Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Sri Lankan state continues to protect Buddhist nationalists - US report

The Sri Lankan government continues to give Buddhism the most prominent place, with police and local government officials appearing 'to act in concert with Buddhist nationalists'.

'For example, police continued to cite outdated government circulars restricting the construction of religious facilities in attempts to force churches to cease operations,' the report said, although acknowledging that such instances had reduced under the present government. 

'In multiple instances, police reportedly failed to respond or were reluctant to arrest or pursue criminal cases against individuals instigating attacks on minority religious sites,' the report however added. 

'CPA noted in its “Advocacy Brief – Human Rights Violations and Surveillance in Sri Lanka,” which covered the period from January to September (hereafter CPA Brief), the government had not yet prosecuted hardline Buddhist monks involved in attacks in 2014 against Muslims and Christians.'

'Sources stated Buddhist monks continued to operate with government protection, and some monks, particularly outside Colombo, regularly tried to close down Christian and Muslim places of worship on the grounds they lacked the Ministry of Justice and Buddha Sasana’s approval. The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) documented a total of 87 cases of attacks on churches, intimidation and violence against pastors and their congregations, and obstruction of worship services during the year. NCEASL had reported a total of 96 such incidents in 2014.'

See the full text of the report here.