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Sri Lanka – Fears of Attacks on Minorities, Vandalisation

Published Nov 27, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Observers were concerned over persecution and attacks on minorities after the new government led by President Gothbaya Rajapaksa took office post Elections on November 16 in the country.

Two incidents of vandalistion of Tamil name boards and attack on aAll Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and former Minister RishadBathiudeen’s vehicle convoy have raised concerns.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered police to conduct an immediate investigation into vandalizing the Tamil name boards of streets and arrest the culprits. Acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickramaratne has given instructions to the police today (25) and accordingly, police patrol officers have been made aware of the PM’s order, Police Media Spokesperson SSP RuwanGunasekara said.

An incident of damaging the Tamil name boards on a street in the Panadura South Police area has been reported. It is suspected that this may have been the work of an organized group. Investigations are underway to determine if the move has a political face, the police said. Accordingly steps have been taken to increase the police mobile, motorcycle and night patrols. The Prime Minister has also ordered his office to reinstate the damaged boards immediately.

Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and former Minister RishadBathiudeen’s vehicle convoy was attacked by unidentified persons in Kadaymottai, Mundalam in Puttalam this evening, the police said.

It has been reported that the road was blocked in the Mundalama area and the vehicles were attacked when RishadBathiudeen and a group were traveling to meet supporters in Mundalama area this evening.

Over 10 people have reportedly joined the attack. A group of people blocked th road had stopped the vehicles while another group in hiding have sprung up and attacked the vehicles with clubs and stones, the passengers in the vehicles said.

MP RishadBathiudeen’s vehicle was also hit by stones, but no injuries have been reported.

However, several vehicles were damaged and some in the group have been injured. The injured have been admitted to the Puttalam Base hospital.

However, Mundalama police said that only one vehicle was damaged and the police have not received any information about the injured.