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Muslims call off protest over Buddhist attacks at police behest

Sri Lankan Muslims called off a protest planned for today (Monday) to denounce a series of attacks by Buddhist extremists - after police warned their action could further inflame religious tensions. See NDTV’s report here.

On Sunday the police announced a ban on public meetings and rallies which ‘promote hatred among religions, AFP reported.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana also said Sunday that security would be stepped in Colombo in light of the impending Muslim protest against last week’s mob violence against Muslims in Aluthgama, which residents said were abetted by the security forces.

However on Monday, the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaath (SLTJ) said they were calling off their demonstration in the capital as well as a work stoppage (‘hartal’) after talks with a senior police officer in charge of security in Colombo.

In a hartal last Thursday similar to that planned for Monday, more than 1,000 Muslim-owned businesses in Colombo remained closed for the day.

Also on Thursday, there were heated exchanges at the weekly ministerial meeting between Sinhala and Muslim ministers.

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