Full text of the letter to the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo
| by N M Ameen
( January 1, 2013 – Colombo – Sri Lanka Guardian) It is with deep disappointment that we read the press report “India fears Muslim militant attacks in Sri Lanka in the Daily Mirror of December 30th 2013 attributing the source as a letter written to the Sri Lankan Government by the Indian High Commission.
As you are well aware, the Muslim community in this country has never been part of the armed conflicts in Sri Lanka, nor do they have any armed extremist forces amongst them. The Muslims, amidst all provocations in recent times have remained peaceful and continue to do so even today. The daily Mirror news item attributing the source to the Indian High Commission gives the impression that you fear Muslim extremists in Sri Lanka will target your diplomats in this country. We kindly urge you to clarify this position at your earliest as it causes deep distrust on the peaceful Muslim community in Sri Lanka.
As you are aware, since the end of the ethnic war, some Buddhist extremist groups have been targeting the Muslim community with baseless accusations of extremism and other unsubstantiated charges of terrorism, fabricating them to tarnish the peaceful image of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. These sources even tried to misinterpret a speech made Defense Secretary Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakshe during the International defense seminar on September 3rd 2013. The Ministry of Defense has informed us that Mr. Rajapakshe did not make any accusations against the Muslims of Sri Lanka.
We see this news report as part of the strategy of some vested interests to create a conflict between the Muslims and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. We would like to assure you that the Muslims in Sri Lanka value our cordial relationship.
Therefore, we kindly urge your Excellency to immediately clarify the Indian High Commissions position on this particular news report.
We thank you, your Excellency for the valuable support and assistance provided to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. We assure you of our fullest co-operation at all times.
( The writer is the President, Muslim Council of Sri Lanka )