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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Sri Lanka: 3 Mosques to be closed – Muslim MPs demand urgent action

Muslim Members of Parliament (MP) met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, who is also the Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, this afternoon and raised concerns over attempts to close three Mosques in the Dehiwala area.

Ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen and Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha as well as MPs Hassan Ali were among those present at today’s meeting at the Parliamentary complex, sources told the Colombo Gazette.

The police had initially ordered that the three Mosques be closed down and the issue was then taken up with President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week.

The President had said that he was not aware of three Mosques being ordered to be shut but yet he had been briefed over an issue concerning one Mosque.

The Muslim MPs alleged that there were extremist groups behind the attempt to have the three Mosques shut down.

It was later decided that the Muslim MPs meet the Prime Minister to further discuss the issue and the meeting was set for this afternoon.

At that meeting the Prime Minister had said that his secretary will meet the Muslim MPs on Monday for which the MPs objected saying they did not want the secretary involved.

The Prime Minister then cancelled that meeting and assured the MPs he will look into the issue directly.

Report by Easwaran Rutnam


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