The Sunday Leader

“Victims Must Be Compensated”- Minister

By Camelia Nathaniel

With the mayhem that was caused by mobs in the Aluthgama and Beruwela areas last week, various parties have expressed their displeasure regarding the indifference shown by the law enforcement authorities. Even politicians within the government have voiced their displeasure at the incident and have called for action to be taken against the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
Speaking to The Sunday Leader the Minister of Industry and Commerce and Member of Parliament, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that his party had appealed to the President to take action against the BBS and its general secretary Rev. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero. In an interview with The Sunday Leader the Minister said that even though he was a member of the Government, there was nothing the Government could do but ensure that the incidents of this nature should never be repeated in the country. He said that the Government has to compensate those who were affected by the incidents and those responsible had to be dealt with severely.

Following are excerpts of the interview;

Q. With the Aluthgama incident there has been numerous allegations leveled against the Government that the situation was not handled appropriately which led it to spiral out of control. How would you respond to it?
A. In this incident the Government cannot do much other than taking legal measures to bring those responsible to book. There were three deaths reported and many were injured including loss of property. However the Government can only do justice to the victims through legal measures. Moreover those who were involved in this incident must be punished severely in order to deter others from following the same path.

Q. Do you think that with this incident there is a certain degree of division within the government?
A.  I don’t want to comment against any of my fellow ministers but as leaders of the Muslim community we made certain requests to the President asking that this be the last time such incidents to take place, and that the Government must ensure the safety of its entire people. The Government has to ensure that compensation is paid to all those who were affected by this incident. However no amount of compensation could bring back those who lost their lives in this incident. At least now all these extremists whoever they may be should stop all their actions and unite to ensure a peaceful Sri Lanka.

Q. In spite of the numerous provocative actions of the BBS over the past, why has the Government failed to take any action so far and what is your stand on it?
A. Well Ever since the BBS was formed they have been trying to instigate racial tensions among the various religious factions in the country. It is now time to put an end to this and we have called upon the Government to ban the BBS and take legal action against Gnanasara thero for his actions.

Q. With Ramazan approaching and fasting to commence shortly, how will the Muslims who were affected by this incident cope?
A. The President has instructed minister Gajadheera to handle the payment of compensation and we expect that it will be carried out expeditiously in time for the fasting season.

Q. With many allegations leveled against the police accusing them of being inactive during the riots, have you called for any action against the police?
A. Of course the police should be held accountable for the mayhem that was caused as they did nothing to prevent the mobs from creating such destruction.
If the police had acted on the requests that were made to them by several parties calling for the BBS protest rally to be stopped, all this destruction could have been averted. This got out of hand due to the indifference of the police and yes they have to be held accountable.

4 Comments for ““Victims Must Be Compensated”- Minister”

  1. Sylvia Haik

    The police inaction during the mayhem is understandable. Their ultimate chief, Gotabaya Rajapakse had openly shown support to the BBS and it would indeed be a courageous policeman who takes any action against the BBS and damage his or her prospects in the force.

  2. muslim ministers must resign from the government.ifyou realy work for muslim community,ministers are immoral in there work. cabinet meeting muslim ministers unable to sole the muslim religion.why not resign from minister post forthwith.

  3. Jay

    Why has the thug in robes not been arrested yet? ……what do you plan to do?……you and the rest of the government muslim mp”s should resign for the
    sake of the people they claim to represent ……it’s the presidents brother who is part and parcel of this bbs group…….why is the police personnel who were in charge not sacked yet or suspended?

  4. M F Rasheed

    No action is required against anyone BBS or anyone else. Just compensation and rehabilitation is more than enough. Gone has gone and lets look towards future.

    It is the Government and ruling body should decide whether to punish or forgive those who instigated this violence leading to loss of property, lives and defaming the country at such a serious time frame when the International Community (UN) extend its iron first towards Sri Lanka.

    I wish Buddhist organizations will come forward to extend their generous contribution in compensating some losses like the way they did in the case of Rizana Nafeek. Such action only be a long time cure for this kind of hatred companion.

Comments are closed

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes