He said these incidents should be investigated and dealt with according to the law. He noted that a notion is being spread among the people that these swords are meant to be used to attack other people.
He said if these search operations were to be conducted in other areas of the country too, the security forces would be able to discover many such weapons.
‘For the protection of girls’
Meanwhile, convening a media briefing in Colombo yesterday by the All Ceylon Jamaithulla Ulema Organisation, the President of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council N.M. Ameen expressed his views regarding the search operations carried out throughout the country.
He noted that while around 1000 mosques had been searched, they had found swords and other sharp objects only in three mosques.
“The President had also said that almost every household has a sword with them for self-protection. Especially, we keep these swords to protect our girls, the president had also said. The President had also said that as such, taking these into custody was unfair,” he said.
Cardinal’s comments contradictory to that of Police Spokesman:
However, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that during the clashes between the two groups in Negombo, some had come with swords and sharp objects.
He made this statement at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday.
He also noted that while his Eminence had made a request to search all houses in the Negombo area, this had not been done.
He questioned as to how swords could have been in the possession of these parties had the search operations been done properly and all these weapons seized?
However, the Police Spokesman during a briefing earlier stated that investigations had revealed that swords or sharp objects had not been used during the clash.
Views of the SLPP-MPs:
Meanwhile, expressing his views to the media, Kandy District SLPP-MP Keheliya Rambukwella said although charges were filed for keeping elephant calves at temples, no such action was taken when stocks of swords and other sharp objects were found in mosques.
He said that the notion of coexistence within the country is a blatant lie, adding that there is no harmony between races.
He noted that today parties are being formed based on religious grounds and schools are being established based on religious grounds and asked that these be investigated immediately.
Finance Ministry notice:
The news that large quantities of swords and other sharp weapons are being found during search operations on mosques and Muslim households is being sensationalised by certain media and this is an organised political move to frighten the people.
Certain media institutions have come under criticism for sensationalising such news in order to increase their ratings.
In order to counter this situation, the Finance Ministry had released an advertisement stating that marketing fear is a trait of opportunists and urging people not to fall prey to traders who market fear psychosis.