World Bulletin / News Desk
Muslim places of worship and shops in different parts of Sri Lanka have been attacked early Saturday morning, following week-long anti-Muslim violence that has killed three Muslims in the southwestern region of the country.
Buddhist mobs attacked a mosque in the village of Navanthurai in Jaffna district and a prayer room at the University of Jaffna, according to residents and students in the area.
A branch of No Limit fashion chain owned by Muslims was burnt down at 2.45 a.m. on Saturday in Panadura, 25 km south of Colombo.
"6 petrol bombs were hurled at the store in a pre-dawn attack in which nobody was hurt but the building and the goods were damaged," sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
Special Task Force personnel were put on duty to control the crowd outside the building. Armoured vehicles were seen patrolling the area after the attack.
"Two fire brigade vehicles came, but they had no water to douse the fire," eye witnesses told AA.
Meanwhile, a solidarity protest was staged in Jaffna and the Tamil National People's Front condemned the recent attacks on Muslims in the south.
The clashes, which killed three Muslims and a Tamil who worked on a Muslim farm, started after hardline Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena held a rally in southwestern town Aluthgama on Sunday, before marching into predominantly Muslim areas.
Bodu Bala Sena, which literally translates to Buddhist Power Force, is a right-wing Buddhist group that was established after the end of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war in 2009. They belong to the country's Sinhalese Buddhist majority and have been accused of inciting hate against other religions in Sri Lanka.
A heated argument between Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa and two of his Muslim ministers took place at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem urged Rajapaksa to take action against the ultranationalist Buddhist monk Gnanasara Thero and his alleged anti-Muslim hate speech.
The argument comes after the monk gave a speech to his followers in the Bodu Bala Sena hardline group at a rally in southwestern Aluthgama town on Sunday. They then marched into Muslim areas in Beruwala and Dharga town where clashes broke out, killing four people. Eyewitnesses said Muslim-owned shops were set alight and mosques vandalized, forcing many - especially women and children - into hiding.
Bathiudeen told the president that his government should take full responsibility for what has happened in Dharga Town, and Beruwala, and told him that he was not the just the "president of the Sinhala people, but the president of all the communities."
Rajapaksa, incited by the standoff, ordered him to stop speaking and accused him of being a racist and a religious fundamentalist.
Bathiudeen, both shocked and shaken, was pacified by his fellow ministers.
Agreements on battleships and fighter jets go ahead in Paris despite opposition from right groups
EC president's plan to revive EU economy comes under attack for being based on €21bn of reallocated funds and theoretically luring private investors
Valerie Amos frequently urged the Security Council to immediately act to ensure more humanitarian access in Syria.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Yatsenyuk says they will sue Russia at international courts to seek compensation for the alleged damage done to their country.
The money was earmarked in the 2013/2014 parliamentary budget for foreign trips by the members of parliament.
Kenyatta’s speech came one day after hundreds of people demonstrated outside his office in Nairobi to protest what they dubbed as the government’s failure to control growing insecurity in the country.
John Gatt-Rutter said he was painfully aware how much needed to be done to speed up the delivery of aid to Gaza's 1.8 million people.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in its bulletin for the quake that no tsunami warning was in effect.
The seven investigators and academic legal experts said publication of the report by a Senate committee would be welcomed by victims of torture and their supporters everywhere.
Mohammad Farhadi, a centrist who held senior positions in a previous reformist administration, secured a 197-28 vote of confidence with 10 abstentions in the conservative-dominated Majlis
The initiative comes as Britain's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government faces pressure from the rise of anti-EU and anti-immigration sentiments
Rebiya Khadeer accuses China of oppressing Uighur minorities and carrying out genocide and other atrocities in East Turkestan
Several NGO’s in Turkey demand release of two Azerbaijani citizens and call Armenia’s hostage taking as “lawless.”
Russia's moves over Ukraine call European peace order into question and break international laws, says German leader
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin and Moualem were discussing "bilateral relations", declining further comment.
The camp, south of the capital between Saudi Arabia's border and Al Udeid, the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, is being used to train the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other moderate rebels