World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN rights experts:Stop the promotion of faith-based violence

“Stop the promotion of hatred and faith-based violence” – UN rights experts urge Sri Lanka

2 July 2014

GENEVA– Three United Nations experts on freedom of religion, minority issues, and summary executions today called on Sri Lanka to adopt urgent measures to stop the promotion of racial and faith-based hatred, and violence against Muslim and Christian communities by Buddhist groups with extremist views, and bring perpetrators of this violence to justice.

More than 350 violent attacks against Muslims and over 150 attacks against Christians have been reported in Sri Lanka in the last two years. Muslim and Christian communities are reportedly subjected to hate speech, discrimination, attacks and acts of violence throughout Sri Lanka frequently.

On 15 June 2014, a local group promoting extremist Sinhalese nationalist views, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS – The Buddhist Power Force), staged a large protest rally in Aluthgama that resulted in inter-communal violence, during which four people lost their lives and about 80 were injured. Homes and shops owned by Muslims, as well as mosques were vandalized and some set ablaze.

“This violence is fueled by the atmosphere of impunity in Sri Lanka,” the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, said. “Impunity and inadequate response from the police and judicial authorities aimed at protecting the lives, physical security, the property and places of worship of these communities may encourage further attacks and a risk of spiralling violence.”

Mr. Bielefeldt urged Sri Lanka to guarantee the right to freedom of religion or belief of members of minority religious communities and stop any advocacy of racial and religious hatred.

“The Government must end the violence and put in place urgent protective measures to ensure the personal security of all individuals belonging to religious minority communities living in the country,” the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, stressed.

“The full range of rights of religious minorities must be guaranteed in law and protected in practice,” she noted welcoming the President’s announcement of the appointment of a high level panel to investigate those incidents.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, called on the Sri Lankan authorities “to take urgent and firm measures to bring the perpetrators of killings to justice, and ensure the immediate adoption of robust protective measures.”

“Showing determination to ensure accountability in such cases must be a key element of the Government’s efforts to prevent the attacks and guarantee the safety of the members of religious minority communities” Mr. Heyns said.

Alongside BBS, other groups promoting extremist views in Sri Lanka, such as the Sinhala Ravaya and the Hela Bodu Powura, purport to be the protectors of Sinhala Buddhism, which they claim is being threatened by Muslim and Christian religious minorities.

These extremist groups reportedly proclaim the racial superiority of Sinhala Buddhists and spread fear among local population, for example, through allegations that Buddha statues are being bulldozed by religious minorities, or that evangelical Christians are forcibly converting youths and sick patients in their hospital beds, or that Muslims are smuggling drugs and birth control pills in order to destroy Sinhalese people and prevent their reproduction.

“These statements contribute to spread a climate of fear among Sinhala Buddhists, who constitute the majority population in Sri Lanka, and resentment towards minorities,” the UN human rights experts said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Detroit: Impact Of Water Disconnections On Human Rights

GENEVA / NEW YORK (15 October 2015) – Two United Nations human rights experts will visit the city of Detroit (Michigan- USA) from 18 to 20 October 2014, to learn more about the impact of large-scale water disconnections on low-income, marginalized ... More>>

UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq
  • U.S Announces Humanitarian Assistance For Palestinians

    Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news