The JVP today termed the incident of Myanmar Rohingya refugees housed in temporary shelters in Mount Lavinia being harassed by a group of individuals including Buddhist monks was inhumane.
Issuing a statement the party politburo said irrespective of the manner in which racial or religious discrimination is portrayed, it must always be condemned.
The statement added harassment faced by women and children who were also within the refugee group, was not a situation that should have arisen in a cultured society.
The JVP noted it is not the first time in Lankan history that refugees from Myanmar have entered the country, claiming since 2008 refugees have been arriving in the island at various intervals.
The JVP noted it is the country as a whole that will be subject to widespread condemnation if such events were to occur in future.
Mangala wants strongest possible action against those who attacked Rohingya refugees
Minister of Finance and Media, Mangala Samaraweera on Wednesday condemned the attacks on the Rohingya refugees who were under the care of UNHCR in Mount Lavinia on Tuesday and urged ‘the police to take the strongest possible action against the perpetrators of these crimes’ against the innocents.
Samaraweera accusing the perpetrators as ‘a group of thugs in robes’ has issued the following statement:
I would like to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the attack against Rohingya refugees – refugees who were under the care of UNHCR, on Tuesday in Mount Lavinia, by a group of thugs in robes. 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.
In fact these refugees, 30 of them from Myanmar, were rescued at sea by the Sri Lanka Navy in April this year, and they were under the care of the UNHCR, waiting to be resettled elsewhere in a third country, the United States or Canada.
In fact this is not the first time Sri Lanka has given temporary shelter to such refugees. In fact, way back in 2008, in March 2008, again the Sri Lanka Navy rescued survivors off a boat after they were found adrift in the high seas, and they were kept here until 2012, when these people were resettled in the United States of America.
Again in 2013, the Sri Lanka Navy rescued two boatloads of Rohingya survivors from a shipwreck in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka; 138 and 32 of them. They too were kept under the care of the UNHCR, until they were settled in Canada and the United States of America in 2014 and in 2015.
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.