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Int'l pressure on Sri Lanka to stop hate crime against Muslims

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Intl pressure on Sri Lanka to stop hate crime against Muslims
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Colombo: Envoys of many countries, including Australia and Canada, have visited a prominent mosque here to express their solidarity with Sri Lanka's minority Muslims who allege that their religious places have come under hate crime attacks from Buddhist extremist groups.

The ambassadors visited the mosque and called for the perpetrators to be brought to book to ensure the equality of law.

The Colombo-based heads of missions of European Union, Australia, Canada and South Africa visited a prominent mosque to express solidarity with Muslim community leaders, said Azad Sally, a Muslim politician.

The Muslim civil society complains that incidents of hate crimes against their religious places and businesses have increased since mid April.

The police have failed to bring anyone to book, it says.

According to police, the Buddhist majority extremist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or the Forces of Buddhist Power have been behind such attacks.

BBS leader and monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara was seen publicly slamming Islam last month.

Gnanasara is wanted for contempt of court and has been ordered by a court not to leave the country.

Sri Lanka's population practises a variety of religions.

As of the 2011 census, 70 per cent of Sri Lankans were Theravada Buddhists, 12 per cent Hindus, 9.7 per cent Muslims and 7.4 per cent Christians.

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