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Sri Lankan council Muslim ban overturned

26th Jul 2019

Harun Nasrullah

Police in Sri Lanka overturned a decision by a local council banning Muslims from trading in a farmer’s market.

On June 25, the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Saba (council) had unlawfully ordered Muslims not to participate in the weekly fair in Dankotuwa, north of Colombo. Police Superintendent K A B Kumarapeli told AFP, “We got a court order against the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Saba (council) because we can’t allow this Islamophobia.

He added,We have asked courts to take action against the council chairman for causing tension between communities.” He said the local council chair representing a political party affiliated to former president Mahinda Rajapakse ordered Muslims to stay away, saying their presence could trigger violence.

The region has a high concentration of Christians who suffered the most in the April 21 suicide bombings that targeted three churches and three hotels. At least 258 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in the attacks.

However, police dismissed the basis of the ban on the grounds of tensions. Police say normality has returned after several days of anti-Muslim riots in May when at least one Muslim man was killed and hundreds of Muslim-owned businesses, homes, vehicles and mosques were destroyed.

 

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