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Sri Lankan Muslims indignant over Dambulla incident

Muslims in Ampara and Batticaloa districts demonstrated for a second day through strike action, over the desecration of a mosque in Dambulla.

According to reports in the BBC, demonstrations were halted by the Sri Lankan military.

In a separate incident the office of the Mosque Federation in Kattankudi was set on fire last night in an arson attack.

Meanwhile, Muslims by the Dambulla mosque held an a special prayer session on Friday.

One worshipper said,

"There was a special dua [prayer] which basically implored the almighty to protect us, and the country from evil influences,”

Following the prayers, worshippers held a demonstration outside the mosque.

One placard read: “Gift for Muslims in Dambulla, who helped in Geneva.”

The attack has been condemned by a number parliamentarians and politicians, who are incidentally all Muslim:

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarian Hasen Ali said,

“The saddest part is that this incident had occurred before the presence of the security forces who are supposed to uphold law and order in this country. They have become spectators,”

“There is concrete evidence. The police are aware of the culprits. Action must be taken against them. Similar incidents have taken place in Mahiyangana and Anuradhapura, as well as smaller incidents around the country that have not been reported. These must be put to a stop,”

UNP parliamentarian Kabir Hashim said,

"The government should remember the support of Muslim countries for Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. An immediate and independent inquiry should be conducted over the Dambulla incident,”

Two Sri Lankan government ministers did eventually voice their concerns - Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem, and Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, A.L.M. Hizbullah.