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* No security threat to Sri Lankans in Bangladesh - External Affairs Ministry
Sat, Oct 6, 2012, 12:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 06, Colombo: Responding to the concerns raised over the attacks on Buddhist temples and homes of Buddhists in certain areas of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry has assured that there is no cause for alarm concerning the safety of Sri Lankans in that country.

Sarath Weragoda, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Dhaka on the request of the Ministry of External Affairs has informed that 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 has said that it is constantly in touch with law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh so as to ensure the safety and security of Sri Lankans in Bangladesh.

The attack on several temples, pagodas and homes of Buddhists in the Chittagong District and Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh sparked out from 29th September, caused panic among the Buddhist community living in those areas.

According to the latest reports about 15 temples and pagodas and about 100 houses of Buddhists living in the Chittagong District had been set on fire by the Muslims enraged over a Facebook photo of a burned Qur'an.

Responding to the incident, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has expressed her deep concerns and ordered security to be provided to Buddhists living in the Chittagong District. The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on 03 October has directed the Government to provide all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas, and other places of worship across the country with adequate security.

The Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Chittagong, 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 High Commission has informed.

"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," the External Affairs Ministry said.

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