Attack on Christian Centre serious violation of freedom on conscience and religion

The Christian Consultation of Sri Lanka, the religious liberty commission of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance unreservedly condemns the attack, which occurred on Sunday 18th February 2001 on the Christian Centre at Nuwarawatte, Hingurakgoda. The brutal assault on worshippers, including the destruction of property is a heinous hate crime, is a serious violation of fundamental human rights, including the freedom of conscience and religion, states the General Secretary of the Christian Consultation of Sri Lanka Harim Peiris in a press release.

It further said: "We are grateful that according to the headline news item of the Daily News of 20th February 2001. The President has ordered the IGP to conduct an immediate inquiry into the incident and ensure justice. The scope of the inquiry includes the investigation into allegations that extremist groups and organisations are involved in a campaign of brutal anti-Christian violence, fostering religious intolerance and division in the country. Attempts by interested parties to downplay and trivialise the problem should be condemned and taken note of.

This particular attack against Christian believers in Hingurakgoda was the culmination of a series of threats; harassment and intimidation carried out with impunity despite repeated complaints to the local police authorities. Their inaction in this regard should also be investigated. The victims have identified by name the perpetrators of this unprovoked criminal aggression and it is required that they be brought to justice.

Policy makers, civic leaders, religious dignitaries and society as a whole should consider the full implications and the long-term harm caused by brutal violence against a religious minority. The anti-Christian violence must immediately stop."