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Sinhala MPs express concern over Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka

Several Sinhala MPs expressed concern in parliament today about the presence of Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror reported. 

One opposition MP, Jayantha Samaraweera said a camp for Rohingya refugees had been set up near Mirihana, adding “social media has reported on this and it is indeed a reality."

"We would like to know what actions the government would take in regard to Extradition Laws," he asked. 

MP Wimal Weerawansa said, "the matter had become a serious issue as some of these people who were in the camp had got out of it and living in private residences."

“Some of the children of these people have been admitted to schools,” he added. 

M H M Salman, an MP from the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress responded, “it is true that Sri Lanka has not signed the UN Charter on refugees but it should look at an issue in a compassionate manner especially as Myanmar where the Rohingya people come from has been a friendly nation."

“Both countries have worked together in promoting Buddhism and it is essential that this issue is looked at in a more positive manner,” he added. 

The discussion in parliament comes after last week, the Sri Lankan prime minister stated his objection to allowing fleeing Rohingya refugees into the country. 

Sinhala Buddhist monks have demonstrated over recent weeks in support of their Myanmar counterparts, condemning the Rohingya Muslims as terrorists.

Tamil speaking people across the North-East have meanwhile publicly condemned the atrocities inflicted on the Rohingya Muslim population by Myanmese troops. 

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