Sri Lanka police face media flak

2014-06-22 12:00
Colombo - Sri Lanka's media showed rare unity in condemning police on Sunday for their failure to control anti-Muslim Buddhist extremists as religious tensions grow in the wake of riots in the island's south.

A day after a Muslim-owned shop was burnt down outside the capital Colombo, the privately-run The Nation weekly took the unusual step of publishing its editorial as the main story on its front page, with the blunt headline: "The IGP (Inspector-General of Police) must resign".

Other media joined in blasting police for failing to rein in a hardline Buddhist group known as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS or the Buddhist Force), blamed for much of the unrest.

They pointed the finger at the extremist monks for the anti-Muslim riots that erupted a week ago, leaving four people dead, 80 wounded and hundreds of homes and shops destroyed.

"Arrest him," the Sunday Leader newspaper demanded in a headline, referring to the head of the BBS, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, who has publicly denied causing trouble.

Sri Lanka's Sunday Times said the burning down of a Muslim-owned clothing store outside Colombo on Saturday "is an indication that some people might want this violence to spread".

Sri Lankan police were investigating the cause of the blaze, which Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, the most senior Muslim in President Mahinda Rajapakse's cabinet, described Saturday as an arson attack.

The Sunday Times said a majority of Buddhists in the country did not support the extremist views of the few monks who were behind the hate campaign, and that they should be dealt with before the unrest escalates further.

Some media reports also suggested that patronage by senior government figures may have held police back from acting against the BBS.

Justice Minister Hakeem has asked the government to order an independent probe into the riots since last week.

Hakeem, in a statement issued on Saturday night, blamed the government for failing to control the BBS.

"Irrespective of who is responsible for the terrible events that unfolded... none would dispute that it was a serious dislocation of the ability of the state to maintain the rule of law," Hakeem said after an emergency meeting Saturday with Rajapakse.

The president has said he is ordering a probe into "recent disturbances".

Muslims account for about 10% of Sri Lanka's 20 million population, who are mainly Buddhist.
Read more on:    sri lanka
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

40% off top appliances!

Save 40% on the top 10 appliances on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save 20% on Camping gear!

Buy 4 camping items and save 20%. While stocks last. Shop now!

Fifty Shades of Grey!

This great read will captivate you from cover to cover and leave you itching for more. Get your copy now!

20% off braai items!

Save 20% when you buy 2 braai items. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are on form and you may like an audience to share your ideas and concepts with. Drama and creativity flavour your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.