A hate campaign against Muslims and Muslim owned establishments in Sri Lanka continued today with a mob attacking a Fashion Bug warehouse at Pepiliyana.
The police said that at least 20 men led by some monks had initially carried out the attack damaging the building and property including a vehicle.
The group then grew into a large mob and the police were unable to control them as the attack continued for several hours with stones and other objects being used.
Army, police Special Task Force members and riot police were later deployed to the area to bring the situation under control.
Some journalists covering the incident were also injured during the attack.
A car sales outlet next to Fashion Bug was initially attacked over a private issue before the mob turned their anger on Fashion Bug.
The attack came just days after the media unit of the Bodu Bala Sena had sent out an SMS to local journalists urging them to gather support against Muslim owned outlets in Sri Lanka.
The SMS called on the general public to purchase items for the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year from non-Muslim stores.
Earlier this year the Sihala Ravaya organisation protested outside the No Limit clothes store in Maharagama saying it is managed by Muslims and so should be closed down.
Just yesterday the police warned that action will be taken against anyone attempting to incite racial or religious hatred via sms.
A statement by the police headquarters said that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has already launched investigations in this regard.
The police said that a Buddhist man and a Muslim man had already been arrested for sending out sms messages which could incite racial or religious hatred.
The statement said that the police will strictly enforce the law on anyone attempting to create tensions among the various communities.
However, it was notable that the statement did not warn of taking action on groups or individuals who attempt to create religious tensions through public gatherings or in any other manner other than through sms.
The Bodu Bala Sena and the Sinhala Ravaya have been in the news in recent times for openly campaigning against some Muslim beliefs. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam