Five days after Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured Muslim representatives he would not permit the closure of registered mosques, a court has ordered the shutdown of a mosque in Dehiwala that has come under heavy pressure during the past few months.
The Gangodawila Magistrate ordered the mosque to cease all religious activity today after the Kohuwela police filed a public nuisance case against the mosque.
The police claim the mosque exists illegally and is not registered and say they are acting on the instructions of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs. On 25 February Gotabaya Rajapaksa who met with Muslim businessmen and representatives at an event organised by Colombo Mayor AJM Muzammil took the issue up with a DIG and pledged the mosque would not be shut down, Latheef Farook wrote recently.
The US draft resolution on Sri Lanka that was circulated in Geneva on Monday (3) expressed alarm at the rapid rise in violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, particularly against members of religious minority groups in Sri Lanka, including Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The draft resolution calls upon the Sri Lankan Government to investigate all attacks, by individuals and groups, on temples, mosques, and churches and to take steps to prevent future attacks; and calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate and hold accountable perpetrators of attacks on places of worship, journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups, and other members of civil society.