Sri Lanka Bans Meetings Inciting Hatred Among Religions

Sri_Lanka_Buddhist_Muslim_Violence_AP_360 Sri Lanka on Sunday announced a ban on public meetings and rallies which promote hatred among religions.

The ban will also apply to any public meeting which attempts to create a rift among any race in the country, Xinhua quoted police spokesman Ajith Rohana as saying on Sunday.

The ban follows a statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday where he instructed the police to take action against any individual or organisation attempting to spread hatred among religions or any race.

Rohana said that while freedom of speech will be respected under the constitution, any meetings which promote hatred among religions or a particular race will not be permitted.

The ban follows violent clashes between a Buddhist group and residents of a Muslim-majority town along the country’s south-western coast last week in which four people were killed and 80 injured.

Local media Sunday blamed the police for failing to prevent the violence which was ignited by comments made by a Buddhist extremist group known as the Bodu Bala Sena.

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