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* Sri Lanka opposition must assist government to curb ethnic and religious tensions - Minister
Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 11:26 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka's opposition has a responsibility to assist the government in curbing ethnic and religious tensions for the benefit of the country, a government minister said.

"It is a national duty of the opposition to assist the government to ease these tensions," Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told parliament.

De Silva made this comment in response to a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe in parliament.

Wickremasinghe said in parliament yesterday that he is aware of certain incidences of racial and religious violence took place recently and the government should launch an independent probe into the alleged inaction of police on investigating complaints on religious extremism.

Dismissing the Wickremasinghe's charges, Minister de Silva noted that there are certain groups acting with vested interests trying to create disharmony among the people.

He criticized certain sections of the media for exaggerating small incidents to create unnecessary problems.

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