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

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news