Concerns over Gota’s speech

Muslims have raised concerns over the comments made by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa where he had said that the government was on alert over attempts to spread Muslim extremism in Sri Lanka.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) said that the Muslim community has without any hesitation stood by the Sri Lankan State throughout the 30 year conflict and has never resorted to any form of armed resistance.
MCSL said that the extremist elements that have been propagating hatred against the minority communities have taken Rajapaksa’s statement as an endorsement of the State’s approval of their stand on extremism amongst the Muslim community.
“We wish to bring to your kind attention that there exists no form of armed or other forms of extremism amongst the Muslim community. Your concerns about extremists using Sri Lanka as a transit point may be valid, but we would like to assure you that the Muslim community would never allow extremists from other countries to operate under cover of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka,” MCSL said.
It also said that intelligence units under the Defence Secretary’s command have performed remarkably well during and after the war to ensure that Sri Lanka continues to maintain the hard earned peace.
“We welcome any investigation by the law enforcement agencies and take appropriate action against any persons who may violate the laws of the land or support any form of armed extremism irrespective of their religious beliefs. We would like to assure you of the Muslim community’s unstinted commitment to the peace and prosperity of our beloved motherland and would greatly appreciate your kind clarification of your statement,” MCSL said.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told a Defence Seminar in Colombo on Tuesday that intelligence agencies and the police have been alerted over the concerns.
He said that it is known that some Muslim extremist elements attempt to use Sri Lanka as a transit country and there are fears that in that attempt they may spread their ideology in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)