They had been residing in rented homes in the Katana and Negombo areas and due to various threats, they had come to the Negombo Police last Wednesday (24).
Thereafter, the 575 Pakistani refugees had been temporarily housed at a location in Pasyala under makeshift tents and mosque.
Among these refugees are 150 children.
However, on Thursday, a group of around 300 residents of the area had protested demanding that this group of Pakistanis’ be deported immediately, said the President of the Pasyala Ahamadiya Muslim Organisation Hafiz Ahmed.
“This group of refugees had come to Sri Lanka having been signed up internationally as refugees. After Easter Sunday’s unfortunate incidents, these refugees did not have a conducive environment to remain at their place of residence. Therefore, with international intervention, these refugees have been given protection temporarily. However, a group of residents protested last afternoon and demanded that they be sent off from here,” Ahmed said.
Expressing his views, one of the Pakistani refugees Jan Mohommed said they had come to Sri Lanka on the belief that Sri Lankans were a peaceful people, but under the current situation, his family and he are afraid.
“We came to Sri Lanka because we could not stay in Pakistan. However, after last Sunday’s attacks a mob of around 1500 people came and damaged the house we lived in and my family and I are in fear. We came to Pasyala from Negombo placing trust in the people here. However, not it is evident we cannot live here either.”
The situation was brought under control without anyone being hurt due to the timely action taken by the police and the security forces.