Sri Lankan govt plans ban on groups promoting hatred
Colombo: The Sri Lankan government plans to ban the groups which promote religious and ethnic hatred, in the wake of attacks on Muslims in the country.
Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, said he would soon present a Cabinet paper which would seek to outlaw such groups.
"They want to shatter the communal and religious peace in the country. This should not be allowed," he said, adding that the Sri Lankan constitution has guaranteed the freedom of religion.
Bodu Bala Sena, a Buddhist nationalist group, is leading a campaign which they say targets the growing Muslim extremism in the country. Similarly, two other groups Sinhala Ravaya and Ravana Balaya are also running a parallel campaign.
Less than 10 per cent of Sri Lanka's population of 20 million are Muslim. The majority are Sinhalese Buddhist, while most Tamils are Hindu.
Reacting to the minister's move, the BBS general secretary Galgodaatte Gnanasara said that Nanayakkara must work hard to give due place to the majority Sinhala language.
"That is his duty as the minister of languages. We advise him to stay without having to face a ban on him by us. He can't ban us," Gnanasara stressed.