‘Resignation of Muslim ministers prevented a Black July’ | Sunday Observer

‘Resignation of Muslim ministers prevented a Black July’

The resignation of Muslim ministers prevented the recurrence of a ‘Black July’, General Secretary of the United Left Front Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said at a media briefing at the United Left Front headquarters in Rajagiriya last week.

“Ven. Athuraluye Rathana Thera sought to gain political mileage and boost his image by launching a hunger strike. However, the result was the withdrawal of all Muslim ministers. The Thera accomplished within a day what the ISIS failed to achieve. Muslim terrorist groups such as the ISIS want to alienate the Sri Lankan Muslim community from the other communities in the country.

Then mainstream Muslims also can be attracted to terrorism” Wijenayake said.

Ven. Rathna Thera launched a hunger strike at the Maha Maluwa of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy on May 31, demanding the removal of Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, Western Province Governor Azath Sally and Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah from their respective posts.

He continued the hunger strike for four days until the resignations of the two Governors were informed. Soon after the Thera ended his hunger strike all Muslim ministers and Deputy ministers of the government convened a media briefing to inform their resignation from ministerial posts.

“This is exactly what happened in 1983 when J.R. Jayewardene brought the 6th amendment to the Constitution, which ultimately forced Tamil parliamentarians to resign from Parliament. Their resignation was a boost to the LTTE. Despite those experiences, we haven’t learned a single lesson” he said.

He said, “The Thera hadn’t a political future. So he wanted to change it by launching a hunger strike”.