Sri Lanka:’ Hardline Buddhists’likely behind attacks on Muslims’


Sri Lankan authorities stated that Buddhist classes were likely to blame for a wave of anti-Muslim riots that swept the island this week in apparent retaliation for last month’s Easter bombings.

The April 21 strikes, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS), targeted temples and resorts, killing over 250 people and heightening fears of a backlash from the nation’s minority Muslims.

From the anti-Muslim unrest that began Sunday, dinosaurs transferred through cities in Sri Lanka’s northwest, ransacking mosques, trimming Korans and assaulting shops with gas bombs, residents stated.

Authorities have arrested dozens of suspected rioters, including three described as Sinhala Buddhist hardliners who’d been investigated for similar actions from the town in Kandy district last year.

“All these are organised attacks on Muslim small business houses and premises,” Navin Dissanayake, ministry of plantation industries, said during a government news conference on Wednesday about the security situation.

Asked who had been organising the attacks, Dissanayake said:”I think these organisations which Amith Weerasinghe, Dan Priyasad, and also Namal Kumara (are heading),” referring to the three Buddhist hardliners detained on Tuesday.

Local press reported on Wednesday the Priyasad was released on bond on Wednesday while Weerasinghe had been remanded before May 28. The status of Kumara wasn’t clear, according to the Reuters news agency.

Muslims make up nearly 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 22 million, which is mainly Buddhist. The Indian Ocean island was torn with a civil war between separatists from the largely Hindu Tamil minority and the Sinhala Buddhist-dominated authorities\. The authorities stamped out the rebellion around 10 years back.

In the last few decades, Buddhist hardliners, led to the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or”Buddhist Power Force” have stoked discriminated against Muslims, stating Middle Eastern influence has turned the community much more conservative and Immunology.

‘Political aims’

In the same press conference, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, minister of public management, said the group behind the strikes had political aims.

“This team is trying to tarnish the administration’s picture and show the government is unable to manage the circumstance,” he said, without even naming the organisation.

Police said the island was composed again, with no anti-Muslim violence reported Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s military said it was exploring a video posted on social websites that showed a guy wearing what appears to be a military uniform walking off seconds before an anti-Muslim mob assaulted a construction this week.

In the movie, the man stands outside the building and then renders. Seconds later, approximately two dozen individuals, including guys run over and throw rocks.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the video.

“The interest of the military was attracted to a video clip in which a person dressed in uniform like that of the army was watching while a bunch of abusive saboteurs were in action from the overall area of Thunmodara,” the army said in a statement declaring that the analysis.


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