Christian Leaders in Sri Lanka Express Concern Over Increased Persecution

ICC Note:

Christian leaders in Sri Lanka have expressed concern over the sudden increase in violent attacks against religious minorities, including Christians, across Sri Lanka. What the leaders find most disturbing is the fact that the perpetrators of this violence are hardly ever brought to justice even though victims have eye witness testimony, video and photographic evidence. Also, police are often passive observers to assaults on Christians. Will these concerns be taken seriously?             

4/4/2013 Sri Lanka (Colombo Gazette) – The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) is deeply concerned regarding the prevalence in Sri Lanka of an organized campaign of hatred against adherents of non‐majority faiths.

In recent months Muslims and Christians alike have faced numerous attacks and violence against their practice of worship. Additionally Muslim owned business establishments and Muslim women in their religious attire have faced attack and assault, NCEASL said.

NCEASL charged that the attacks have occurred with impunity. In most instances there have been no arrests and punitive action taken, though the attacks have occurred openly with eye witnesses, video and photographic evidence available. The law enforcement authorities have been generally passive onlookers in the outrageous assault on basic human rights and liberties, including religious freedom, economic and cultural rights of minority religious communities.

“On going social violence against ethnic and religious minorities is a phenomenon that Sri Lanka can ill afford, as it struggles to reconcile after close upon three decades of civil war. Internationally, Sri Lanka’s request for time and space to reconcile, subsequent to two resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), sound hollow and lack credibility in the face of ongoing intimidation and violence against ethnic and religious minorities,” NCEASL said.

It said that there are two alarming factors about the current situation. The first is that the violence seem to be organized and orchestrated by two organizations. Hence the violence has sustainability.

Secondly and most alarmingly both the extremist violent organizations seemingly have patronage and support from authorities and hence the impunity with which they operate.

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