The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) is deeply concerned regarding the prevalence in Sri Lanka of an organized campaign of hatred against adherents of non‐majority faiths.
In recent months Muslims and Christians alike have faced numerous attacks and violence against their practice of worship. Additionally Muslim owned business establishments and Muslim women in their religious attire have faced attack and assault.
These attacks have occurred with impunity. In most instances there have been no arrests and punitive action taken, though the attacks have occurred openly with eye witnesses, video and photographic evidence available. The law enforcement authorities have been generally passive onlookers in the outrageous assault on basic human rights and liberties, including religious freedom, economic and cultural rights of minority religious communities.
On-going social violence against ethnic and religious minorities is a phenomenon that Sri Lanka can ill afford, as it struggles to reconcile after close upon three decades of civil war. Internationally, Sri Lanka’s request for time and space to reconcile, subsequent to two resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), sound hollow and lack credibility in the face of ongoing intimidation and violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
There are two alarming factors about the current situation. The first is that the violence seems to be organized and orchestrated by two organizations. Hence the violence has sustainability.
Secondly and most alarmingly both extremist violent organizations seemingly have patronage and support from authorities and hence the impunity with which they operate.
The NCEASL in this period right after Easter Sunday reminds Christians that just as Jesus Christ before his accusers was silent like a lamb as He was led the cross, so we must not and will not retaliate against those that perpetrate violence against us, while we strive to enjoy our fundamental constitutional human rights.
However, the NCEASL calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to make clear its commitment to equity in the context of our multi‐ethnic and multi‐religious society, desist from actions, words and political signals that provide patronage to extremist organizations and to instruct its law enforcement and security authorities to stop majoritarian vigilantism, enforce the law and ensure the peace.