COLOMBO: The US Embassy urged Sri Lankan authorities on Sunday to arrest and prosecute those responsible for vandalizing a mosque in the national capital.
An Agence France Presse (AFP) report said the Buddhist-led mob attack on the mosque at Grandpass district on Saturday has raised religious tensions and left the Muslim minority fearing further violence.
“This incident is particularly troubling in light of a number of recent attacks against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
“Targeting any place of worship should never be permitted and we urge calm from all sides,” it added.
Sri Lankan police imposed a curfew on the neighborhood Saturday night and lifted the same on Sunday, but a police spokesman assured that hundreds of policemen, including anti-riot squads and members of the elite Special Task Force commandos, remained on alert in the district following overnight violence which wounded at least four people.
“The curfew was lifted this morning, but we have a strong presence in the area,” a police spokesman said.
There was no immediate reaction from the government to the violence.
In its statement, the US Embassy also urged Colombo to ensure religious freedom. Last March, the US government initiated a UN Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes during its onslaught against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.
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