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May 23, 2017

‘Attacks on Muslim interests, a plot against govt.’ Featured

Attacks against mosques and Muslim business establishments have intensified, with 15 incidents of attacks and provocations taking place since April, BBC Sinhala Service reports quoting Muslim people.

The government claims these to be an organized attempt to set the Muslims against the government.

Minister Mano Ganeshan said several organizations were plotting to target Muslim people, provoke racism and religious extremism to divide the country.

Should enforce law

He admitted the government had a responsibility to prevent such attacks and to enforce the law against the perpetrators.

He described these as an organized attempt to cause Muslims’ displeasure against the government and to prevent them from supporting the government at a future election.

The perpetrators have calculated that even if they could not obtain Muslims’ vote, preventing them from voting would be enough for them to win, according to him.

The attacks

Jumma mosque at Mawalapitiya, Kurunegala came under petrol bomb attack

Human rights lawyer Shiraz Noordeen said the attacks against Muslim interests were – petrol bomb attacks on four business establishments at Godapitiya on April 16, damage to a Sufi Islam saint at Galle Fort on April 17, Muslim-Buddhist dispute over the ownership of a land at Irakkamam in Ampara on April 20, accusation of a group of Buddhist monks having used hate speech against a minority during a visit to Irakkamam on April 25, accusation that Buddhist monks visiting Onegama, Polonnaruwa on May 14 having threatened Muslims, a petrol bomb attack on a mosque on May 15, attack on Al Ibrahimia mosque at Kohilawatte, Wellampitiya on May 16, shooting targeting Muslim areas at Selvanagar, Trincomalee and their fleeing homes on May 16, petrol bomb attack on a Muslim bakery and a telephone centre in Panadura on May 17, setting fire to a business place in Wennappuwa on May 18, a petrol bomb attack at a mosque at Manarampitiya in Kandy on May 19, setting fire to a shop in Elpitiya on May 20, a petrol bomb attack on Jumma mosque at Mawalapitiya in Kurunegala on May 21, setting fire to a business place in front of Ampara district secretariat on May 22 and setting fire to a business place in Maharagama on May 22.

No arrests have been made so far in connection with any of these incidents.

Attempts to reach police spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody to ask him about police investigations into the incidents failed.

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