Sri Lanka to support Pakistan's resolution over Quran burning at UNHRC

Addressing a gathering, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said he has asked the Foreign Ministry to support the Pakistani resolution

July 12, 2023 04:55 pm | Updated 05:31 pm IST - Colombo

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe. | Photo Credit: AP

Sri Lanka has said it will back a proposed resolution by Pakistan at the UN human rights council condemning the Sweden government's action to allow the burning of the Quran last month.

Addressing a gathering on July 11 night in the southwestern town of Ratnapura, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said he has asked the Foreign Ministry to support the Pakistani resolution.

“I have asked them (Foreign Ministry) to support Pakistan's resolution in Geneva and oppose any attempt by the West to change it," he said.

Noting that Pakistan will move the resolution on the Quran burning issue in Geneva on Thursday, Mr. Wickremesinghe said religious freedom should not be allowed to be affected by the freedom of expression.

He condemned the West for allowing the curtailment of religious freedom for the freedom of expression and said the UN human rights commissioner should have issued a statement on the incident.

In an act of protest, an Iraqi-born refugee burnt the Muslim holy book outside the Swedish capital Stockholm’s main mosque on the first day of Eid al-Adha last month. The protest was authorised by the police.

Several countries across the world condemned the incident.

Rallies were held in all major cities of Pakistan and local religious leaders, in their addresses, condemned the act of desecration and demanded action against the culprit. The flag of Sweden was also burnt in a protest in Islamabad where protesters chanted: ‘The holy Quran is our red line’.

Earlier this month, Pakistan's Parliament passed a resolution to condemn the burning of the Quran.

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