Muslim-run shops shut in Colombo to protest riots

A statement signed by nearly 300 professionals and activists called for action against the Bodu Bala Sena

June 19, 2014 11:48 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 07:02 pm IST - COLOMBO

In a show of solidarity, dissenting voices in different parts of Sri Lanka have begun uniting to strongly condemn the recent clashes in Aluthgama.

Several shops across Sri Lanka, many of them Muslim-owned, went on a strike on Thursday as a mark of protest against the >disturbing clashes in southern Sri Lanka recently that claimed four lives, injuring nearly 80.

It is reliably learnt that the Tamil political parties would organise a rally in Jaffna on Friday to register their protest against the incident.

A statement signed by nearly 300 professionals, civil society members and activists here said the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) — a rally organised by this hard-line Sinhala Buddhist organisation reportedly provoked the stir in Aluthgama on Sunday — has been allowed to lead a systematic and sustained campaign of violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka attacking individuals, places of worship and business over the past three years.

“Therefore, we call on the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate and effective action and ensure that all perpetrators of this shameless violence are arrested without delay and that peace is immediately restored,” it said.

However, the Sri Lankan government is yet to put out any official statement on the incident, which is one of the most recent cases of violent attacks against Muslims and Muslim-owned establishments. No senior politician with the government has named the BBS — accused of inciting the clashes — so far.

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