Sri Lankan media on Sunday criticised Sri Lankan police and extremist-Buddhists in connection with last Sunday’s violence in Aluthgama, in which four persons died and nearly 80 were injured
The Sunday Times in its editorial headlined ‘Buddhism betrayed by extremist monks’ said the violence that broke out earlier this week was deeply worrying, not least because of its ethno-religious nature.
“The attacks seemed orchestrated and must be condemned in the strongest terms. Their target was a minority community that was powerless to fight back,” it said.
The Sunday Leader demanded the arrest of leader of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, who made a strongly worded speech against Muslims ahead of the hard-line Buddhist organisation’s rally in the Muslim-majority town in south-western Sri Lanka, where violent clashes followed.
The Nation, which ran a strong editorial on its front page, asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to resign, taking responsibility for the police forces reportedly allowing the violence to spread, which the Sri Lankan police has denied.
Meanwhile, all public meetings which promote hatred towards any race or religion have been banned, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. Police have upped security following the clashes and other incidents of attacks on Muslim-owned establishments and mosques near Colombo and in Jaffna in the past week. The enhanced security comes ahead of certain Muslim groups planning to hold a protest on Monday in Colombo.