Pic via @AzzamAmeen
I’ve been out of the game for a minute, in which time the military has fired on protestors in Weliweriya and now a mob has attacked a mosque in Grandpass, at the end of Ramadan no less. It is insanely rude to attack a place of worship at anytime, but on the eve of Ramadan it’s shameful. A Sinhala-douche mob attacked the place, police barely defended it, and then a Muslim mob roused itself to defend the place. Now there’s a continuing curfew and simmering street warfare around Maligawatte. Which is a horrible outcome, which comes from tolerating racism in the first place.
It seems that the government has learned nothing from the past, that a little racism tolerated leads to a little violence then a lot of violence then a lot of problems.
DBS Jeyaraj has the best round-up of the events this weekend. Sadly, this was all predictable as racist forces had been asking that the mosque be removed, literally on the date that the violence happened. In the past the response has been to move the mosque and placate the racists, as in Dambulla. Now, at least, the STF was deployed and it seems like the top government has agreed to move the mosque back to its original location.
Thing is, racism against Muslims is fairly common, in the low-level sense. I know perfectly reasonable people who complain about Muslims moving into neighborhoods and changing them. Like my old landlord, who was a sweet guy, but his basic point was that they were messing up the hood. The line from there to bottling and stoning a mosque on Ramadan is, however, I think a bit far. The fact that this was done to the sound of temple bells is horrifying to me as a Buddhist, I mean, in what universe would the Buddha ever condone such violence and monkey-mindedness?
Racism is bubbling and bubbling in Sri Lanka and there are more than enough signs. Even if this government is not especially compassionate, the should at least have an instinct for self-preservation. Mobs with swords and bottles in Maligawatte is not a good thing.