Why is ‘Kandy’ associated with the mayhem ?

Published : 9:27 am  March 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (206) reads | 

Citizens in Kandy should show their displeasure over what politicians and others have done to create violence in places like Digana, Teldeniya and other areas.   

  • Citizens in Kandy had enough after the ‘one hundred days of terror’ during the 1915 riots
  • The incidents were created by a handful of disgruntled persons outside Kandy
  • This false picture given would sent the word around that Kandy is not safe for tourists

Friends around the globe, whom I know, were telephoning me. “L.B. are you safe in Kandy” they asked me. I said “Yes”. But, it did not strike me during those moments. There was a reason behind these inquiries. Later it dawned on me that these attacks in Digana and Teldeniya are termed as ‘Kandy violence’ by the Kandy folk.   

But, none of these incidents occurred in Kandy. The incidents were created by a handful of disgruntled persons outside Kandy. After the first day of incidents the newspapers reported that there was mayhem in Digana and Teldeniya. But, all these incidents were associated with one word: Kandy. Soon people were assuming that people from Kandy were involved in these incidents.   

This false picture given would sent the word around that Kandy is not safe for tourists. Kandy is the centre of Buddhist activities, given that Gautama Buddha’s tooth relic is housed at the Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth). Kandy is the place which attracts tourists, not Digana and Teldeniya. However these two towns come under the purview of Kandy District. My concerns are why the name Kandy was mentioned when no clash too place here.   

Then why blame Kandy citizens who had no hand in these incidents in Teldeniya, Digana and in surrounding areas? This situation has to be corrected, at least now

Citizens in Kandy had enough after the “one hundred days of terror” during the 1915 riots. Given this history no one would dare to get involved in any such incident which would create a communal rift. Another incident that the Kandy people would not forget is the ‘Walhagoda Devale’ incident. During this incident both the Sinhala and Muslim communities had to settle their grievances in a massive Court case.   

In this background the people of Kandy would never allow history to repeat. The citizens of Kandy had remained silent during this commotion and allowed everyone to blame them for the violence in which they played no role. Geographically Kandy is surrounded by The Mahaweli and there have been no ethnic hatred. It’s a big question as to why others think that Kandy citizens are to blame for all this violence?   

Time and again when these incidents are highlighted and also when the Police Media Spokesman talks about the violence he mentions Kandy as the source where the mayhem begins from. The affected are clearly demarcated by rivers and bridges and it is superfluous that Kandy has come to the picture without even a stone thrown at a Muslim in this part of the Central Province. The Kandy people have lived in peace after 1915 and there is no doubt they would continue to do so for centuries.   

When the death occurred of driver M.G Kumarasinghe, in Teldeniya, the point of the so-called mayhem, initially no one knew to what communities the assailants and victim belonged to. It was days later that they found that the culprits were members of the Muslim community. The Muslims denounced them as members of their community when it was alleged the assailants were under the influence of liquor.   

The affected are clearly demarcated by rivers and bridges and it is superfluous that Kandy has come to the picture without even a stone thrown at a Muslim in this part of the Central Province

Then why blame Kandy citizens who had no hand in these incidents in Teldeniya, Digana and in surrounding areas? This situation has to be corrected, at least now. Politicians can do better than repeatedly ‘chanting’ the name Kandy!

Folks of Kandy should be respected for finding a way to live in harmony with people belonging to different races and religions.