News & Updates
Both news media and general public can find important information
about updates, alerts and events that impact human rights in Sri Lanka

Report on the attacks on Muslim properties and places of worship

2017 May 25

In the past few weeks properties owned by Muslims and their places of worship have been attacked. Meanwhile Bodu Nala Sena (BBS) organization, which had remained relatively inactive after the election of the current administration, have once again come to the fore and have become brazen enough to barge into the office of the Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganesan and threaten him.

Between 2012 and 2014 similar attacks took place targeting Muslims, which culminated in the racist riots at Aluthgama which caused a number of deaths and close to Rs one billion in property damages. However it seems that the current attacks are much more pre meditated and that the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) is not willing to take action against those who carried out the attacks, similar to the attitude of Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.

CHR reiterates that the right to religion should be protected and that all citizens have the right to be free of discrimination and insecurity because they adhere to a particular faith. The government must also take firm steps against those who violate laws and ensure people of the country feel safe.

In addition to the attacks on Muslim owned properties, a number of churches of Non catholic Christian denominations, in Deniyaya, Ingiriya, Devendara and Vavuniya, have been vandalized in the last 40 days. The attackers expect to cause a fear psychosis among the victims.

CHR believes that the hesitancy of the government, in the last few years, to punish anyone who has been accused of corruption and sectarian activities is the main reason for this resurgence in extremism.

Civil Society response

When minorities were targeted during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, a large number of civil society activists spoke out against such activities. However they have been silent on the current attacks, although it is obvious that the gravity and the frequency of these attack are increasing.

CHR insists that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that no citizen feels intimidated because of their beliefs and must take action to create an environment where individuals don't have a reason to fear for their safety.

The list of attacks on Muslim owned properties and places of worship

Search News & Updates