Religious minorities feared BBS rampage, if Mahinda was re-elected President
Sinhala Buddhist extremism had led to the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election, one of his former Ministers said yesterday.
Former Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera told The Sunday Island that the religious minorities feared that if President Rajapaksa was re-elected for a third term the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and other extremists in the UPFA government, whom he had failed to discipline, would have created further havoc in the country leading to another ethnic conflict.
“The religious minorities, just like other all other peace-loving citizens, who were expecting a better life with the end of the war, were shell-shocked when the BBS started attacking Hindu Kovils, Muslim Mosques and Christian and Catholic Churches. They who expected freedom of speech and association to flourish in the post-war era had to watch helplessly while BBS thugs took the law into their hands and the President of the day did nothing to prevent a section of Sri Lankans from being violently targeted,” he noted.
The former Minister said the BBS attacks on the Aluthgama Muslims, their properties, Mosques and economic interests was the final nail in Mahinda’s coffin.
Perera said that the Muslims and other religious minorities knew very well that the BBS had been created, nurtured and protected by some very powerful UPFA personalities close to Mahinda, who had unfortunately abdicated his duties as Head of State.
When reminded that a considerable number of Muslims, Burghers and Sinhala Christians had voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2010 Presidential poll, he replied “Yes, he lost all that this time. It was a tragic and shameful act to be destroying their religious places of worship. The Muslims who have never supported a division of this country had to suffer immensely at the hands of the LTTE due to their stance. I am from Puttalam and we all know how the Puttalam Muslims were also harassed by the BBS.”