Diplomats in Sri Lanka urge government action against anti-Muslim attacks
Diplomats on Thursday condemned violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka and urged the government to uphold minority rights and freedom of religion.
More than 20 attacks on Muslims have been recorded since April 17, including arson at Muslim-owned businesses and petrol-bomb attacks on mosques.
Muslims have blamed the attacks on Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or the “Buddhist Power Force”, an organization that says the spread of Islam is a threat to Buddhism as the dominant religion. It denies any involvement.
“It is important that the rule of law be applied against those perpetrators and it’s important that minority rights and freedom of religion are upheld,” one of the diplomats, Canadian high commissioner Shelley Whiting, told reporters.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe have ordered police to uphold the law, but the violence against Muslims has not ended.
Muslims comprise around 9 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 21 million. Buddhists make up about 70 percent of the population.
Buddhist groups accuse some Muslim organizations of radicalizing the community and forcibly converting people to Islam. Muslim leaders have denied the claim.
Tung-Lai Margue, ambassador of the European Union, said he hoped the police would make arrests in the coming days.
Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said acts of hate had been directed “unacceptably at the Muslim community”.
“To my knowledge, this kind of collective public diplomatic intervention is unprecedented in Sri Lanka,” Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka project director at the International Crisis Group, said on Twitter.
In 2014, three Muslims were killed in riots stirred up by hardline Buddhist groups. President Sirisena was elected the following year after a campaign in which he promised to solve the issues faced by ethnic minority Tamils and Muslims.
Churches also have faced similar attacks in the past.
The government ended a full-blown 26-year civil war by defeating Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
(Reuters – By Shihar Aneez)
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the deplomatic corps ought to be better concened withdisaster relief than polarizing the communities by spreading bogus propaganda. I ronically the european union and the the australains has problems of their own trying to integrating hordes of migrating muslims caued by conflicts and the european union itself is a party to the continuing refugee crisi.
When the report refers to the CD european union nor the australians have little concern for muslims in europe nor in australia whereas there are diplomats representing muslim countries in south asia and midlle east has not subscribed or supported their claim. In fact some of these countries have contributed to flood relief!
As is usual reuters carry the usual bias that they are famous fo. The european union does not represent the diplomatic corps in sri lanka and the australian attitude to muslims are nor more favorable than most of the west.
This report is designed to foment division in sri lanka and nothing more amd in this regard eeuters ought to withdraw comments reporte even though it is reported by one who has vested muslim interests
THE EU OR WEST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WILL DO NOTHING AT ALL. SOME SO-CALLED MUSLIM CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERS WHO ARE PERSONALLY BENEFITED ARE CARRYING OUT THIS CAMPAIGN AND PUBLICITY FOR EU AND WESTERN COUNTRIES AND NON-MUSLIM COUNTRIES AMONG THE MUSLIM VOTERS OF SRI LANKA.
Since the Muslim Vote Bank has been traded by our politicians, the SLMC is dead. The ACMC is busy making money and covering the corruption charges made against them and the Muslim politicians stooging the UNP are ONLY interested in their personal benefits.
These are Muslim politician leaders who DO NOT HAVE A POLITICAL PRINCIPLE OR IDEOLOGY. For their personal gains, they will do anything trying to show the Muslims that they are the “SAVIOURS” of the community, but “DECEPTION” is what they do, all of them. Their objective is to dupe the Muslim voters and get their votes by deceiving the poor Muslims during elections and become elected and then do NOTHING to the community. On the other hand, they “hoodwink and dupe” the governments in power (National Sinhala Parties) and get all their perks and portfolios and government positions for their “henchaiyaas and kith and kin”. You cannot run away from this anymore. Islamic religious scholars say: “Betrayal is the worst form of hypocrisy”, “Betrayal is the worst sin,” and “Betrayal is an indication on the lack of piety and religiousness”.
The “Yahapala Government” has no consideration to the Muslim Community issues or the “MUSLIM FACTOR” at all. The “Yahapalana Government” is NOT going listen to the Muslim Civil Society Leaders, Community Leaders and Ulema Sabai Leaders, though they have been making “BIG NOISES” about the “MUSLIM FACTOR” over the last two years. It is time up that a NEW POLITICAL FORCE that will be honest and sincere that will produce “CLEAN” and diligent Muslim Politicians to stand up and defend the Muslim Community politically and otherwise, especially from among the YOUTH, has to emerge from within the Sri Lanka Muslim Community to face any new election in the coming future, Insha Allah. It is by only expressing and showing our political REPRESENTATIVE strength unitedly that we can gain our position as equals in the country. We can be sympathetic to any political party or idealogy, but emerging as a “NEW POLITICAL FORCE”, we will stand to gain what we are losing. WE DO NOT NEED THE SO-CALLED 2 (TWO) LEADERS OR PARTIES), THE SLMC and THE ACMC, Insha Allah. We can even do this as an “Independent Group” INSHA ALLAH.
Noor Nizam. Convener – “The Muslim Voice”.
Mr Nizam’s passionate plea plucks many heartstrings.
The drama by EU and other Diplomatic comedians will never ever solve ethnic issues.
Alienation leads to desperation and desperation leads to irrational action.
I draw a parallel between the Tamil and Muslim communities being lead by corrupt politicians mortgaging people power for morsels of corruption falling off the Blue and Green tables.
What happened to the 4 platoons of Policemen to arrest the so-called culprit who was shown in Social Media delivering ultra-racist messages in public forums?
I repeat, “Alienation leads to desperation and desperation leads to irrational action”.
I like the SLOGAN: BBS You Destroy Sri Lanka! All corrupt politicians who governed Sri Lanka (Sinhala, Tamil & Muslims) escape comfortably.