South Asia

‘Attacks on Sri Lankan Muslims not isolated incidents’

Japannese Special Peace Envoy Yashushi Akashi meets the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem at his residence in Colombo 0n the 17th May 2004. Pic. by Sriyantha Walpola for THE HINDU and Frontline. Story ref. Dr. V. S. Sambandan  

Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauf Hakeem said the recent anti-Muslim attacks in the island were part of a “virtual holocaust” against Sri Lankan Muslims.

Observing that the attack was not an isolated incident but one that pointed to a clear pattern part of a “larger national project”, Mr. Hakeem said the underlying reason for the attacks on Muslims was economic.

“Also, they need an imagined enemy,” he said, addressing the Foreign Correspondents’ Association here on Friday.

Last month, at least four persons were killed and nearly 80 seriously injured in a violent clash that broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwala, along Sri Lanka’s southern coast.

Earlier on Friday, Muslim parliamentarians issued a joint statement condemning ongoing propaganda in some quarters that some terrorist groups existed among the Muslims of Sri Lanka. “We really deplore that an arrest in India of a person of Sri Lankan Muslim origin, reportedly for espionage, or a related crime should lend itself to such a spurious claim by sections of media and groups,” the statement said.

“These elements, specialised as they are in stereotyping of Muslims, smack of a clear mindset which either supports, or condones by reticence, the violence unleashed by racist groups,” it added.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 12:58:15 AM |

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