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Let’s all come together to face the real issues

by Shyama Basnayake

Statements of racist and religious divisions have made a comeback.

“It is important to express the views of the National People’s Power at a time when a racist political approach is re-emerging. Minister Prof. GL Peiris delivered a very eloquent speech in English on the 4th in Parliament. He spoke about the diverse society in Sri Lanka and the building of a national identity upon it. He called on civil society to work together with the government to achieve peace and reconciliation. But we had a question as to who was addressing this speech. There was also the question of which party he was representing. This is because the government and the various parties it represents are once again making statements of racist and religious divisions. Everyone who has been in power throughout history used racism for power. The current government is a project that used racism very strongly to come to power. They used the social unrest caused by the Easter attack for their power project. Various groups were working to make it a success.”

Cardinal’s intervention

“After the Easter attack, the cardinal intervened to bring about reconciliation in the community. We all appreciate those actions. He acted from the standpoint that justice should be done to the victims. This time again when the Cardinal and others speak for justice we see how they are being subjected to despicable attacks. People who have been silent for a while are coming back to the fore and attacking the Catholic community as well as the Muslim community. We saw how the CID intervened very quickly when making any statement about the Easter attack or criticizing the government. We saw how it intervened very quickly. But the people who make the most controversial statements in the public media are not being investigated. Minister Sarath Weerasekara has stated that the struggle of teachers – which has nothing to do with racism or the Easter attack – will be given the same response as for the terrorists. The Minister has stated that he will stand up for the relevant police officers even if the teachers who don’t obey police orders are shot in the head instead of below the knee.”

Let’s all come together to face the real issues

“We are well aware that racist statements are expressed by the government to hunt down those who criticize it. At this time the government is facing many serious questions and no answers. The government has been losing the approval of the people speedily on issues such as basic problems of the people, international relations and the economy. In this context, it is very clear that the government has started the old game. We hope that the people will not fall prey to the racist ugly game of the government at this time. Also, as the National People’s Power, we condemn such despicable acts. We are building a dialogue with the people to put an end to the spread of racism for power projects that have been happening throughout history. It is the people who can do it. We urge you to act with the utmost understanding of the motives behind this. At a moment when the country is facing a lot of problems, the people should unite instead of divide. Those who work to divide us racially are very united. Therefore, we invite all to come together to face the real issues in this country. ”

Dr Harini Amarasuriya, Member of Parliament for the National People’s Power

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