Sri Lanka Buddhist monks demand halal boycott

Young Sri Lankan Buddhist monks take part in a rally at Maharagama on February 17, 2013 calling for a ban on halal meat (AFP, Ishara S.Kodikara) Sri Lanka’s nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters launched a campaign Sunday to boycott Muslim halal-slaughtered meat amid mounting religious tensions in the ethnically divided nation.

Thousands of men and women led by hundreds of monks of the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Force, staged a rally outside Colombo to announce the boycott, demanding that shops clear their stocks of halal food by April.

"More than 90 percent of the population are Buddhists, Hindus and Christian and therefore there is no justification to force them to eat halal products," Buddhist monk Kirama Wimala Jothi said in a statement.

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