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
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."