Wednesday, March 21, 2018 06:30:37 PM

Escalating Violence: Renewed assaults on the Muslim community

By Hilmy Ahamed - Mon May 22, 6:43 am

Featured image courtesy Paula Bronstein/The Global Mail

Post war Sri Lanka saw a wave of attacks targeting the Muslim community by Buddhist extremist groups. The Mahinda Rajapaksa government allowed these extremists free rein, which caused extensive damage, including injuries and the damaging of Muslim-owned property. This resulted in the Muslims voting en-bloc to overthrow the once indispensable Rajapaksa regime.

The regime change brought about a lull in Buddhist extremist activity but tensions restarted with land issues in Musali, when groups claimed that Muslim IDPs, returning from the 1990 eviction by the LTTE were being illegally settled within the Wilpattu forest reserve. President Maithripala Sirisena made public statements claiming that the former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who headed the Presidential Task Force for Northern Development had allocated land within the Wilpattu reserve. Later he retracted this statement, and said not a single inch of Wilpattu reserve had been encroached. The groups continued their campaign to deprive the Muslim IDPs of their right to return.

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