Fishing in troubled waters of Sri Lanka

sri lanka church blasts

Easter is the day when it is said, the Christ resurrected again. Devotees celebrate because they believe the Christ was crucified for them. Whether he is a myth or reality, it does not mean but one fact is clear, the life of Christ is inspiring and suggest love conquer all. As I thought of calling friends, the events and devastation brought by the serial blasts in Sri Lanka targeting churches and hotels were perplexing. I have visited Sri Lanka and can say it is the finest country in South Asia, simply beautiful with loving people.

After decades of civil war, the country was jumping back to its normal and large number of tourists were thronging. The season of Pahila Baisak is also nearing when the entire island nation celebrate the festivities for a month.

I was wondering as why the Christians were targeted. They are a minuscule minority in the country where traditional rivalries are between the Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus who migrated from the coastal regions way back when the British brought them here to work in the tea estates. There is no history of Muslim Christian violence in Sri Lanka, atleast, in the recent years. Yes, we have seen anti Muslim violence unleashed by powerful Sinhala groups. Hence, these well coordinated bomb blasts are a threat and need independent investigation. So far, no group has claim the responsibility for this. The question is, whether Tamil separatism is returning back to Sri Lanka or are the powerful majoritarian groups behind it. Those who are talking about ISIS links can also suggest what could be the link and why. These kind of things do not happen on isolation and therefore government should investigate all angles.

As the news started pouring in, the death toll was increasing and crossed over 200, the enormity of the destruction cant be assessed. The Sri Lankan government imposed curfew in the entire country and banned the social media from spreading the fake news. Some of the news have already started pointing fingers at ISIS. My point is not that it cant be done but why we jump before Sri Lankan government officially say anything on the matter. Fortunately, most of the messages from Srilankan leaders have been very heartwarming and no war-mongering. They are speaking about national unity and remain united on this massive tragedy.

But very unfortunately, our prime minister was using the ‘term’ w’terrorism’ in the same fashion as the RSS cadres for whome, a Sadhwi who demolish or claim to demolish Babari mosque, a place of worship is not a terrorist, people who lynch others in public violating law of the land, are not terrorists, people who publicly celebrate murder of Gandhi, officially, our father of nation, are not terrorists, people who defy our constitution and want it to be replaced by manusmriti are not terrorists. The Prime Minister, as not offering any official condolences to Sri Lankan people but using their tragedy for his political profit. The language was much vulgar when he says : dont threat us with your nuclear button, we too have it, and our nuclear weapons are not for Diwali’. Frankly, speaking, if this were spoken by Kim John Un of North Korea or Ayotullah of Iran, the world would have been speaking against them in unison voices with strong threat and condemnation. Why is that Modi’s nuclear threat not under the radar of our Election Commission and international media. Are we a banana republic or a responsible one ? How is the international community taking this threat ? Are nuclear weapon such as Diwali Patakhas ? Modi must know that he is the prime minister of one billion people and not any timbaktoo where he can issue all those ‘street-threat’ to his opponents or enemies.

But then the bhakts of Modi and his brand of politics are celebrating. The Indian media has already started speaking about the terrorists and their ISIS connection. I have no issue with it if it is there. ISIS is already defeated. Why would they want to destroy Christians of Sri Lanka ? The point is when Sri Lanka is talking of unity and peace, why is India and its media harping on conspiracy theories. Let the Lankan government come out clearly. Let their police investigate the matter and suggest clearly as what caused this and who are the forces behind it.

Sri Lanka has been in the turmoil for years. Violence killed innocent and the state too brutally suppressed the violence. Many innocent people were killed but it is also a fact that it was returning to its usual self. The government will definitely have to look as whether the old scars are healed or returning to haunt the island nation.

Pradhan mantri ji, Sri Lanka faced all these challenges and was on the path of development. There are issues and they will be resolved by the country. Let them do it. Let India remain solidly behind them in supporting them bring normalcy in the country, and may provide medical help or other kind of support but please do not use this tragedy in your comedy circus. This is is a serious crisis which might affect all of us, particularly our Southern region. An unstable SriLanka is not in greater interest of India. We must provide all help but desist from vitiating the atmosphere and polarizing the environment. Let Srilankan government government decide about it. So far, world media has remain silent about the possible perpetrators of this crime but our media has already reached the conclusion. This is sad. We need to develop common thread to fight against the menace of terrorism and for that an impartial and rule of law approach would work. Your terrorists and my deshbhakt will not work. We need not only a strong approach but also sources and reasons of growth of terrorism. Merely, targeting innocent would not work but may become breeding ground in future. These are big intentional network. Srilanka must focus whether the peace they brought was fragile or whether the groups fighting for separation are again reuniting. These are important issues and need serious investigation but in the meantime better for Indians to keep away from providing all the clues emerging from Sangh Parivar’s fake news factories. Let the Srilankan government come out with categorical links and speak up. We all stand united against all forms of hatred and terrorism in the name of religion or region. We stand with our Srilankan friends and share the pains and agony of those who have lost their near dear ones.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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