Mangala commends Muslim ministers’ ‘brave’ decision to resign

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Muslim Ministers gave life to the teachings of Lord Buddha by bravely standing in solidarity with their colleague who became the target of hate, says Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Issuing a media release in retaliation to the accusations levelled against him and the Muslim ministers who stepped down from their posts recently, the minister said he applauds “their bravery” for their decision and stand in solidarity with them.

“Everyone should know how Rishad Bathiudeen earned the ire of the Podujana Peramuna and its minions among the media and the clergy. When they tried to illegally overthrow the government last October 26, they pleaded with this very same so-called terrorist Rishad Bathiudeen to join their government. They tried bribing him. They tried threatening him. But Rishad Bathiudeen refused to support an illegal government,” Minister Samaraweera has said.

He further stated that Rishad Bathiudeen would not have been called a terrorist and a no-confidence motion would not have been brought against him had he supported Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Parliament last year.

If Rishad Bathiudeen or anyone else has committed a crime, there is a process for a criminal investigation to commence, for evidence against them to be presented before courts and for justice to take its course, the minister added. “If they are guilty, they should be punished. Especially in the current context, our police and security forces have unprecedented autonomy to investigate and prosecute anyone remotely connected to these attacks,” the release further said.

“When a political party, media organization or religious leader depends for their survival on one group of Sri Lankans becoming afraid of another, we must be wary of them. When their survival depends on highlighting what divides us and undermining what unites us, we must be wary of them,” Minister Samaraweera says.

He questions as to what role there is for them in a Sri Lanka in which Sinhalese women were not afraid of lurking Muslim doctors waiting to sterilize them, and instead choose their doctor without regard to religion. He further questions as to what role there is for them in a Sri Lanka where a Christian need not be tempted to convert to Buddhism to succeed in politics.