Protest in Manchester against violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

MEMBERS of Manchester’s Sri Lankan community gathered to protest against violence directed at Muslims in Sri Lanka.

More than 200 people attended the march in Manchester Piccadilly yesterday (March 11).

They called for an end to the rioting that has taken hold over the last few days in the central district of Kandy.

The BBC has reported that Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency following several attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned shops.

Faizah Farook, from Great Lever, representing the Sri Lankan community, said: "We are deeply concerned and condemn the circumstances surrounding the prevailing tension in Sri Lanka

"We regret the communal tensions that have taken root and spread across different parts of Sri Lanka over the last few days.

"This is a well-orchestrated hate campaign directed against a minority community in Sri Lanka by extremists.

"It is of the utmost importance that extremist elements are not nurtured and given the space to influence and dictate the words and actions of the communities, leading to increased violence, unrest and irreparable damage to breach inter-communal harmony."

The Sri Lankan community across the North West has called for the Sri Lankan Government to take action against the offenders and to reiterate the urgency for bringing in a law to ban hate speech against ethnic groups.

Mr Farook said: "We organised the protest to urge the Sri Lanka Government to take immediate action to uphold the rule of law in the country, and to stem the violence currently prevailing in different part of the country.

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