Rishard ‘heartbroken’ by attempt to justify racial activities

In emotional four-page letter to President Rajapaksa, ex-Commerce Minister slams tacit Govt. support of hardline groups

buddhist-monks-protest-in-colombo_2865341Minister Rishard Bathiudeen who quit the ruling alliance yesterday, spelled out a list of grievances to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his letter of resignation, describing his ‘heartbreak’ at the Government’s attempt to justify racial activities by hardline groups. 

In a four page letter to President Rajapaksa dated 22 December 2014, the former Industry and Commerce Minister says the incumbent had repeatedly brushed off references to the religious violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela in June this year.
“What is more stunning and heartbreaking was the attempt by Your Excellency to justify the racial activities on the basis that they were natural reactions by the public to incidents of criminal nature caused by Muslim individuals,” the letter states.
The letter, currently in possession of Daily FT, notes that the Muslims were “weeping with helplessness” as repeated appeals to end the religious violence against the community fell on deaf ears.
“It was very disappointing that Your Excellency being the head of a Government failed to appreciate the difference between individual incidents and organised racial campaigns against an innocent community,” the letter charged.
Bathiudeen also complained of broken promises by the Government on appointing a Eastern Provincial Chief Minister from the ACMC and the commitment to provide a national list seat to the party after the 2010 parliamentary poll.
The ex-Minister’s letter claimed that the Government initiated discussions with constituent allies within the UPFA only at election time but commitments made were discarded after the polls. (DB)