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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2585

‘False accusations on Rishad’-Award Winning Ven. Punyasara Thero

Colombo, 16 May, (Asiantribune.com):

Among the mobs who attacked the pocket Muslim settlements in North Western Province (NWP) on Monday 13 May, were several groups that packed almost 400-600 individuals. Many of them were openly armed with swords and knives, it was informed. Meanwhile, an award winning Buddhist Monk who were inspecting NWP riot aftermath rubbished serious accusations aimed at Leader of ACMC and Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

During his observation tour to NWP, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was also informed by scores of victims that members of some mobs were dressed in identical colors and drove on motorbikes or arrived in buses that appeared to be specifically arranged for the attacks. According to them the attacks also appeared to have been planned in advance.

Leader of ACMC and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen visited several affected areas of NWP on 13 May with MPs of ACMC including Ameer Ali MP and State Minister Abdulla Mahroof. At one point, Minister Bathiudeen was joined by award winning human right activist and peace activist Thero the Most Ven. Mahagal Kadawala Punyasara Nayaka Thero (Upa Pradhana Sanga Nayaka of Sathkorala Maha Disawa).

• Rishad & his MPs tour riot-hit NWP, assess damage
• Victims inform Rishad that attacks appear to be ‘planned in advance’
• Award winning Buddhist Nayaka Thero says Rishad falsely accused
• Says: “Muslims too should re-integrate now”

Minister Bathiudeen visited Kotaramulla, Minuwangoda, Hettipola, Kottambapitiya, Bingiriya and Kiniyama in NWP to inspect the riot victims and the situation of welfare measures for them.

Most Ven. Mahagal Kadawala Punyasara Thero who joined Minister Bathiudeen at the funeral of riot victim Fouzul Ameer, stressed of the urgency to create peace in NWP so that likelihood of more attacks are diminished. “Muslim people should now reconcile and re-integrate with Sinhalese and Taml people of Sri Lanka. I have known Minister Bathiudeen for a long time. He has been helping Buddhist temples and Ven Buddhist monks in Northern Province. He spent milions of rupees to renovate Buddhist temples in Mannar and Vavuniya. Since I regularly travel to Puttalam as well as North I can confirm this. Therefore Minister Bathiudeen does not only work for Muslims. I also say that accusations against Minister Bathiudeen are false. Where are Muslims to go if they are attacked like this? Are they to jump in to the sea? It is clear that there is a political agenda behind these riots.”

On 13 May, Minister Bathiudeen informed the victims and Muslim families in the areas he visited that he held discussions with HE President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on various relief measures for the affected.

- Asian Tribune -

Sri Lankan Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen (right) meets award winning human right activist and peace activist Thero the Most Ven. Mahagal Kadawala Punyasara Nayaka Thero (Upa Pradhana Sanga Nayaka of Sathkorala Maha Disawa) in Kotaramulla on 13 May.
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