Sri Lankan cricketing legends demand action against those behind recent communal violence, Twitter users ask Sehwag to learn


The government in Sri Lanka on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in the country following the spread of communal violence allegedly by Buddhists, who targetted Muslims by destroying their properties and killing a 28-year-old man.

Sri Lanka
File Photo

According to the government circular, the emergency will remain in force for 10 days. This is the first time a state of emergency has been imposed in Sri Lanka since 2011. The country had come out of a prolonged period of civil war that lasted for nearly three decades culminating in 2009.

In the latest round of communal violence, the radical Buddhists allegedly went berserk targetting Muslims and their properties including mosques. A report by CNN said that it had spoken to a local Muslim politician, who did not want to be named through fear of reprisals. According to the American news network, the politician said that four mosques, 37 houses, 46 shops and 35 vehicles were destroyed in the initial outbreak of violence, though he cautioned the true number could be higher, with sporadic incidents continuing to flare-up.

On Tuesday morning, the body of a 28-year-old Muslim man was pulled from the burned-out wreckage of a house set on fire the previous day by Sinhalese Buddhists in Aluthwatte, some 35 kilometers north west of Kandy.

Another report by the BBC said that tension had been on the rise in Sri Lanka since 2012 adding that it was fuelled by hardline Buddhists.

Meanwhile, several cricketing legends from Sri Lanka have taken to social media unequivocally condemning the violence in the country. Former Sri Lanka captain, Kumar Sangakkara wrote, “No one in Sri Lanka can be marginalized or threatened or harmed due to their ethnicity or religion. We are One Country and One people. Love, trust and acceptance should be our common mantra. No place for racism and violence. STOP. Stand together and stand strong.

His former team-mate and also a former cricketer of repute, Mahela Jayawardena, too demanded action against the perpetrators of violence without any discrimination. He wrote, “I strongly condemn the recent acts of violence & everyone involved must be brought to justice regardless of race/ religion or ethnicity. I grew up in a civil war which lasted 25 years and don’t want the next generation to go through that.”

The unequivocal condemnation of violence by Sri Lankan cricketing greats has come in sharp contrast to their counterparts in India, where former players and sporting heroes such as Virender Sehwag and Phogat sisters have often been exposed for spreading hatred against one religion through their social media pages. Not so long ago, Sehwag was exposed by Janta Ka Reporter when he attempted to vilify Muslims and Islam through his Twitter account.

Some users have been quick to draw a parallel with the praiseworthy initiatives by Sri Lankan cricketing legends and sport-stars in India.


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