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* Sri Lanka Muslim Minister invites UN special rapporteurs to probe country's situation
Wed, Jun 18, 2014, 11:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem has invited the UN special rapporteurs on Minority Issues and Religious Freedom to visit Sri Lanka for an investigation on the ongoing situation in the country.

Addressing a press briefing held in Colombo today, the Minister said that the international community needed to focus its attention on the threats against the minorities.

SLMC today boycotted the parliament as the debate to decide whether the UN probe panel must be allowed in Sri Lanka was underway. SLMC was the only party of the ruling coalition that abstained from voting.

"We have as a parliamentary group decided to boycott parliament today, as a token measure to show our protest for the failure to protect the lives and properties of innocent civilians in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town areas," the Minister said.

He blamed the government for its failure to maintain law and order and provide adequate security to the people.

"We simply cannot understand how such large-scale destruction of property could take place, two deaths could occur despite the fact that a curfew was on," the Minister questioned.

Hakeem also protested the police for allowing to ignite the tension among communities.

However, he ruled out that he would step down from his ministerial post in the government since retaining the post would be a strength to the Muslim party.

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