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Thursday, October 04, 2012 - 6.35 GMT
Govt. calls for report on sectarian violence


External Affairs Ministry has called on the Sri Lankan High Commission in Bangladesh to submit a full report on violence triggered on Buddhist temples by some sectarian mobs in Bangladesh.

External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama yesterday said he has called for an urgent report on the incidents involving attacks on Buddhist temples in Bangladesh.

"The attacks had taken place on Saturday near the Myanmar border, in Buddhist localities in Ramu and neighbouring areas in Cox's Bazzar (district)," said Amunugama.

Bangladesh Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir had told the media in Bangladesh about the attacks that they were perpetrated by radical elements. Rohingyas and political opponents of the government were also involved. The attacks were carried out to cause communal discord in Bangladesh, the minister had said.

Asked about the situation Amunugama said ," we have learned that the violence had erupted over the infamous anti-Islamic film named "Innocence of Muslims" that has angered the Muslim world to which the Buddhist community has no involvement whatsoever."

Asked what he had to say about the film he said he condemns movies that denigrate religious leaders and objects that are held in veneration by their followers.

"Freedom of expression should not be abused by taking liberties with the masses," he added. Asked about the safety of Sri Lankan Buddhists in Bangladesh, Amunugama said there is a large number of Sri Lankan youth in Chittagong doing their studies.

"We request the government of Bangladesh to provide security for them. I have instructed our High Commissioner in Bangladesh Sarath Weragoda to deal closely with the government of Bangladesh to ensure their security and safety."

According to reports from Chittagong, Police have tightened security in Chittagong following the incidents in Cox's Bazzar, where several Buddhist temples came under attack by some mobs. Meanwhile Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York, has reportedly called for tough measures to prevent further attacks on minority communities.





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Last modified: October 04, 2012.

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