Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka's Muslim Council has called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ban extremist organisations that promote hatred and violence against the country's Muslims, Christians and other ethno-religious minorities. The group made the request yesterday following attacks on the Muslim community last Sunday during which four people died.
"We feel that it is necessary and urgent that the climate of impunity with which these groups have been permitted to act thus far be challenged," a statement by the Muslim group said.
"We urge decisive action by your Excellency's Government to restore and uphold the rule of law in this country" because "It is necessary that a culture of respect for ethnic and religious tolerance - a part of this country's rich and ancient heritage - be endorsed and encouraged at the highest levels".
The Muslim Council noted that "appeals made to the police and other authorities by several Muslim groups and Muslim politicians to stop the rally in Aluthgama that preceded the recent attack were not heeded."
According to the group the violence perpetrated by radical group Sinhala Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) did not just happen, but was the result of a coordinated and well thought out plan to attack the Muslim community and their economic resources.
Yesterday, moderate Buddhist monk and harsh BBS critic Wataraka Vijiyha Thero was found badly beaten by person or persons unknown.