A solution has been reached on the Grandpass mosque issue following more than three hours of heated deliberations at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs this evening.
Several Muslim Ministers. Government Ministers including Ministers Champika Ranawaka and Dinesh Gunawardena as well as UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake took part in the meeting which was also attended by Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders as well as the police.
It was decided at the meeting that the temporary mosque at Swarna Chaitiya road in Grandpass will be vacated and an old mosque in the area, which was earlier going to be demolished for development purposes, will remain.
The Urban Development Authority has decided to abandon plans to demolish the old mosque for development work.
The land area for the old mosque is also to be expanded by cutting down a Bo-tree located next to it.
Muslim religious leaders had conducted prayers at the temporary location until the old mosque was relocated.
However last month a group of monks had stormed the temporary mosque and demanded that the Muslims vacate the premises.
The Muslim religious leaders had requested for one month to vacate the building.
Last evening however a mob attacked the temporary mosque while prayers were underway. (Colombo Gazette)
The United States Embassy in Colombo today expressed concern over the attack on a mosque in Grandpass by a violent mob, leaving at least five people injured and damaging several houses.
Curfew was imposed while hundreds of police, including anti-riot squads and elite Special Task Force commandos, remained on alert in the Grandpass area after the clashes last night.
“This incident is particularly troubling in light of a number of recent attacks against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka,” the embassy said in a release.
Targeting any place of worship should never be permitted and we urge calm from all sides, the US embassy said, while calling for the prosecution of perpetrators in the attack and “an end to religious-based violence.”
The right of all Sri Lankans to practice the religion of their choice should be protected, the embassy release said.(Derana)