Govt. alleges foreign extremists teaching at international schools

Thirty two Lankans with ISIS

by Saman Indrajith

Alleging that 32 Sri Lankan Muslims had joined the ISIS, Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse told Parliament yesterday that foreigners were propagating extremism among Muslim children here. Minister Rajapakse said that extremist foreigners had entered Sri Lanka under the guise of teachers.

Minister Rajapakse warned that the government would take appropriate measures in accordance with the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) though a section of the international community was opposed to the implementation of the existing law.

Participating in the second reading stage debate on budget 2017, Minister Rajapakse revealed that foreign intelligence services had reported that 32 Sri Lankans belonging to four families joining the ISIS.

Describing those who had joined the ISIS as members of well-to-do families of the Muslim community, the minister said that foreign extremists teaching at Muslim international schools in Beruwala, Kalmunai, Kala Eliya and Kurunegala propagated hate.

The minister alleged that there had been a spate of serious incidents including killings due to continuing violence among followers of four main chapters known as Thowfique Jamath, Jamaathe Islam, Thabilique Jamath and Sunnathival Jamath. The minister vowed that the government wouldn’t allow their fight to jeopardize national security under any circumstances.

Claiming that scores of websites had been propagating violence and communal hatred, Minister Rajapakse reiterated the UNP-led government’s readiness to address security issues.

"The international community can say anything it likes. Whatever they say we’ll not allow a bloodbath again. We are ready to implement some provisions of the PTA hitherto remained unused. These laws are severe. We will implement those laws."

Commenting on social media, Minister Rajapakse alleged that there had been 78 derogatory posts on a particular website against the members of the Sri Lankan legal fraternity. He said those who had been defamed weren’t in a position to respond to various unsubstantiated allegations.

Alleging that one Sandaruwan had been responsible for the despicable web operation, Minister Rajapakse said that the government could issue an international warrant to bring in him here to face charges.

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