OIC voices concern over attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka

OIC voices concern over attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has expressed serious concern at the repeated incidents of violence by extremist mobs against Muslims in Sri Lanka on 28th February and 4th March this year.

Secretary General of the OIC, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen called upon the government of Sri Lanka to take concrete steps to address the propagation of hatred and violence by extremist groups and to ensure the protection of properties and livelihood of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

He appealed for calm and peaceful relations between communities, and urged the authorities to enforce the rule of law, investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Secretary General noted that the Muslim community has a long standing presence in the country and a tradition of living in peace and harmony with their compatriots.

Muslims represent an important and active community that contributes positively to the cultural and economic life of Sri Lanka as a whole.

In Sri Lanka, authorities have shut down social media to control violence against the Muslim minority. The government said some of the violence has been instigated over social media with postings appearing on Facebook threatening more attacks against the minority.

It said Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp would be blocked across the country for three days.

Police has clamped an indefinite curfew in the central highlands district of Kandy where the violence has been centered. President Maithripala Sirisena has also imposed emergency for seven days to control the violence.

Meanwhile, the UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said he is alarmed by the recurring episodes of violence against ethnic and religious minorities in Sri Lanka.

In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he said there should be no impunity, either for the incitement that led to the attacks, or the attacks themselves. APP/AFP