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Ranil vows to continue struggle against racism sans he is branded Tiger and Bin Laden
Racist editors of Sunday Divaina and Daily Mirror unsuitable for media
(Lanka-e-News, December 06, 2008, 10.10 AM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe charges that the Environment Minister who has no people base is attempting to build up it through taking decisions that affect the minority ethnicities and religions.

He made these observations addressing a press conference held in the parliament yesterday (05) to discuss the statements against Muslims and the ban on Muslim girl's Panjabi dress by the principals of several schools.

Wickramasinghe said that the constitution of Sri Lanka states that all of us are the citizens of this country above all and the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher ethnicities and Buddhist, Christian and Islam religions come after that.

The Opposition Leader stated that the right to wear a uniform that depicts the tradition and the ethnic identity had been granted in 1980 when late Nissanka Wijerathna was the Minister of Education.

Wickramasinghe accused that the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is creating this situation deliberately. He pointed out that the Muslim importers are harassed at the customs and the custom officers had told him that they had been influenced to do so. He said that the majority of the Colombo residents are traditional Muslims and they are feeling they are not Sri Lankans now.

He said that many persons, state media and some private media were silent on this situation in fear of JHU reprisals. He said he was in a struggle with certain private media as well and charged that the Daily Mirror was spreading racism.

He said that Champika Liyanarachchi, the editor in chief of the Daily Mirror is giving wide space to JHU and its leader Champika Ranawaka to spread racism. Wickramasinghe said that he was against the racism spread through Daily Mirror.

He introduced Sunday Divaina editor Gamini Sumanasekara as a liar and a person not suitable for media. He charged that Sumanasekara is a racist and a person who disseminates extremist ideas.

The UNP leader vowed to continue the struggle against racism although he is branded Tiger and Bin Laden.

Mujiber Rahuman, the Chairman of the Organization for the Protection of Muslim Rights also addressed the press conference.
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