Sri Lanka Briefs UN Human Rights Council On Incidents Of Violence

Sri Lanka today informed the Human Rights Council that prompt action had been taken by the government to bring back normalcy to Aluthgama and Beruwala, the areas affected by recent incidents of the communal violence.

This observation was made by Manisha Gunasekera, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva exercising a 'Right of Reply' in response to comments made by Germany,  Norway and Canada during the General Debate.

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"Three people (two Muslim and one Tamil) lost their lives due to the violence. Twenty six people belonging to both communities were hospitalized, 13 Sinhalese (including 6 Police Constables), and 13 Muslim. Altogether, 69 houses, 83 shops and 11 vehicles were damaged, belonging to people of both communities. The persons who have been displaced are being accommodated in temples, mosques and schools.

The Inspector General of Police has ordered parallel investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department and the Colombo Crimes Division. By 16th June, the situation in both areas was brought under control by the law enforcement authorities. Forty three people have been arrested, comprising 28 Sinhalese, of which 17 (12 Sinhalese and 5 Muslim) are in protective custody. Twenty three persons have been released on bail," the Sri Lankan representative informed the UN Human Rights Council. 

"President Rajapaksa has assured all communities that an impartial inquiry will be held to bring to justice those responsible for the violence, irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity.  The President has also assured that all damaged properties will be repaired, and has also directed the launch of a special programme supported by the District Secretary and all Government, Semi-Government and Local Authorities to bring the area to normalcy. The Sri Lanka Army is currently in the process of estimating damages to property. The Ministry of Rehabilitation is conducting its own estimates in a parallel process with the District Secretary. Funds for repairs will be channelled through the Ministry of Rehabilitation. The Ministries of Social Welfare and Disaster Management are in the process of providing food and resettling the displaced persons. All those indulging in hate speech will be taken in for questioning," the Representative further added. 

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