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Attack on Buddhist Temples in Chittagong – No Cause for Alarm

The attention of the Ministry of External Affairs has been drawn to the recent incidents that took place in Bangladesh which have caused a sense of anxiety and grief among some sections of the Sri Lankan community both here in Sri Lanka and in Bangladesh.

In this regard the Government of Sri Lanka wishes to note the following, based on a report provided by Sri Lanka High Commissioner Sarath Weragoda on the request of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The attack on several temples, pagodas and Buddhist dwellers in the Chittagong District Bangladesh sparked out from 29th September, causing panic among the Buddhist community living in the Chittagong District.

The latest reports indicate that about 15 temples and pagodas and about 100 houses of Buddhists living in the area had been set on fire.

Responding to the incident, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, expressed her deep concerns and ordered security to be provided to Buddhists living in the Chittagong District. Further, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and Minister of Industries Dilip Barua had also visited the affected area soon after the incidents. The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on 03 October directed the Government to provide all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas, and other places of worship across the country to be provided with adequate security.

Officials from the Police Diplomatic Security Divisions in Dhaka had informed the High Commission that security in Chittagong and affected areas have been brought under control and also there is no security threat to the Sri Lankan Community including the University Students in Chittagong.

The High Commission in Dhaka is constantly in touch with law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh so as to ensure the safety and security of Sri Lankans in Bangladesh. The Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Chittagong, Mr Kaizer Javed Ally also has made arrangements with relevant authorities to safeguard the interests of the Sri Lankan community there while the Police had strengthened security of the Chancery and the Residence of Sri Lanka.

The Government of Sri Lanka in close consultations with the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is constantly monitoring the situation in order to ensure the safety and well being of all Sri Lankans in Bangladesh.

Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo

05th September 2012

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