Thursday, June 15, 2017

PM vows to enact new laws to deal with hate speech, crimes-... directs police to investigate attacks against Muslims

by Zacki Jabbar- 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that Police had been instructed to investigate recent attacks on mosques and arrest the perpetrators.

Addressing journalists at Temple Trees, he said the government led by President Maithripala Sirisena was committed to upholding the rule of law and would not permit extremist elements to revive ethnic conflicts and create chaos in the country. " The Cabinet has directed the police to deal strictly with anyone responsible for causing ethnic or religious disharmony. We are even prepared to introduce new laws if necessary."

The Prime Minister’s assurance has come while police are looking for the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera in hiding. He is accused of masterminiding a series attacks on Christian and Muslim religious places of worship.

"I am proud to be a Sinhala Buddhist and Sri Lankan" Wickremesinghe said, adding that those who vilified other people’s religions and cultures should be ashamed to call themselves Sri Lankans.

Emphasising that the violations of the law would be investigated impartially, he said that the country would not be allowed to slide into a state of communal disturbances witnessed in 2014, which had tarnished the image of the country and led to international condemnation.

Wickremesinghe pointed out that a National Unity Government had been elected to create an inclusive society where all Sri Lankans enjoyed equal rights. No one, he said, would be allowed to derail that objective.