Former President MahindaRajapaksa’s Ramazan Festival Message
I take great pleasure in felicitating the Muslim people of Sri Lanka who mark the end of the month of Ramazan with the Eid-ul-Fitr festival. During the month of Ramazan, Muslims fast and dedicate themselves to God. The Muslim community has been present in this country for centuries and are an important part of the cultural mix that forms the Sri Lankan identity. It has been my privilege to work with many progressive Muslim leaders in this country over the years.
As we come to the close of the holy month of Ramazan, there is the somber realisation among Muslim leaders across the world that the holy month has been marred by terrorist attacks in Muslim countries that have killed hundreds of people. Suicide attacks have taken place in Istanbul, Dakha, Bagdad and even in the holy city of Medina. There is no doubt that certain international forces are engaged in a massive operation against the adherents of Islam. In the past several years once stable Muslim countries like Iraq, Libya and Syria have been turned into wastelands.
Other nations like Afghanistan have been reduced to non-states. The suffering in Palestine continues. Civil war rages in Yemen. Who bears responsibility for these multiple disasters that have befallen so many Muslim nations? I believe it is the same force that now seeks to destroy Sri Lanka. In the past few years we saw how differences that never existed were created in a matter of weeks and months. Those were the same tactics used to finish off Libya and Syria. It is important for Muslim people in Sri Lanka to recognize who their real friends are. Muslim countries have always solidly backed Sri Lanka in international forums like the UN Human Rights Council. All communities in Sri Lanka worked together to rid this country of terrorism and on this festive occasion, I suggest we should work together in a similar spirit to take this country forward.
Former President of Sri Lanka