06/24/2014, 00.00
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Sri Lanka to Muslim countries: We'll protect our Islamic community

by Melani Manel Perera
The minister of External Affairs met Ambassadors from Islamic nations in Asia, Middle East and Africa. They're concerned about anti-Muslim violence committed by radical Buddhist.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lankan government yesterday assured that it had taken prompt action to deal with the tense situation which arose in the south of the island. The assurance was given by Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris to a delegation of Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Muslim countries.

The meeting was arranged after Islamic nations had collectively raised concerns over the anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka, due to some Sinhala Buddhist extremists.

The "disruptive elements" come from a radical fringe on both sides, the Minister said, and it is necessary to be balanced in any proper appraisal of the situation. However the redeeming feature is that mainstream opinion in both Buddhist and Muslim community is "moderate and reasonable, and strong opposed to violence in any form", he added.

This is the product, he said, "of a long tradition of mutually reliant co-existence of the Sinhala and Muslim communities, in a spirit of total empathy."

Among the countries present at the meeting: Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Kuwait, Oman and Maldives.



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