KOORAGALA.

    What happend in KOORAGALA buddhist anciant temple.Here too muslims played same card as what played in ANURADHAPURA. As far as concern in KOORAGALA .Finally they changed name of the place as DAFTAR JEILANEE. Although buddhists consider that saying lie, is a sin, The kuran permitted muslims to tell lie.

    What was the court order on KOORAGALA?

    The court rejected their claims and order to exple them from KOORAGALA anciant site. Name of the defendents are MOHAMED CARDER SAIBU and AHAMED JAWARD The judment date is 20.04.2012.


  24. ABDUL



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