There are reports coming out from Sri Lanka that Buddhist mobs which is backed by extreme Bodu Bala Sena is attacking the properties of Muslim brothers including their mosques, shops and houses.
It is a challenging times for the Government of Sri Lanka. What are the possible steps could be taken to stop violence spreading and preventing further violence in short term?
Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara tera is a hateful figure. I have met him few years ago without knowing what will bring us together in our way by our faiths. May be he had an idea of what he wanted to be at the time, but I did not. We hardly conversed but ended up spending about an hour or so together. I drove the car while he was sitting in the passenger seat and one of my relatives is behind.
The point is he has become a monstrous figure that claims to stands for Sinhala Buddhist in post-war Sri Lanka antagonizing ignorant and ill-educated majority Buddhist population of the country with mainly Muslim communities in the country.
The Government is facing a great and a challenging task balancing what to do right now at the wake of what is happening right now in Beruwala and Colombo area which started from Aluthgama after a hateful speech delivered by Gnanasara thera, two days into the Buddhist holiday period of Posson.
These are what the Government could do in short term;
a) Protect all Muslims communities affected and will be affected
b) Seek the possibilities of apprehending the Thera within the law until violence ceases and a long terms plan is in place to contain the BBS.
These are what not to be done in short term;
a) Do not shoot and kill any of those so called Buddhist Sinhalese.
This act could be back fired in domestic politics, and especially could be another tool to exploited by those opportunistic international actors.
b) Make sure the Thera is not being assassinated by either Muslim extremists or other political hands.
This could send a wave of riots which could not be contained.
The Government would be blamed and shamed by many. But it seems there are not quick fixes to be attended to by the Government in short term.
The long term solution remains to be the one that careful political maneuvering of various political tools rendering the BBS into oblivion...