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Sri Lankan Monks Blame Police For Rising Attacks on Muslims, Christians

COLOMBO, Jan 29 — Sri Lanka’s Buddhist hierarchy and other religious leaders accused police Tuesday of failing to prosecute those behind a recent wave of attacks on Christians and Muslims, reported AFP.

A multi-religious group led by Buddhist monks said the country had failed to grasp the threat posed by hate speech and attacks because local media reports had not been “impartial or factual.”

“There is at present a public perception that such attacks are taking place due to failure of law enforcement authorities to take necessary action,” said the Forum for Inter-Faith Dialogue (FIFD).

“If unchecked, these alarming trends would cause immeasurable damage and drawback to the country.”

FIFD, which is backed by the highest levels of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim clergy and is an initiative of former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, said it was asking for full implementation of the law.

The call came after a string of attacks against churches and mosques, some of them led by young Buddhist monks.

Videos shared on YouTube have shown Buddhist monks throwing stones and smashing a Christian prayer center in southern Sri Lanka earlier this month while police looked on.

Monks were also caught on video camera last year smashing Muslim-owned businesses just outside the capital.

Mobs led by Buddhist monks had also attacked mosques and forced the closure of at least one Islamic prayer center in the capital in August, fueling international concern for religious freedom in the majority Buddhist nation.

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