Friday, 20 September 2013

State-Sponsored Terrorism and Racism in Sri-Lanka

Since Sri-Lanka’s independence in 1948, Sri Lanka’s Tamils have been killed, kidnapped, raped, robbed, displaced and arbitrarily detained by the Sri-Lankan government.

The persecution of Sri-Lanka’s Tamils started with the passage of the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948. It denied citizenship to one million Tamils.

The Act was inspired by Adolph Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws of 15 September 1935, which provided: “A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He cannot exercise the right to vote.”

The 1958 Sinhalese Only Act was a landmark in the history of Tamil oppression. It generally excluded or handicapped Tamils in public or private employment, education, housing or welfare.

Sri-Lankan regimes have been involved in state-sponsored terrorism for more than 40 years while pretending to be a peaceful Buddhist country. In fact, Sri-Lankan Buddhism is an extreme version that is similar to the Talibans' ideology.

The government has organized race riots in response to peaceful Tamil protests. In July 1983, Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene supplied armed gangs of Sinhalese with voter lists to identify Tamil homes and businesses. He incited the thugs to hack Tamils to death in their houses, offices, and places of work.
Thousands of Tamils were murdered. None of the murderers was prosecuted by the government; and, no compensation was paid to the Tamil victims.

People were burned alive in their cars. Women were raped. In Colombo and provincial towns, soldiers stood by and even supplied petrol. In two pogroms in the biggest prison, Sinhalese inmates killed 53 of their Tamil counterparts.

The statement of J.R. Jayawardene to the Daily Telegraph on 11 July 1983 while state organized race riots were slaughtering Tamils by the thousands and displacing more than 100,000: “I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people…now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion…the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here…Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhalese people will be happy.”

Remembering Sri Lanka's Black July 1983:

In 2004, the previous President Chandrika Kumaratunga gave a public apology to Tamils for Black July, likening it to Nazism.

At their recent rallies, the most prominent new hard-line group, the Buddhist Strength Force (Bodu Bala Sena, BBS) have used coarse, derogatory language to describe Muslim imams and have told the Sinhalese majority not to rent property to Muslims.

Dayan Jayatilleka, a former Sri-Lankan diplomat, calls the BBS an "ethno-religious fascist movement from the dark underside of Sinhala society".

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