OIC countries call on govt. to prevent communal violence in SL

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Ambassadors and the High Commissioners of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Countries in Sri Lanka, in a joint statement, said the communal violence targeting Muslims in Sri Lanka has regional and global security implications.

The situation that has developed over the past few days has been extremely worrying with regards to the safety and protection of the Sri Lankan Muslim community, including some foreign Muslim refugees, the statement further said.

The envoys of the OIC countries state that the lives and livelihoods of Muslims, including their local stores and large business establishments, are threatened by the prevailing conditions with unforeseen, dangerous consequences.

“The Muslim community across Sri Lanka is deeply worried about the politically motivated intimidations and provocations, which HE President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out in his Iftar reception statement,” the statement said.

“We all know that even the smallest incident in an isolated Sri Lankan village can be recorded and shared online for mass viewership, stoking widespread violence and counter-violence. And the ongoing divisive, hate speech that demonizes and excludes the other hardly helps remedy this grave situation but worsens it, which should be a cause for our shared concern,” the statement noted.

“As longstanding friends of Sri Lanka, the diplomatic representatives of OIC countries promote peace, stability, and harmony among the people of Sri Lanka,” the statement further read.

The envoys state that they encourage them to seek unity in diversity, which underpins the attractiveness of Sri Lanka as a tolerant and peace-loving nation with a heritage that fosters ‘doing no harm to others’.

“Therefore, we, the representatives of the OIC countries, urge the friendly government of Sri Lanka to take every measure necessary to prevent communal violence and to take swift, stern judicial action against the perpetrators, regardless of their religious and political influence in the Sri Lankan society,” the statement further noted.