Muslims in New York: Protect Sri Lankan Muslims
STEEMIT NEWS -- Sri Lankan Muslims and their supporters in New York, the United States, demand that world organizations act to ensure that minorities in Sri Lanka are protected. In addition, they also demanded that the mastermind behind the violence against Muslims in the island nation be brought to justice.
About 250 people demonstrated in front of the UN office. The protest was organized by the Muslim Association of Sri Lanka in North America (Tasmina). They called for the UN to intervene and demand that the Sri Lankan government be responsible for bringing the rioters to justice. Ghazzali Wadood, one of the demonstrators, said the ultra-nationalist group was responsible for the attack.
"The government should take action against the politicians behind the attack," Wadood said, quoted in the Gulf Times.
Protesters carried banners asking their Sri Lankan mother to protect them, while criticizing anti-Muslim attacks. For some people involved in the demonstration, the attack was a profound tragedy for their families, thousands of kilometers away. They recounted the horrible moments they experienced and shared traumatized feelings over the phone with their families. At that time, their relatives were surrounded by the masses during the riots.
The parents' home of Munir Salim, president of the Sri Lankan Muslim Association in New Jersey, was destroyed and his car was burned by a raging geromobolan in Welekada Ambalateena near Kandy district on March 6. His parents and sisters and five children can survive to live, simply because the rioters can not break the main door of his house.
However, they set fire to the second floor of his house, where his sister lives. The brother then fled with his children and stayed with his parents.
"I felt helpless when talking to my parents when they first told me how they threw stones at our house and set fire to mosques and shops in the area," Salim said.
The rioters then moved for a while and searched for other targets. They then return to fire a fire aimed at the house and various properties when he calls them back home.
Meanwhile, Salim said his aunt's nearby home was attacked and his cousin had to carry his paralyzed mother as they fled to save their lives. The tragedy that began on February 26 and continued until March 10 has killed two people dead, dozens of people injured, hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed, and several mosques damaged.
Sri Lanka then imposed a state of emergency and mobilized troops to quell the violence. The Sri Lankan government also briefly closed Facebook after the emergence of hate speech in social media. However, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said a ban that lasted for a week had been lifted once Facebook agreed to step up efforts to remove hate speech uploaded on its platform.