Nov 12, 2016

Plot to ignite tensions between Sinhalese and Muslims Featured

Certain groups have commenced a campaign to ignite racial tensions among the Sinhalese and Muslims, said United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera.

He said the government will take action against these groups attempting to create racial tension through face book posts.

Amaraweera made these comments when he met a group of Muslim MP’s from the Eastern province in parliament yesterday.

The meeting was convened to discuss the issue of Sinhala fisher families being settled in the Mannar, Silawatura and Musalai areas.

Amaraweera who is the Fisheries Minister said his ministry had not taken any decision to settle Sinhala families in these areas.

The Minister pointed out that attempting to settle families in areas that they had never resided before was an invitation to trouble and added that he had no such intension.

He urged the Sinhala and Muslim people to make every effort to live in harmony and avoid unwanted issues. He said the government will never take any decision that would affect any race or community and all citizens of this country would be treated equally.

Enforced settlement

The Mannar United Fisheries Association members held a protest on November 8 in Mannar and refrained from engaging in fishing activities in protest of the alleged enforced Sinhala settlement.

The fishermen claimed that initial measures were being taken for the enforced settlement and as such protested against the move.

The Association members charged that since the end of the war in 2009, the government had done nothing to uplift their living standards nor supported their livelihood. In such a situation it was highly unfair for the government to be willing to spend huge sums for the enforced settlement of Sinhala families in the area.

Due to the protest launched by the fishermen, the authorities were forced to abandon the survey activities being conducted on the proposed site.