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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim party emphasises 'No smoke without fire' on Muslim massacre

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 24 September, ( Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim party has emphasized that its community will never fear to point its finger at the LTTE who have incessantly battered the Muslims living in the North and East.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariapper has pointed out that the Muslims will never forget the LTTE's barbaric act at the Kathankudy mosque where 103 Muslims worshippers were slayed while observing prayers in 1990, and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the North, also in 1990.

"Muslims have never supported the LTTE, but if 30,000 people claim that it is the Special Task Force (STF) behind last week's incident where ten Muslims were killed in Panama, Pottuvil, it is something everyone must mull over," Mr. Kariapper noted.

He stressed that "there is never smoke without fire."

Meanwhile, the Party's Secretary General M.T. Hasan Ali while accepting the fact that there is enough competent local talent available to conduct investigations into the massacre has demanded to know why the government on its own volition decided to bring in foreign experts to probe the massacre of the 17 aid workers in Muttur.

"Is it because the LTTE has been accused of these killings? Who defines the 'special cases' as the government's defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella terms it. Don't the innocent Muslims of the Eastern and Northern provinces, who have been denied their right of representation in the peace process, fall into this category?" he demanded to know.

Mr. Ali's statement was in response to the government's decision not to allow any international investigations to be conducted on the Muslim slaying on account that Sri Lanka had the necessary expertise to carry out such an investigation.

The SLMC Secretary General pointed out that minister Rambukwella has identified the perpetrators of this dastardly crime as the LTTE, merely because they wore shorts and spoke in Tamil, exposing his gross ignorance of the ethnic composition of the area, their dialect and the history behind this episode. It is a pity that this country is now getting into a new trend of using a language to differentiate its people from each other, when in fact it should encourage the people to learn all three languages to promote amity among its subjects.

The party also pointed out that taking into consideration the situation, the statement made by the lone survivor lacks credibility.

"We in particular salute the STF in the North East for their valiant efforts at safeguarding the civilians of the area at all times, but that does not mean that we should condone all actions of a few miscreants among them. The government should take immediate action to weed these elements out and help restore the confidence of the civilian population of the area," Mr. Ali added.

- Asian Tribune -

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