Days after Sri Lanka witnessed a fresh outbreak of sectarian violence in which Muslims were targeted, the country’s Army urged people to circulate messages on social media asking others not to play into the hands of “terrorists” and stand by “our patriotic Muslims”.
The Sri Lanka Army has put out a list of 20 such messages in the hope that it would diffuse anti-Muslim sentiments and curb rumours.
Among the list of messages include: “Terrorists are trying to do their will by getting communities to fight communities” and “Be smarter, than being the instruments of the Terrorists”
On Monday, a nation-wide curfew had been imposed after mosques and Muslim-owned shops were attacked. The police had to lob tear gas to bring the mobs under control. A temporary ban was imposed on social media networks and messaging apps after it was traced that a dispute on Facebook led to clashes in several parts of the country.
Since the Easter bombings, the island nation has witnessed an outbreak of sectarian violence in which the Muslim minority has been targeted by the majority Sinhalese population.
Here is the full list issued by the Army:
1. The terrorist agenda is to get Sinhalese to attack Muslims.
2. Terrorists are not able to now detonate bombs. Because our security has controlled this.
3. Terrorists are trying to do their will by getting communities to fight communities.
4. Be smarter, than being the instruments of the Terrorists
5. Only way to defeat Terrorists is to show “you can’t destroy our communities”
6. Zahran was rejected by ALL Muslim colleges in Kattankudi; Zahran was rejected by all Muslim organisations in the East. So he went to the IS global, that fitted his ideology.
7. This shows us ONE thing. That OUR Sri Lankan Muslim brothers and sisters REJECTED him. So he went to the middle east to get help.
8. So why do you, throw stones and carry sticks, and attack the people who rejected IS ideology. Are you helping the Terrorists?
9. Be smart
10. Do not be a pawn of terrorists. They could not divide us. But using the riff-raff in the community to divide us!
11. All of You in the community will defeat terrorism, by standing with Muslims at this time that IS has faced defeat in Sri Lanka – they could not divide the community
12. Show them the spirit of Buddhism and Christianity
13. Stand together with our patriotic Muslims
14. Stop any attack or plan to attack where you see it by any group
15. In Mutur muslims protected the 54 sinhala families from LTTE
16. Muslims fought terrorism side by side with our military
17. Do not allow this unity to be destroyed by politicians or terrorists.
18. Violence begets violence
19. The spirit of sinhalese, our flag or national anthem, is that we will stand together and defend this nation against terrorism.
20. All communities will do this as ONE.