The Government today slammed the actions of a group of monks and the Police over the incident involving Rohingya refugees at a safe house in Mount Lavinia.
Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the behavior of the monks was unacceptable.
Senaratne said the monks behaved in a manner which disrespected Buddhism.
He also questioned the Police for allowing the monks to threaten the refugees while Police officers looked on.
Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that cabinet will discuss the incident and look at how such incidents must be addressed in future.
Monks from the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa led a mob and surrounded a house in Mount Lavinia yesterday where the Rohingya refugees were staying.
The monks then entered the house with the Police and live streamed the Police taking the refugees out.
Some monks were heard threatening the refugees telling them to go back to Myanmar and also accusing the Police of eating from the hands of the Muslim refugees and protecting them.
The refugees were taken from the house and placed under protective custody at the Mount Lavinia Police station and from there they were taken to Boosa.
Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that Rohingya refugees have been in Sri Lanka since 2008 and yet monks were protesting only now.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera also condemned the incident by a group of “thugs in robes” and urged the Police to take the strongest possible action against the perpetrators.
“In fact I condemn these actions not only as the Minister in charge of Media. I am also condemning it as a Buddhist, a Buddhist who is very proud of the fact that Buddhism is a religion of non-violence and compassion,” he said.
The Minister said the refugees were rescued at sea by the Sri Lanka Navy in April this year, and were under the care of the UNHCR, waiting to be resettled elsewhere in a third country, the United States or Canada.
“It is a shameful act and every right-minded citizen of this country especially Buddhists must condemn this action by this so called priests and I also urge the Police to take the strongest possible action against the perpetrators of these crimes against these innocent refugees,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)