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Sri Lanka troops humiliate Muslims

16th Jul 2021
Sri Lanka troops humiliate Muslims

Eravur, 190 miles from Colombo (Credit: Mohamed Fahath Fareed/Instagram)

Nadine Osman

Sri Lanka’s military has confirmed an investigation has been launched after social media posts show soldiers forcing Muslims to kneel on the streets as punishment for flouting Covid-19 lockdown rules last month.

Soldiers ordered Muslim pedestrians, on their way to buy food, to hold their hands in the air while kneeling on a road in the town of Eravur, about 190 miles from Colombo.

Officials acknowledged that troops were acting out of their jurisdictions.
“An initial Military Police investigation has already commenced after certain photos went viral depicting an alleged harassment in the Eravur area,” the army said in a statement on June 20.

It said the officer in charge had been removed and the soldiers involved ordered to leave Eravur.

“The army will adopt the strictest disciplinary action against all errant army personnel,” the military added.

Sri Lanka is under a month-long lockdown to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections. The number of deaths from the virus has increased more than fourfold to 2,531 since the start of the wave in mid-April.

The military, which is facing allegations of war crimes in a decades-long Tamil separatist war that ended in 2009, has been deployed to help police and health authorities enforce virus restrictions.

Successive governments have denied that troops killed approximately 40,000 civilians in the final stages of the separatist war, which killed more than 100,000 in total between 1972 and 2009.

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