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The Ministry of Law and Order has given Muslim MPs including Ministers an assurance that a special programme will be introduced to prevent incidents such as the recent attacks motivated by religious antipathy and racial hatred.

Minister of Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs, MH Abdul Haleem informed that all Muslim MPs including Ministers had met to discuss the matter, following which Minister Faiszer Musthapha was tasked with obtaining an appointment to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the issue.

The group is scheduled to meet the duo soon. In the meantime, Sirisena had instructed Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayake to meet with the said group at the Temple Trees to discuss their concerns.

According to Haleem, Ratnayake had promised to work out a programme to bring about peace.

Ratnayake is scheduled to discuss with certain stakeholders, especially the Police, to crackdown on such attacks and to “stop this nonsense,” Haleem added.

Haleem observed that groups behind such attacks had been inactive subsequent to the Government taking over but following the May Day, had networked in private and become publicly active, in a fashion similar to previous such attacks which had taken place during the tenure of the former regime. As Ramadan begins this week, Haleem explained that Muslims should not be apprehensive during the period when they were fasting and spending much time in prayer at mosques.

He acknowledged that while they could not request special protection from the Police, they had suggested that Police stations workout a programme where they operate mobile patrols during the times of the day when prayer sessions were underway.

There are so many incidents. In May alone, thus far, there have been 14. We want to pressure the Government to take legal action. The Police cannot be blamed entirely,” he said.