16 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/17/2012 14:44
SRI LANKA
Forty radical Buddhists attack Protestant clergyman and his wife in Matara
by Melani Manel Perera
The attack occurred on 9 August in Deniyaya, southern Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa's brother-in-law was present. The two, who belong to the Assembly of God Church, are accused of handing out Christian religious material in the area.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - A group of 40 Buddhists attacked a clergyman from the Assembly of God Church and his wife in Deniyaya (Matara District, southern Sri Lanka) on 9 August for allegedly promoting Christianity in the area. Radical Buddhists do not tolerate the presence of Protestant groups, and want them expelled from predominantly Buddhist regions. Deniyaya is home to about 500 Christians.

According to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), the attackers stoped the clergyman and his wife with a jeep and three three-wheelers, acting in total impunity since local police did not intervene.

Some eyewitnesses said that among the attackers they recognised the group's leader, Thusitha Ranawaka, who owns a local construction company and is President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother-in-law. Although present, he simply looked on what was happening. The attackers included five Buddhist religious and the local government secretary.

The NCEASL reported that, in addition to the attack against the Protestant clergyman, another mob of Buddhists harassed a Methodist woman, forcing her to leave the area.

In southern Sri Lanka, radical Buddhists have been engaged in anti-Christian campaign for some years. For them, the Christian minority constitutes a threat to local religious traditions.

In June 2008, more than 7,000 people took to the street in Middeniya (Hambanthota District) in order to expel the Assembly of God Church and its members because they are a menace to "Buddhist integrity".

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage) Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front), two extremist parties in the ruling coalition government, back the anti-Christian campaign. The first is made up of Buddhist monks who support anti-conversion laws; the second is Marxist-oriented.

Christians, Muslims and Hindus have seen their religious freedom curtailed in other parts of the country. On 20 April, about 2,000 Buddhist believers and monks attacked a mosque in Dambulla (central Sri Lanka), calling on the government to tear it down and ban the construction of more non-Buddhist religious buildings.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/11/2011 SRI LANKA
Christians should take part in ‘Vesak’ celebrations to boost ethnic reconciliation
by Melani Manel Perera
03/11/2005 INDIA
Christian and Muslim Dalits backed by fellow Dalits from other religions
02/04/2005 SRI LANKA
Mgr Gomis urges politicians to work for human rights and religious freedom
01/30/2009 SRI LANKA
Anti-conversion bill: minorities fear restrictions on religious freedom
by Melani Manel Perera
04/13/2007 NEPAL
Muslim minority wants quotas in parliament and civil service
by Prakash Dubey

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.