“It is true we are racists. It is true we are religious fanatics. Yet, we are not the authors of racism and religious fanaticism in this country,” Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said.
“When racial and religious issues spring up, we too make emotional utterances. If we have committed any indiscretions, we humbly request the defence establishment to summon us and question us on that,” he added.
The Thera made these comments in response to a question posed by a journalist in connection with the arrest of Azath Salley, while addressing a media briefing at the party headquarters in Battaramulla.
Speaking further, he said, the laws of the country are applicable to all. “Any citizen of the country can be summoned for questioning on account of the country’s security, not only Azath Salley. If Azath Salley is innocent, he can free himself by proving his innocence.
“On the other hand, if the Muslim community thinks that they are special citizens, then they are wrong. Salley was taken into custody based on his statement urging the Muslim youths to take up arms against the injustices that are being committed against the Muslim community.
“If similar utterances are made by the Bodhu Bala Sena, then they ought to be investigated and action should be taken against them. We also make emotionally charged statements. If we are also summoned and questioned, we will relate all the details to the defence establishment.
“Who have brought into this country drugs, pills, birth control vials, and heroin the most? If you analyze, it is clear it is the Muslims who are behind such acts. The political sphere is silent on that.
“The main opposition and other parties with them do not speak about this. They think, if they talk about these things, they will lose Tamil and Muslim votes. When we speak about it, they breathe fire.
“We are in doubt whether before this country can be made a miracle of Asia, it has already become a vice den.” (Ceylon Today)