Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence praises Muslims, calls Buddhist ‘traitors’

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne praise the members of the Muslim community who were the intelligence to the army in the conflict time .

He condemned anti-Muslim riots that has targeted mosques and business establishments in violence-hit neighbourhoods in Kandy district in Sri Lanka.

Wijegunaratne in a press conference said that the violent anti-Muslim riots rocked by a week was done by an organised Sinhalese mobs. They were not armed but came with knifes, breakdown law and order and attacks Muslims and mostly their property.

The army are making efforts to minimize the damage and take the control. ” We are trying to nullify the situation that has escalates.”

He further said, “The other important thing that I have say about Muslims is that we are living today thanks to them because as you know our intelligence in the conflict time is entirely run by Muslims. In military we have the highest regard for them. They sacrifice their lives. They went with us. They were fluent in the language and they protected us.”

Wijegunaratne called the Buddhist Sinhalese traitors for doing damage to Muslim community.

“All these people so called Sinhalese, who are doing damage to our Muslim brothers, I think they are traitors. As far as I am concerned they are traitors.”

Nearly 465 houses, Muslim-owned business establishments and vehicles were destroyed and damaged in the violence prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.

Muslims make up 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people. The majority are Sinhalese, a largely Buddhist ethnic group.