Sri Lanka probes alleged foreign funding behind recent anti-Muslims violence

12 March, 2018, 10:50 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • UN Condemns Wave Of Anti Muslim Violence In Sri Lanka

Activists and Buddhist monks staged demonstrations in Colombo on Friday condemning the violence against the Muslim minority and asking the government to end impunity for such attacks.

Unrest escalated when a Muslim man was found dead in a burnt building on Tuesday, with an island-wide state of emergency imposed to curb the violence.

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is dismayed that a concerted effort is being made by extremist elements from the Sinhala Buddhist community to spread falsehood and hatred, and to instigate destruction and violence against the Muslim community of Sri Lanka.

The committee comprising three retired judges will investigate whether any violation of law and order or conspiracy is among the reasons for the clashes, evaluate the damages to lives and properties, recommend steps to prevent such incidents in the future, and look into the conduct of relevant authorities in controlling the situation and their accountability.

Several homes, businesses and mosques in the hilly Kandy district have been damaged in anti-Muslim riots, since Monday.

However, the weekly religious activity went off without incident, authorities said.

At least 140 people, including the main instigator, have been arrested over the unrest, police said.

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Violent attacks against Muslims swept the central district of Kandy over the last week.

Police also said they were also investigating whether suspects had outside funding or foreign help.

He said all 10 suspects had been remanded in custody for 14 days and brought to Colombo for questioning. They have played on long-standing, albeit unfounded, fears of the Sinhala and Buddhist character of Sri Lanka somehow being under threat, while simultaneously spewing hatred against the Muslims, the third largest community which accounts for nearly 10% of Sri Lanka's 21.2 million population.

Sinhalese Buddhists are the majority ethnic group in Sri Lanka, making up 75 percent of its 21 million people.

However, in some areas, Sinhalese have helped Muslims to protect mosques, Muslim community leaders told Reuters.

Despite the imposition of emergency, security forces stood by and watched during the latest attacks in the central part of Sri Lanka.


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