The Sunday Leader

Sinhale Campaign Raises Alarms

A bus with the Sinhale sticker

A van with the Sinhale sticker

A gate in Nugegoda spray painted with the word Sinhale

by Easwaran Rutnam

A bus with the Sinhale sticker

It started with vehicles having stickers saying ‘Sinhale’ but that soon spread to walls of Muslim-owned houses in Nugegoda being spray painted with the same words.

The police said they are investigating the spray painting incident and will take appropriate action on those accused of being involved.

The ‘Sinhale’ or Sinhala blood campaign is being promoted by opposition UPFA Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila and the Sinhale National Movement.

The campaign has drawn mixed reactions on social media with many opposing what could result in fresh tensions erupting between the Muslim and Sinhalese community.

The issue had been discussed among members of the cabinet last week and concerns were raised that the campaign may lead to communal clashes.

Human rights groups, which have been pushing for a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka where the rights of all communities are protected, have also raised concerns over the ‘Sinhale’ campaign.

“Reports of new campaigns that may seek to sow hatred and incite discrimination, hostility or even violence against minorities in Sri Lanka are deeply concerning. The past years in Sri Lanka have seen a disturbing trend where some political leaders have sought to manufacture religious tensions. This has resulted in a jump in attacks on religious minorities like Christians and Muslims. Sri Lanka’s political leaders must do more to stop this trend, not try to add fuel to the fire,” Olof Blomqvist, Press Officer Asia/Pacific at Amnesty International told The Sunday Leader.

He noted that while recently proposed legislation against hate speech was too broad and replicated language from the PTA that has in the past been used to restrict freedom of speech and punish dissent, the government of Sri Lanka needs to send a very clear message that it will not tolerate incitement to violence.

“Ending impunity for past attacks on minorities would help drive that message home,” he added.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka urged the government to arrest those responsible for the spray painting of the word ‘Sinhale’ on the walls of Muslim residents in Nugegoda.

President of the Muslim Council N. M. Ameen told The Sunday Leader they were monitoring the developments arising from the ‘Sinhale’ campaign.

Gammanpila meanwhile says no one can challenge the fact that Sri Lanka is ‘Sinhale’ and that even historically, pre-independence, Sri Lanka was recognized as a Sinhala nation.

The campaign has spread so fast that even some police motorbikes were seen last week carrying the ‘Sinhale’ stickers.

The Sinhale National Conference says the Tamil, Sinhala and Burger communities in Sri Lanka lived together in the past.

A gate in Nugegoda spray painted with the word Sinhale

The Venerable Yakkalamulle Pawara Thero said that all communities accepted the Sri Lanka national flag and lived in Sri Lanka recognizing it as a Sinhala nation.

However, he claims minority political parties divided Sri Lanka from being a Sinhala nation to a nation recognizing all communities.

He said that monks had in the past fought for the nation and some even sacrificed their lives to protect the Sinhalese identity of Sri Lanka.

The Ven. Pawara Thero said that their organization will not allow the ‘uprising’ that they are taking forward to be politicized.

He said that youth in several parts of the country are supporting the campaign to protect the Sinhala nation.

Monks have in the past pushed for a Sinhala only nation and this led to violent communal clashes. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was the most prominent organization which led a campaign against some Muslim beliefs when the former government was in power.

However once the new government took office, the BBS went silent. The Sihala Ravaya, another group of monks who were known to be responsible for attacks on churches, has also taken a back seat after the new government came to power.

However now the emergence of the new group led by the Venerable Yakkalamulle Pawara Thera has raised fears of fresh tensions in what has been a rather peaceful atmosphere after January 8 last year. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that intelligence reports on the activities of those attempting to promote ‘Sinhale’ have been gathered and it has been found that a journalist was also involved.

The minister said the government has no issue with anyone campaigning against the government but there is an issue if anyone attempts to create communal clashes.

He said that stern action would be taken in the near future to prevent any attempt to destabilize the country.

 

16 Comments for “Sinhale Campaign Raises Alarms”

  1. Saman

    What those people have to do is to add another letter before Sinhale to read ASinhale. අසිංහලේ That’s all.

  2. Riyas

    Is there any historic reason to prove Sri Lanka was a sinhala Buddhist country. Was Sri Lanka a BUddhist country at the time of the arrival of Arahath Mahinda. What was the religion and race of the King Devanam Piyatissa.

  3. Promotors of this racial organization should be promptly crushed otherwise it will create dissension among ethnic group that could develop into an unwanted situation. People like Gomonpilla should be told hat greater consequences will follow if they instigate this kind of situation. Please act now without delay arrest the ones who create disharmony among people

  4. Rata Perata

    All parayas’ ..leave the country now. . .!! You have been warned ..!

  5. Sensible

    How nice if Buddhist monks practice Lord Buddha’s teachings instead of creating mayhem in the country. Which sutra promotes racism?

  6. Nalini

    Rise up against the Indian imperialism and colonialism. British were the absentee land lords.

  7. asdf

    i dont see anything wrong in sinha le but vandalizing is not right, this must stop. by the way im not a Sinhalese but a sri lankan

  8. When Muslims pasted Saudi Flag on their vehicles and business ventures, nothing was done to correct that act. We keep seeing boards written in Arabic language all over Sri Lanka. Why? Is Arabic an official language in Sri Lanka. First of all, take action to remove such acts before take action against Sinhale.

  9. mali

    sinhala people can not talk for their rights to this country..although they are the majority and they are the ancient nation who belongs and fought for this country and its foreign invasion. This is a sinhala country as UK is an anglo sacsan and ireland is Irish catholic and France ,Australia India etc carry its ancient and majority people’s identity.
    Tamils has their own country India and Tamilnadu they can go thier any time they want and almost every tami’ls relatives and ancestors living there.Muslims have all middle east backing for their requirements and they are supporting them in every means .Where is a sinhala country ? show us anywhere in this world .Is anyone helping sinhalese if something hppens to them ? That itself proves this is sinhalese country and one and only for them .
    so all sinhalese have to fight for the protection of their country.
    greedy ignorant politicians who have not learnt any world or srilankan history or politics do not know anything about our heritage .They want one thing to stay in power selling every possible bit to minorities..people should gather to get rid of all these political crooks who carry racist card to patriotic sinhalese to crush them onbehalf of minority racists like TNA and Muslim congress.

  10. daggy

    “The ‘Sinhale’ or Sinhala blood campaign is being promoted by opposition UPFA Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila and the Sinhale National Movement.”

    It could be a possibility that the “spray painting” be the work of some mischief making Government Party stooges or infact the work of the Government to divert attention of the rising cost of living.
    Rice packet increase and other pastries * the newly proposed Constitution ammendment bill??

    Anything is possible.

  11. We have to live in Peace, in this pretty island of Sri-Lanka. We cannot live like ISIS terrorists. Buddhist principles tolerate co-existence. Find a way to live in Peace.

    Henry

  12. gabriella

    Here we go again ! It is time all devout Buddhist people in Sri Lanka spoke out against these scum in robes trying to continually incite communal hatred. It is also time that politicians realized that religion and politics are two different entities and shouldn’t be mixed.

  13. Rita

    MR’s indifferent and biased attitude towards BBS brought his downfall and same fate will be there for MS and RW if actions are not taken against mischievous elements , in their capacities as President and Prime Minister( and not as Budhist leaders.) None have any issue with SINHA LE or Sinhalese , but their freedom ends where the other man’s nose begins.-

  14. Dominic

    I pity this particular movement more in fact than the rest of what has been cropping up so far. Considering what is going on in the world right now, are they that blind that they do not see how patient and tolerating the Muslims are in this country?
    Considering the fact that we barely got off a 30 year brutal civil war, for which might i remind you that, if you are looking for someone to blame, the ones calling themselves Sinhalese, need only to look at a mirror.
    This has all the signs that stage a futile attempt to create some sort of drama with in the country and who knows, perhaps they might even get what they want. If the Muslims who are now an intricate part of the Sri Lankan society is to fight back, i would not blame them. In fact for what its worth, i would even consider it the right thing to do. There is only so much oppression one can take and trust me, there will be that one straw that will break the camels back.

  15. Classified

    I am a Buddhist and a Sinhalese too.
    Just like U.Gammanpila always does here’s another radical racial movement. They have nothing to promote except racism. Unfortunately, some of our Sinhalese people (a considerable number) also very undisciplined (there are equally undisciplined Tamils, Muslims and Christians too). All Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians and Muslims must act in a responsible manner for the betterment of human race. We very much denounce all movements like SinhaLe and if Muslims and Christians also can deny such movements flatly then people like U.Gamma have no other option than resigning from politics.

  16. suresh olagama

    Mr Minister ,

    gathering information is all well and good but you need to nip it in the bud before this blows out of proportion, and isn’t it a violation of the constitution to de-face the National Flag witch is what this organisation has done, so there’s your evidence to take action against thees people who are trying create mayhem in the country.

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