Sri Lankan President orders crackdown on hate groups

International forces who want to unsettle Sri Lanka are trying to use the recent violence to further their motive, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said and ordered authorities to take firm action against individuals attempting to spread hatred.

Colombo: International forces who want to unsettle Sri Lanka are trying to use the recent violence to further their motive, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said and ordered authorities to take firm action against individuals attempting to spread hatred.

"We must not forget that those International forces who want to unsettle our reconciliation and communal peace are now trying to use this situation," Rajapaksa said in a special message to the nation here yesterday.

He asked all Sri Lankans to understand the situation at hand and work towards co-existence among all communities.

"No one can take the law into their own hands. I have instructed the police to take firm action against anyone violating the law," he said.

His comments came after he met his ruling coalition`s Muslim minority politicians in the central town of Badulla over violence against the community members.

Four people were killed and nearly 100 injured in communal clashes on Sunday in the southwestern areas of Beruwala, Dharga Town and Aluthgama.

Clashes were blamed on the Buddhist nationalist BBS which over the last two years have been running a counter campaign against what they have termed an extremist campaign by the Muslim community. They accuse minorities of enjoying undue political and economic influence.

Muslims alleged that police inaction and connivance of certain sections within the Rajapaksa government had led to the attacks.

Muslim constitute about 10 per cent of Sri Lanka`s 20 million population.

Rajapaksa yesterday also said he will appoint a panel to investigate the violence.

"I will be appointing a high-level panel to inquire in to recent disturbances," Rajapaksa tweeted.

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