Colombo, Muslim parliamentarians accused of terrorism resign en masse

Nine members of the executive, a deputy minister and two provincial governors. A Buddhist monk had started a hunger strike demanding an investigation. The resignation is not surprising because there were already motions of no confidence in Parliament. The links between Saudi Arabia and the island's madrassas.


Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lankan Muslim politicians resigned en masse yesterday. Among them are nine executive members, a deputy minister and two provincial governors. The decision was motivated as a gesture of "good will" in order not to obstruct the investigations opened against some of them, accused of having links with the Islamic terrorists who carried out the Easter massacres of 257 people, mostly Christians.

The resignation comes after the accusations of the Buddhist monk Athuraliye Ratana, a state parliamentarian, who asked for the resignation of two provincial governors and a government minister. To give more strength to his protest, he had also started a hunger strike, receiving messages of solidarity from thousands of people and various religious leaders, including Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo.

The latest political move in Sri Lanka is of fundamental importance because the connivance of Muslim leaders with international terrorism has long been at stake. In reality, the resignation is not entirely unexpected, as explained to AsiaNews by Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, national secretary of Caritas Sri Lanka: "In recent weeks, motions of no confidence have been tabled against Muslim parliamentarians. Within the government there are few but very powerful, Muslim leaders who have covered terrorist organizations and allowed the construction of radical mosques and madrassas [Koranic schools]. The first responsible is the minister in charge of investments, who is among those who resigned yesterday ".

The priest explains that "everyone knows that Muslim leaders have protected radical associations and allowed the arrival of extremists from Saudi Arabia to spread the doctrine of Wahhabism. The same group from the National Thowheed Jamath [author of the attacks, ed.] has different ties with the Wahhabi philosophy. It has been ascertained that in the last four years, about 600 religious leaders have come to Sri Lanka to preach."

Regarding the responsibilities of the Islamic community of the island, Fr. Mahendra emphasizes: "Not all Muslims are involved, but everyone knows that in the last few years a radical ideology has spread in the area of ​​the northeast, with ties not only with the Islamic State, but also with the preachers from Saudi Arabia and recruits who were trained in Syria, Turkey and India. Government intelligence was aware of everything, it had also issued warnings before the attacks. However, there has been complete negligence on the part of the government: this is why the government is truly responsible for the devastation".

The reason why the authorities have ignored the signs, he continues, "is simple: the very survival of the executive is in the hands of the Muslim population. If it were to remove support, the government would also fall ”. Finally he concludes: "In addition to government negligence, the responsibility lies with Muslim leaders. They need to understand the value of national reconciliation and peace, abandoning a mentality that is too inward looking, that tends not to integrate ".