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Sri Lanka's exports to Pakistan plummet after anti-Muslim violence

Exports from Sri Lanka to Pakistan have plummeted, the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum said this month, after days of anti-Muslim violence attacking Muslim businesses, homes and mosques. 

"It is the Muslim community in Sri Lanka that imports Pakistani products and sells them there. They are partners of Pakistani exporters,” the Forum's chairperson, Aslam Pakhali told the Express Tribune. 

"Their shops, super stores and godowns are being targeted. The goods exported from Pakistan have been unloaded at the Sri Lankan port, but the importers are not getting them cleared because of the deteriorating law and order situation there," he added. 

"Rice and textile exports to Sri Lanka from Pakistan have stopped. Potato export has also reduced drastically."

"The loss to the Muslim community by now is estimated at $500 million and payments to the Pakistani exporters amounting of $30 million have been withheld.”

His comments come as videos have emerged appeared to show military personnel colluding with the mobs and a saffron robed Buddhist monk taking part in the rioting. 

The army said it had launched a special inquiry into an incident which took place in Thunmodara where one soldier was accused of standing by whilst the mobs attacked Muslim property. 

"If the inquiry confirms that the person in question happens to be an Army member, the Army will take all necessary disciplinary actions against the said member," the army said. 

A video released by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka yesterday shows military and police personnel not just standing by but actively joining in with rioting Sinhala mobs. 

"The CCTV recording from the mosque shows an army soldier apparently calling the mob towards the premises with a hand signal around 6.45 pm. In less than a minute later, at least three policemen and five soldiers can be seen among the mob that started pelting the windows with stones," JDS said, publicising the video. 

Read more here.

Over 60 people have been arrested in relation to the anti-Muslim riots, which left one Muslim man dead and hundreds of homes, businesses and mosques destroyed. 

The riots are reminiscent of anti-Tamil pogroms from the 1950s-1980s, where state security forces were well documented to have colluded with the attacking Sinhala mobs. 

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