Several Muslim organisations have called for an “immediate investigation and urgent action on the continued hate mongering against the Muslim community,” in a letter addressed to the acting Inspector General of Police amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wish to state that it is also important to investigate whether any organized group is supporting, aiding and abetting the spread of racial and religious hatred to destabilize the country at a time when the Government’s fullest attention is on controlling and eliminating the deadly COVID-19 here in Sri Lanka,” added the letter.
It goes on to detail several incidents of reported hate speech towards Muslim, including one where a speaker claims “intelligence personnel of the country’s armed forces” were involved in spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Amongst the other incidents were calls not to but products from Muslim shops and conspiracy theories claiming Muslims were aiding the spread of coronavirus on the island.
See the full text of the letter here.
The letter comes after the Sri Lanka government made cremations compulsory for all coronavirus victims, disregarding advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and going against Islamic tradition. The move was criticised by UN Special Rapporteurs who appealed to Colombo to reconsider.
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