Pakistan asks President Sirisena to protect Muslims from harm

by Zacki Jabbar

Pakistan has expressed serious concern over recent mob attacks by some extremist Sinhalese politicians and organizations on Sri Lankan Muslims in Ampara and Digana leading to a substantial loss of life and property.

Informed sources said that Pakistan, considered a true friend of Sri Lanka, had taken a firm stand with President Mamnoon Hussain telling President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to Islamabad late last month that they were disappointed and shocked at the manner in which Muslims in Ampara and Digana had been treated, following a road rage incident that led to a Sinhalese lorry driver being killed.

Hussain had emphasised that Sirisena should rein in the extremists seeking to create another ethnic conflict and ensure that Sri Lankan Muslims could live as equal citizens and free from harm in their motherland.

The government said that a total of over 400 houses, businesses and mosques were either fully or partly burnt or damaged in Ampara and Digana , due to organized attacks carried out by mobs belonging to the extremist "Mahason Balakaya" and some politicians from the Podujana Peramuna whose leader was former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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