Please leave us alone; a voice from Muslim community

Two Muslim traders in Katthankudy were injured by an unidentified group when they returned home from Arayampathi at around 6.30pm today. This is causing tension as Muslim people in the area believe that it was done by the Karuna faction.

On January 3, Kattankudy Muslim traders were not allowed to enter the market and were sent away by an unidentified group, believed to be the Karuna group, in Arayampathi. At the same time Palamunai to Kattankudy bus services were stopped near Karbala by them. This incident increased tension among the Muslim and Tamil communities. A team under the Kattankudy UC (Urban Council) chairman tried to get an appointment with TMVP to discuss this matter but that has no yet been possible. During the last few years there have been a lot of issues over Karbala land ownership between both communities. Lot of suspicion arose as a result.

The Muslim community is living peacefully and in tolerance with other communities of Sri Lanka. They don’t like war even today. They never claimed separate land or state or ruling government till yet. So far the Sri Lankan rulers trust them and gave responsible duty in the history.

When the conflict began in the north-east region in the 1970s, the revolution concept was taking root among the Tamil community. Because that time the cold war and communist revolutions were spreading all over the South Asian region specially. Due to this, Tamil parties tried to keep the seats among the Tamil communities political wise, but finally it has changed as an armed war. During that time they tried to get help from the Muslim community. Therefore they used ‘brain wash’ methods to attract Muslim youth in the name of minorities’ rights freedom fighters. They said we are fighting for the Muslims rights also.

In Srilankan conflict situation Muslim community has been used from the period of ‘Tamil Arasu Katchi’ (under Selve Nayagham) to TMVP. There were lots of agreements, proposals and promises let for the Muslim community from the Tamil parties time to time, as Selva-Ashreff agreement, Hakeem-Praba agreement and LTTE-Civil Societies agreement, however thereafter they are screwed and cheated the Muslim communities and leaders. In the historical line, they tried to create the impression among the Muslim community that we are fighting to rights of Muslim also. Under the attraction of this term Muslims help them and lost many innocent youth in the battle field in past at several times as they know. After 1990 Muslim community identified their nonsense promises and they try to choose private ways to find solution to their problems. Especially political was only choice for them.

However, unidentified third parties and foreign influences have created internal issues among both communities, so far the LTTE, EPDP, TNA, and EPRLF killed hundreds of Muslim cardres who were working with them jointly in the past. The home guard division was established by the government, and they used Muslims for the battle field against the LTTE.

Now the government divides the LTTE faction in to two parties to reduce LTTE strength. They are using Karuna’s faction to control the LTTE in the eastern part. The Karuna faction includes lot of Muslim supports. Now the Karuna’s faction has been strengthened. They are ruling several parts unofficially in the east. It could become a headache for the Government in the future. At the same time the Sri lankan government is going to enroll 3,000 Muslim people into the army regiment under a Muslim regiment. At the same time inside the eastern province little issues are spreading day by day. So the people are wondering whether Muslim youth are going to be used for the future battle with Karuna’s faction?

Such questions are worrying the Muslim community. They are afraid regarding these strategic policies. The total Muslim community is requesting to all parties that please leave us to live peacefully in Sri Lanka.

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  • David Blacker

    Well, don’t you think it’s a bit too late to be saying ‘leave us alone’? The Muslim community of the east has at various times taken sides in this conflict (or been forced to). The Army used Muslims extensively in special operations units like the LRRPs and in Int. Also, from your own words, CRep, there are conflicts at groundlevel between Muslims & Tamils in the east (land ownership issues in Karbala for instance). So how realistic is it for Muslims to say they want nothing more to do with the issues?

    Something that also puzzles me is the accusation that Muslim businessmen are being harrassed and intimidated by the TMVP. Since you say there are many Muslims in the TMVP (their spokeesman is a Muslim, I believe), why would they be doing this?

  • Vadakathayan

    David: Perhaps this article will help explain what’s going on. It’s by DBS Jeyaraj and comes with his biases, but it should give you some idea of what’s causing the TMVP-Muslim problems

    http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/267