The image of Sinhalese Buddhists has been tarnished by the recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala and the fire that was lit there inflamed the feeling not only of Muslims, but also brought insult on Sinhalese Buddhists, Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.
“Various communities have been at the receiving end of the fire of hatred inflamed by a small group of people assisted by the authorities. The good name of Sinhalese Buddhists has been destroyed by such actions of a few. That is why I call this a fire lit, not only against Muslims, but also against themselves,” Mr, Wickremesinghe said in a statement in the House yesterday.
People from all walks of life have expressed various theories about what took place in Aluthgama and Beruwala which have not yet been quenched nor have any lasting solution found upto date. This cannot be remedied by pointing fingers at each other and by finding fault with each community. As I have stated on a number of occasions, this is a Black June created deliberately by certain groups. This has brought Sinhalese Buddhists as well as the priests to disrepute.
In his statement the Leader of the Opposition said the following-
There should be some arrangement to pacify the minds broken by this clash in order to settle this situation. However, we see no preparedness at all towards such a move. Neither has any confidence built among the general public on the arrangements made to pay compensation for property and business destroyed.
The houses and businesses that were affected were not only those belonging to Muslims, but also the Sinhalese who were also badly affected by this clash. Lives were lost. Certain factories were gutted, and many persons lost their jobs as a result. Most of those who lost their jobs were Sinhalese. According to the reports we have received so far, 256 houses and 134 shops were affected in some way as a result of the violence that took place in these two areas.
Mr. Wickremesinghe wanted to know whether the total damage done to infrastructure and livelihoods as well as the lives lost and those injured in these two areas had been assessed as yet. He also wanted to know about the methodology to be used to compensate those who were affected as a result of the violence.