Radical Buddhists need to be restrained: Lankan minister

Updated 02 July 2014
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Radical Buddhists need to be restrained: Lankan minister

Sri Lankan Justice Minister Rauf Hakeen called on his government to bring the perpetrators of recent violence in the country to justice.
He lamented that those responsible for waging anti-Muslim violence were roaming free and stressed need to arrest them to restore law and order, the minister said while speaking with Arab News in Colombo.
“The organization and the person who instigated the violence have not been held accountable for their crime,” Hakim said. He praised the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s efforts for taking relief measures. Hakeem, who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), said Muslim families living in remote areas felt insecure in the aftermath of recent incidents of violence.
“A radical group is responsible for all this and unless they are properly dealt with, Muslims cannot live in peace in the country,” he said, recalling the group has been involved in sporadic attacks against Muslims over the past two years.
He regretted that religious worshipping places were also attacked. Security forces are deployed to maintain law and order in the country and there is a legal system to address citizens’ concerns.
“The Muslim community in the island is outraged, angered and frustrated by the violence,” Hakeem said and hoped the government would take action to stop recurrences of violence in the island.
Around 10 percent of the country’s 20 million population are Muslims, most of whom had formed an effective vote bank for the ruling government, but the recent incident has reduced support, due to loss of confidence in the government, Hakim said.
He stressed, “The rule of law should be strictly followed; no one can be above the law, whether he is a Buddhist or a member any other community.” He said despite the violence unleashed by the radical group, the moderate Sinhalese are for communal harmony and want to co-exist peacefully with other communities in the island.
Sri Lanka has in recent times witnessed a spate of violence against the country’s Muslims, the latest being on June 15 when the ultranationalist Buddhist Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) provoked a rally to violence that left at least four Muslims dead, 80 injured and many houses, both residential and business, destroyed in the town of Aluthgama and surrounding areas.


Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 42 min 5 sec ago
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Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

  • The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement
  • The king wished the two countries further security, prosperity and stability

JEDDAH: King Salman chaired the Cabinet’s session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday.

The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement.

King Salman expressed his congratulations to the two countries and said that he hoped the signing of the agreement would be a strong basis for closer cooperation and friendship, achieving security and stability, and would positively affect the security and stability of the region.

The king also congratulated Djibouti and Eritrea on their historic meeting in Jeddah — which came in response to his invitation — wishing the two countries further security, prosperity and stability.

The Cabinet praised the efforts of the two countries’ leaders to restore relations between them to establish a new stage that would witness a great development in relations and further cooperation.

The Cabinet congratulated the king and crown prince on the success of these efforts, which resulted in the signing of the Jeddah Peace Agreement and also the historic meeting between Djibouti and Eritrea after ten years of severed relations. 

The Cabinet praised the resolutions of the 150th ordinary session of the Arab League’s Council at the level of foreign ministers held in Cairo, and the statement issued by the Arab Quartet Ministerial Committee held on the sidelines of the 150th session of the Arab League’s Council, on the follow-up of the crisis with Iran and ways to address its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The Cabinet highlighted the terrorism practiced by Iran through its interference in Arab affairs, which needs cooperation to confront and deter, reiterating that the Kingdom has made efforts to combat terrorism and has not hesitated to provide support with the cooperation of the international community to address this.

The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the suicide bombings north of Tikrit in Iraq, the Somali capital of Mogadishu and Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, expressing condolences to the families of the victims, the governments and peoples of Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.