Sri Lankan anti-Muslim sectarian violence

This video from Sri Lanka says about itself:

Colombo (AsiaNews): Press freedom in Sri Lanka is under siege with both Tamil and Sinhalese journalists threatened, newspaper offices raided by police and people arrested or even killed, this according to the Free Media Movement (FMM) whose members as well as members of the national media demonstrated in front of Fort Station, Colombos main railway station.

They noted that last year eight journalists were killed, both Tamil and Sinhalese; that in the last three months, two Tamil journalists were arrested; that five other survived attacks; that ten editors and managing editors have received death threats in Colombo, not to mention countless others who are constantly harassed.

By K. Ratnayake in Sri Lanka:

Buddhist mob in Sri Lanka threatens to demolish a mosque

8 May 2012

Under conditions of sharpening social tensions in Sri Lanka, Buddhist priest Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala last month launched a provocative anti-Muslim campaign to demand the demolition of a mosque in a so-called sacred area connected to his Rangiri Dambulu temple. The government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is lending tacit support to this reactionary move.

On April 20, around 1,000 people gathered outside the Masjidul Khaira mosque in Dambulla, a town in Central Province. They shouted slogans, waved Buddhist flags and demanded the mosque’s demolition. Sumangala was seen leading the protest and issuing orders. The previous night, a petrol bomb was thrown into the mosque by unidentified persons as a warning shot for next day’s action.

About 50 persons who had gathered for Friday prayers were trapped inside when the mob laid siege to the mosque. The army, police and its special task force were deployed after the trustees of the mosque called for protection. The security forces, however, made no move to disperse the crowd or make arrests, even through a number of monks were openly advocating violence.

The police asked those inside the mosque to hide in an inner room, then later asked them to vacate the premises. The mob only dispersed after a senior government official for the area promised a solution by April 23. The monk Sumangala threatened further protests if the mosque was not demolished. He is also demanding the removal of a Hindu temple from the same area.

The sympathetic attitude of the security forces towards the racialist mob contrasts with their violent methods in dealing with protests and strikes by workers, youth and the rural poor. In February, police fired on fishermen and their supporters protesting against the government’s fuel price hikes, killing one fisherman and wounding others.

Another Sinhala-Buddhist extremist attack on two Christian churches in southern Sri Lanka has further demonstrated how fascist-type organisations led by Buddhist monks are emerging under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government. Confronted with a deepening economic crisis and emerging workers’ struggles, the government is encouraging racialist provocations in order to divide and divert the working class: here.

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10 thoughts on “Sri Lankan anti-Muslim sectarian violence

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  3. SRI LANKA: Buddhists have hurled petrol bombs and looted homes and businesses in several Muslim towns, killing three Muslims and seriously wounding more than 50 people in overnight attacks, authorities said yesterday.

    The attacks were led by mobs from the anti-Muslim Bodu Bala Sena — or Buddhist Power Force.

    The violence in the towns of Aluthgama, Darga Nagar and Beruwala erupted after a Sunday afternoon rally.


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