The Sunday Leader

Justice Minister Draws Flak

by Hilmy Ahamed

  • The MCSL calls for action on the blasphemous statements
  • Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is on record saying there is no evidence of IS activity in Sri Lanka
  • The Bodu Bala Sena resurfaced with their racist agenda by coming forward to contest the parliamentary elections

Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero and Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is seen as a blatant liar by the Muslim community. He has become Yahapalanaya’s unofficial patron of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and its controversial leader the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. He has elevated this prelate, who was once fined by the Court of law for drunk driving, to the levels of the respected and Most Venerable Malwatte and Asgiriya Mahanayakes, to be accorded the privilege of sitting at meetings with the President and other highly respected religious leaders of the country.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s fabrications include racist and malicious accusations targeted against the Muslim community, which he promotes through his Facebook page by paying for boosting his posts amongst the Buddhist community. This is clear evidence of his political hatred of the Muslim community and subscribing to extremist Buddhist racism.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s lies include defending of the frequent racist accusations by the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero targeting the Muslim community of destroying the Buddhist archaeological sites and trespassing in archaeological reserves. Being the Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister, he shamelessly declared that a Muslim had forged the deeds of a temple in the Batticaloa District and sold it to a Tamil who had destroyed a Chaitya.

Why did he choose to make public statement to the media without taking recourse through his Attorney General and the Justice system? Being a President’s Counsel and a lead lawyer, he is well aware of laws related to forgery. If anyone had forged a deed, the law has to take its course, whether they are Muslim, Sinhala or Tamil. He is also sympathetic to the other extremist Buddhist monk in Batticaloa, Ampitiye Sumana Thero, who has been charged for pirating electricity, and is on a rampage against the Tamils in the area, publicly threatening government officials with death. Another clear evidence of his racist agenda in support of his masters in the anti-minority camp to drive the minorities away from continuing their support for the Yahapalanaya administration.

Earlier, he courted controversy by claiming under parliamentary privileges that there were 32 Sri Lankan Muslims who had joined the Islamic State, formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS, (also known as Daesh, ISIL or simply Islamic State). IS is an extremist violent militant group in Iraq and Syria influenced by radical movements with ulterior political agendas. It claims as its objective – to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state in Sunni majority regions of Iraq and Syria. There has been widespread suspicion that the Western governments, Israel and USA, finance the Islamic State. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s claim of Muslim IS participation caused a huge uproar within and outside the Parliament. Muslim Parliamentarians from the government benches, where Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe sits, tore his accusations to pieces implying that he was lying in support of a political agenda against the Yahapalanaya. Many of the Parliamentarians and Civil Society have called on the President and Prime Minister to remove him from the post of Justice Minister.

Former Rajapaksa strong man and Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is on record saying there is no evidence of IS activity in Sri Lanka. Four overseas Sri Lankans (Muslims) have gone to Syria on humanitarian work with their families. Two are suspected to have joined the fighting forces and one was killed in June 2015. The defence intelligence units have confirmed this and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had access to this information. Yet he chose to cause controversy and mislead the nation. Many Sri Lankans suspect Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe of playing to the dictates of Mahinda Rajapaksa to destabilize the government and bring him back to power by forcing the minorities away from Yahapalanaya.

Social Media reports have highlighted his connection to Avant Garde and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with photographic evidence of his family trip with the family of Avant Garde Boss Nissanka Senadhipathi to Disney World in California, United States of America, supposedly sponsored by Avant Garde Maritime Services. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on numerous occasions has vowed that he will not allow the arrest of former defence Secretary,  Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for any excesses during his term as Defence Secretary during the decade long Rajapaksa rule.

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), which had gone underground with the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015, resurfaced with their racist agenda by coming forward to contest the parliamentary elections. The majority of the peace loving Buddhists rejected them and a mere 20,337 voted for them island wide. It was clear evidence of the rejection by the vast majority of Sinhala Buddhists of the hate campaign targeted towards Muslim and other religious minorities. It has been rumoured that Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has teamed up with extremist Buddhist groups to support the Rajapaksa camp to drive away the Muslim votes from the current administration by his actions as a government minister, implying that the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is sympathetic to Buddhist extremism. The Attorney General’s Department (AG) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) have not taken any action against the five complaints made at Police headquarters and 44 cases in the Aluthgama Magistrate’s Courts against the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero on the Aluthgama violence.

Gnanasara Thero, the radical extremist head of Bodu Bala Sena, continues to create hate and blaspheme the Muslims, Islam, our holy Prophet and Almighty Allah. In a video released to social media on or about the 1st of December 2016, Gnanasara Thero says as follows:

“Kuragala is a historically important place where over 12,000 monks resided.  Some consider this place the Diva Guhawa because there is a beautiful plane there. But Sailani Muslims took over this place. Now this is a bloody problem.  There is no God. This God doesn’t even have a face. So we ask what testicles are they showing? If I put it simply, since we have to speak in ‘pure Sinhala’, which is understood by everyone, what is this religion?

This place has a name given by the Whites. They’ve destroyed all the Buddhist countries like Afghanistan. They’ve come here now to pray saying they’re praying to God.  They say that this is close to our culture. They make us feel that their faith is like ours, that there is nothing wrong if they too pray there. This is a trick they’re playing on us. This is how they caught Kuragala. During the season who comes there? Princes and princesses from the Middle East. They take over this place. Then they make a connection from Kuragala to Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak).  They will say this is Diva guhawa where God urinated. Then they’ll say God kept His foot on Adam’s Peak, because, Allah is a big octopus. He urinates in one place. He defecates in another place. That’s what they say. They say the whole world is Allah’s. We cannot let this fairy tale continue. We say this has to stop. No matter which powerful person intervenes, we will go on. We ask the Government not to test the patience of our youth.”

This again is clear evidence of extremists who are at the beck and call of political animals that were hell bent on destabilising the hard earned peace and reconciliation under the Yahapalanaya government. The Muslim community, who were under extremist attacks throughout the Rajapaksa regime, breathed a sigh of relief on January 9th with the election of President Maithripala Sirisena. Almost the entire minority community voted en-block to defeat the Rajapaksa regime mainly due to their support for Buddhist extremists, their racist campaigns and alleged corruption.

There has been widespread suspicion that the defence intelligence masterminded many controversies of racial hatred during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. In addition to handling the Bodu Bala Sena, it is suspected that they also helped and were handling the Muslim group called the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaath (SLTJ), which follows the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath headed by its controversial leader P. Jainulabdeen.

In April 2013, SLTJ’s Abdul Razick raised ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka by his verbal abuse of the noble religion of Buddhism and Lord Buddha in particular. His charge of cannibalism by Lord Buddha and ridiculing the triple gem to mean just three stones, landed him in court based on a complaint filed by the Ven. Soranathota Chandrarathana Thero with the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). The allegation was that the SLTJ released video footage, which insulted Lord Buddha and the Sinhala Buddhist community. A little known fact that did not attract any media attention was that the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema and Muslim Civil Society also intervened in Court and pleaded with the Magistrate to sentence Abdul Razick and six others with maximum punishment.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa confidante and President’s Counsel Ali Sabry appeared on behalf of the Muslims against Razick. Azath Salley, the leader of the National Unity Alliance too intervened through his Attorney N. M. Shaheed and appealed to the Magistrate not to grant bail to Abdul Razick for inciting hate.  He was remanded and later released on bail with strict orders to apologize to the Mahanayake Theros. Again, Abdul Razick caused controversy by his abuse of the Ven. Gnanasara Thero during a protest march in November 2016. He was arrested and remanded on charges of violations of his bail condition.

Islam forbids hate mongering and Abdul Razick’s hate mongering has no place in Islam or amongst the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Muslims have vehemently condemned his verbal attack towards the hate mongering extremist Gnanasara Thero, as unislamic. Razick certainly has no sympathizers amongst the Muslim community.

It has long been suspected that the national intelligence unit of the Ministry of Defence had sympathizers of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath who encouraged the SLTJ to incite the larger Buddhist community to hate Muslims to achieve the last government’s political objectives. Against the plea of the Muslims, the Magistrate granted Abdul Razick bail that led to even more suspicion that forces in the Government had sympathy towards the SLTJ.

The first wave of attacks against the Muslims in post war Sri Lanka started in September 2011 at Anuradhapura, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Muslim shrine was over 400 years old. A group of Buddhist monks led a crowd that demolished the Muslim shrine in the presence of senior police personnel. No one was arrested and no action was taken against the monks. Since then, there have been over 600 incidents of hate, violence and intimidation of Muslims.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) initiated a petition to the President and the Prime Minister in November, which was signed by the 21 Muslim Members of Parliament calling on the administration to act on the blasphemous statements of the Ven. GalagodaAththe Gnanasara Thero. The President, who was elected on the considerable votes of the minorities, has totally ignored the call by Muslim Religious, Political and Civil Society leaders to address the re-emergence of the hate campaign by some Buddhist extremists. Instead, he has elevated racist elements like the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero to the level of the Ven. Malwatte and Asgiriya Mahanayake Theros and invited him to sit in at meetings at the Presidential Secretariat. The Muslims are set to send a strong message to the Government at the forthcoming local government elections that their votes cannot be taken for granted. The likely beneficiary would be the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

11 Comments for “Justice Minister Draws Flak”

  1. Noor Nizam

    Mr. Hilmy Ahamed played a very prominent role, behind the scene in the political playing field to cut down former Prisident Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa among the Muslim voters of Sri Lanka, especially in the Colombo Central, Aluthgama and Beruwela. Hilmy Ahamed was the main contact person for Minister Faizer Musthapa to turn coats against President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the very last moment, around the last week/1st week of January 2015.

    Things have changed since a the Presidential Elections – January 8th.,2015 and the General Elections – September 14th., 2015. The duped and hoodwinked Muslim voters who were made to “vote” the “Hansaya” have begun to understand the treachery of these Muslim Civil Society Leaders, Community Leaders, and Ulema Sabai Leaders by the action of the “Yahapalana Government” now. They are “disgruntled” and they have begun to show their displeasure and have begun to retaliate against these so-called deceptive, hoodwinking and opportunistic Muslim Civil Society Society Leaders, Community Leaders and Ulema Sabai Leaders to safeguard their legitimate “Muslim Rights”. They are no more willing to be duped by the press releases and media dramas staged by these stooges of the “Yahapalana Government” anymore.

    The Muslim Youth and the young professionals of the community have begun to use “SOCIAL MEDIA” to challenge these scoundrels. They have begun to oppose the contemplated move by the “Yahapalana Government” to amend the Muslim laws that are in the statute books in Sri Lanka since independence which is a political move by the “Yahapalana Government” to please the European Union in order to expedite the granting of the GSP facilities that are been withheld since 2010. It is also alleged that this is one of the conditions the EU has laid down, if the EU is to restore the GSP + Plus concessions to Sri Lanka. The “Yahapala Government” has no consideration to the Muslim Community issues or the “MUSLIM FACTOR” at all. The “Yahapalana Government” is NOT going listen to the Muslim Civil Society Leaders, Community Leaders and Ulema Sabai Leaders, though they have been making “BIG NOISES” about the “MUSLIM FACTOR” over the last two years, since bringing President Maithripala Sirisena and the Yahapalana government to power with “our tipping the balance” – nearly 800,000 votes plus the tamil votes. The majority President Maithripa Sirisena got was 649,072 votes. Since our vote-bank had been traded by our politicians, the SLMC is dead. The ACMC is busy making money and covering the corruption charges made against them and the Muslim politicians stooging the UNP are ONLY interested in their personal benefits. The ungrateful Muslim politicians who benefited the most from Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa are now stooging the Yahapalana government. As a result of all these deceptions, Muslims in Sri Lanka do NOT have a voice – a POLITICAL VOICE for that purpose.The Yahapalana government (President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremaratne) have forgotten that it was the minority Muslim votes and the Tamil votes and a very small fraction of the Sinhala votes the tipped the balance for the “Hansaya” to win the Presidential Elections in 2015. The en-block Muslim votes and Tamil votes to the Muslim candidates and the Tamil candidates made the Yahapalana government to get their majority in parliament in the 2015 general elections. In the next elections, surely the Muslims are contemplating to vote the “Joint Opposition” to power, Insha Allah.
    Noor Nizamm, Convener “The Muslim Voice”.

  2. A.S.M.Ghazali

    We have to instil good religious values into our children and raise them up with love &respect, only then can they withstand the rigours of external hate influence. Overall our religious & culltural values are dwindling,and the future of unity, amity, peace & harmony seems bleak.The development of technology,speed of communication is certainly not in keeping with religious foundations. Our politicians have to set an example of truthfulness & sincererity in their speeches.

  3. Lima

    THIS WIJEDADA IS ALSO A JARAPAKSA AND RACIST , ROBBER OF AVANTE GARDE. NOW HE DEFENDS THE ROBED TERRORISTS. IF THEY CALL MONKS THEN HOW THEY BECOME TERRORIST TO KILL PEOPLE OF OTHER COMMUNITIES. IF THEY ARE MONKS THEY SHOULD REMAIN IN TEMPLE AND NOT BEG ON THE STREETS TO KILL OTHERS. SO THEY ARE TERRORIST , IT MEANS WOLF IN SHEEP’s CLOTHING

  4. kudson

    looks like most sri-lankan,s willbe looking at the JVP option in elections to come

  5. T. Sooriaperuma

    My heart is vexed to read this article. The President and his government will be at peril if they fail to curb the illegal senseless and malicious activities utterances of racist thugs who masquerade as holy men . Some utterly corrupt and power hungry politicians are hell bent acting in their political interests rather than in national interests. We are being pushed back to dark ages.

    • T. Sooriaperuma

      Venereal Gnansara Thero is the Buddhist face of terrorism in Sri Lanka. at present.. The President is acutely aware that late Mr. S.W.R.D Bandaranayake was shot dead by a Buddhist monk. Instead of chanting pirith and spreading dhamma, some monks are engaged in inciting religious hatred and intolerance . I had the misfortune of viewing videos of saffron clad monks in Aluthgama and Batticaloa using gutter language and behaving in a violent manner. In Batticaloa, a monk was seen to be assaulting police officers in the video. In Aluthgama, the notorious Thero ‘s incendiary speech made racist hooligans to go on a rampage burning Muslim houses and businesses and on a looting and murdering spree. To date, none of these scoundrels have been brought to justice. Can we expect justice for the Tamil victims of the alleged war crimes, in the circumstances. The Sinhalese politicians cling on to power by way of communal and racist politics. They have reaped the rich benefits all these years since independence . They are like the ostrich which buries its head in the sand thereby showing its thinking parts to the world.

  6. Very well written and full of facts, I wonder why the Minister of Justice is doing Injustice to the Muslim community? who’s agenda is he working on?

    • Aruna Dhanapala

      There is absolutely no rights for Buddhists in Muslim countries. Not a single buddhist temple allowed in muslim countries

  7. The justice Minister is the Minister for all communities. This Minister is not fit to be a justice Minister. And must be removed forthwith. The Yahapalana government is taken to the stinking hole by this liar. To the leader of the UNP we do not need people like this in an UNP.
    Azahim Mohamed

  8. Rattapakse

    The problem here is Mr Rajapakse has two conflicting ministries. One is justice and the other is Budha Sasana. The later allows him to sits with the monks, holy or unholy. But the former disallows him to sit with men on bail. The government should insists he should forgo one. But both MS and RW won’t do so and so the minister will do all injustice to the justice ministry he hold.

  9. Aruna Dhanapala

    I was in middle east and not a single buddhist temple allowed there. It is time we control the spread of this religion in our country. This religion is not compatible with Buddhism

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