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

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news