Muslims protest after Friday prayers

Thousands of Muslims staged protests in many parts of the country today against the decision by the government to relocate the mosque in Dambulla.

Muslims took to the streets in Colombo after Friday prayers and staged a protest resulting in severe traffic congestion.

Hundreds of Muslims also protested in the East and North East including Puttalam demanding that the government reconsider the decision to relocate the Dambulla mosque.

The demonstrations were held despite the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka issuing a statement yesterday urging the Muslim community not to take part in violent protests or demonstrations over the Dambulla mosque issue.

“The Holy Quran has prescribed solutions to every threat or disaster through prayers,” the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said in a statement.

Muslims had also staged a hartal in the Eastern province yesterday against the decision by the government to relocate the Dambulla mosque owing to pressure from some Buddhist monks.

Most Muslim shops in Kattankudy, Batticaloa and in Ampara were shut while public transport was also affected as a result of the hartal.