This seems to be the basic BBS gameplan (for fucking up everything we’ve worked so hard to build after the war). It’s a cycle of outrage, riot, fear, repeat.
It’s like the eightfold path to not being a Buddhist:
1) Find or manufacture an outrage
3) Bring a mob
5) Hope for a counter-reaction
6) Riot some more
7) Wait for the government to tell ‘both sides’ to calm down
For example, take Aluthgama
1) The BBS gets mad about some Muslim kids yelling at a monk’s driver
2) They distort the story so that it becomes some kids beating up a monk
3) The bring 7,000 jobless people, largely from outside
4) These people riot, burning, looting and targeting places in a premeditated way
5) Some Muslims try to defend themselves
6) The BBS thugs continue being zombie warlords
7) The government says extremists on both sides got out of hand
8) And then they tried to do it again in Badulla
Badulla? What happened there? Well, nothing, because it is possible to stop this bullshit. See what happened there.
1) Some girls claim that they’re being filmed in a Muslim shop. By DBS’s report they weren’t, there was nothing on the phones of the accused and nothing apparent in the changing room or on the CCTV cameras outside.
2) BBS types come and assault the shop and the shopkeepers
Now we’re up to the incident stage, which is where it gets remarkable. The police do their jobs, they investigate the allegations, find nothing to support them and arrest the mob that attacked the shop.
3) The BBS holds a demonstration on the 16th asking for their thugs to be released, which gets nowhere. They plan a bigger rally to inspire a pogrom against Muslim businesses.
Which is where things get interesting again. The courts ban the rally. The police enforce it. It’s not like things are magical in Badulla, but they’re not zombie apocalypse like Aluthgama.
So it is possible to stop this. If the police and courts prevent people from inciting violence, you don’t get violence. What’s great is that this is actually built into our Constitution. I never thought I’d be happy to say this, but I get it now. We have restrictions on fundamental rights, including the right to speech.
15. (2) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(a) [free speech] shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony or in relation to parliamentary privilege, contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
15. (7) The exercise and operation of all the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 12, 13(1), 13(2) and 14 shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security, public order and the protection of public health or morality, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or of meeting the just requirements of the general welfare of a democratic society.
In Sri Lanka we have these restrictions largely for national security issues. If ethnic tensions, if rioting break out it’s a threat to all the people and the state. That sort of violence is unpredictable and it can spool out over generations. That’s why it’s so important that the courts and the police do what they did in Badulla.
Restrict rallies that threaten racial and religious harmony and marches which incite people to violence. It’s in the interest of national security and it is possible to nip this ignorant, incredibly dangerous violence in the bud.