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‘Stop attacks on Muslims’

15 March 2013

AP

A FORMER Anglican Bishop of Colombo, the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, is among a number of prominent Sri Lankans who have signed a call to their country's President for "immediate and decisive" action to halt a growing campaign against Muslims.

He said that it was "a new and worsening issue in an already troubled and conflictual nation".

In their letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the group, known as the Friday Forum, spoke of an "increasingly venomous and strident anti-Muslim hate campaign launched by extremists claiming to represent the majority Sinhala community". It was characterised by attacks on mosques, anti-Muslim rallies, calls to boycott Muslim businesses, and the circulation of "obscene and vituperative messages".

The group noted that the President had spoken publicly against communal intolerance; but there was a lack of state effort to reassure Muslims. "The silence of the government, and a mute response in the face of the hate campaign against the Muslim community . . . is a violation of both national and international law," they wrote. "We urgently call on you to . . . [denounce] the current anti-Muslim campaign and its sponsors."

 

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