Ranil says ‘Black June’ set off deliberately



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by Saman Indrajith


UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that ‘Black June’ attacks carried out by certain groups in Alutgama and Beruwala were against not only the Muslims but also the Sinhalese Buddhists.


Making a special statement Wickremeisnghe said that "the houses and businesses of not only the Muslims, but also the Sinhalese were destroyed in the clash.  Lives were lost.  Certain factories were fully set on fire and the youths who are employed in such factories have lost their livelihood. Most of those who lost their employment are Sinhalese."


Full text of Wickremesinghe’s statement: Many people in the country express different views about the events that took place in Alutgama and Beruwala which have not yet been quelled nor have any lasting solution found up to date.  This cannot be remedied by pointing at each other and by finding faults with each community.  As I have stated on a number of occasions, this is a Black June created deliberately by certain groups.  This has brought Sinhalese Buddhists as well as the monks to disrepute.


Various communities have been at the receiving end of the fire of hatred inflamed by a small group assisted by the authorities.  The good image of the Sinhalese Buddhist has been destroyed.  That is why I call this a fire inflamed not only against the Muslims, but also against the Sinhalese Buddhists. 


There should be some arrangement to pacify the minds broken by this clash in order to settle the situation.  However, we see no preparedness at all towards such a move.  Neither has any confidence been built among the general public on the arrangements made to pay compensation for property and business destroyed. 


The houses and businesses of not only the Muslims, but also the Sinhalese were demolished by this clash.  Lives were lost.  Certain factories were fully bon-fired and the youths who are employed in such factories had lost their livelihood.  Most of those who lost their employment are Sinhalese. 


According to the reports we have received so far, 256 houses have been damaged slightly, partially or fully.  The number of shops damaged slightly, partially or fully amounts to 134. 


Therefore, I wish to refer the following questions to the Prime Minister: Were the damages to lives and property estimated? Are the statistics I presented on the houses and shops damaged accurate?  State separately the number of lives lost the number of houses, shops and factories fully damaged, and the number of houses, shops and factories partially damaged. What is the methodology of compensation for these damages?  Since a large number of people are employed in the shops and factories damaged, they need to be renovated immediately.   What is the expeditious arrangement made to realize it?


Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne responding to the Opposition Leader said that investigations were in progress with regard to incidents that took place in Alutgama recently and swift action had been taken by the government to rebuild the properties that had been destroyed by the clashes. The security force members have been deployed and they are working fast to reconstruct the places affected by the clashes.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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