US says Muslims in Lanka discriminated

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The US State Department says intolerance of, and discrimination against, Muslims by some Buddhists saw an increase in Sri Lanka last year.

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 released by the US State Department on Monday, also said that last year, U.S. embassy officials conveyed U.S. government concerns about religious freedom, particularly attacks on churches, to government leaders and urged them to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

The report which looks at religious freedom, or the lack of it in all countries for 2012, noted that in certain instances, local authorities in Si Lanka failed to respond effectively to communal attacks, including attacks on members of minority religious groups.

The report said that there were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

 “Sporadic violent attacks on Christian churches by Buddhists and some societal tension due to ongoing allegations of forced or “unethical” conversions (i.e., the use of bribes to persuade people to convert) continued, although the number and scale of attacks were reportedly fewer than in recent years. Intolerance of, and discrimination against, Muslims by some Buddhists increased during the year,” the report said. (Colombo Gazette)