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MANGALA CONDEMNS ATTACK ON Rohingya refugees

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday condemned the attack carried out on Rohingya refugees, on September 26, in Mount Lavinia, while they were under the care of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

 Minister Samaraweera urged the police to “to take strongest possible action against the perpetrators of these crimes against these innocent refugees.”

Making a statement yesterday, Minister Samaraweera said that it was unbecoming of a Buddhist nation practicing non violence and compassion, to attack the refugees who were only given shelter temporarily in Sri Lanka. “I would like to condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack against Rohingya refugees who were under the care of UNHRC in Mount Lavinia yesterday by a group of thugs in robes.” he said.

“In fact, I condemn these actions not only as a minister in charge of media I am also condemning it as a Buddhist who is very proud of the fact that Buddhism is a religion of non violence and compassion.” Minister Samaraweera added. “These refugees, 30 of them, were rescued at sea by the Sri Lanka Navy in April this year and they were under the care of the UNHCR waiting to be resettled elsewhere in the United States or Canada. In fact this is not the first time Sri Lanka has given temporary shelter to such refugees.” Minister Samaraweera further said.

Further explaining, Minister Samaraweera said, “Way back in 2008 March, the SL Navy rescued survivors of a boat who were drifting in high seas and they were kept until 2012, when these people were resettled in the USA. Again in 2013 the SL Navy rescued two boats of Rohingya survivors from a shipwreck in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. There were two of them. These two were kept under the care of UNHCR until they were settled in the USA and Canada in 2014 and 2015.”

“It is a shameful act and every right minded citizen of this country especially Buddhists must condemn this action by these so called priests. And I also urge the police to take strongest possible action against the perpetrators of these crimes against these innocent refugees.” Minister Samaraweera emphasized.