UN security report sends damaging message

By Easwaran Rutnam

A UN security assessment report issued on last month’s violence in Kandy has raised concerns after it spoke of clashes between Sinhalese and Muslims.

Sri Lanka Project Director of the International Crisis Group Alan Keenan said that the report was dangerously inaccurate.

“Let’s hope this isn’t really how the @UNSriLanka sees last month’s anti-Muslim violence. Speaking of “clashes between the Sinhalese and Muslims” is dangerously inaccurate,” he tweeted.

Foreign Ministry sources said that the Government was looking into the contents of report.

The concern was that the report gave the impression that there were communal clashes Sinhalese and Muslims.

The Government position has been that an organized mob and not the Sinhalese community as a whole were involved in the violence.

The UN report which covers the period of March, notes that the security situation in Kandy was volatile and tense following the clashes between Sinhalese and Muslims which erupted on March 3.

The security report gives in detail the incidents which followed from the day the clashes erupted and action taken by the Government to address the situation.

It also took note of the statements which were made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the incidents, including that he admitted to shortcomings in the maintenance of law and order.

The security report said that no UN staff had been physically affected by the violence but UN movement to Kandy was affected due to the curfew.

The UN report said that the situation was now back to normal.

In its own assessment issued soon after the violence erupted in Kandy, the International Crisis Group had said that there were many factors behind the upsurge of violence against Sri Lankan Muslims.

The events were not seen as local “clashes” between Buddhists and Muslims, but organised and targeted attacks by national-level militant groups who are well known and have made their intentions clear through traditional and social media.

The immediate cycle of violence began with the death on 3 March of a Sinhala Buddhist man in Teldeniya. He had been attacked ten days earlier by four local Muslim men, who were promptly arrested and detained. His death sparked anger and limited violence the next day by local Buddhists, 24 of whom were arrested and held by the police. Demanding the release of these men, leaders of radical Buddhist groups converged on the town with hundreds of their supporters from other districts, who later began attacking mosques and Muslim businesses and homes. Even after the declaration of a state of emergency, violence continued against Muslims in the hills around the town of Kandy.

The International Crisis Group said that the violence marked the resurgence of militant Buddhist groups that first emerged in 2012-2014 with the support of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government. Having ceased during the first two years of the current coalition Government, attacks on Muslims began again over a six-week period in April and May 2017 and for two days in November 2017, with militants apparently emboldened by the Government’s failure to prosecute those responsible for violence and hate speech under the Rajapaksa regime.

6 Comments for “UN security report sends damaging message”

  1. Lima

    THESE CLASHES WAS JOINTLY SPONSORD BY THE CURRENT PRESIDENT AND THE EX-MURDERER / ROBBER MAHINDA JARAPAKSA. ALL PROOFS ARE ON THE TABLE . ANYBODY CAN REQUEST AND SEND EMAIL TO SEND . SUCH NASTY RASCALS. EVEN DURING CURFEW THE POLICE AND ARMY HELPED THE RACIST TO RANSAC THE SHOPS AND DAMAGE THE HOUSES AND ATTACK MOSQUES

    • Appuhamy

      Idiot. It was immediately after the PM “temporarily” took over the Law and Order Ministry that the clashes took place. And immediately, the focus was shifted from the Central Bank robbery and other issues to the riots! So, who do you think is capable of masterminding these things? Its not a coincidence!

  2. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    It is only the president sirisena who is master minding this because his economic policy is in taters and his addiction to solar power can be established has the biggest fraud in the history of our country running into several million of US dollars

  3. David Milli-banda

    Appuhamy, this Lima is wearing blinkers……………..
    Day in day out he sees no other, other than the Ali baba of the 40 thieves.

  4. David Milli-banda

    Maha sangara….. Go, inquire from the Secretary, National Police commission who was asked to leave his post at 67 yrs….. Milibanda is thinking straight.
    Maha sangara seem to be one track mind.

    Because, he called for a report on the teldeniya issue from the IGP.
    They had cited a March/2018 circular.
    Several NPC members has been dismayed….. Why ?

    Sirisena, Ranil and many more are past 67 must not be inducted.

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