HRC writes to LG authorities about discrimination against Muslims
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has raised concerns over the discrimination against Muslims by local authorities in facilitating commercial activities.
The HRCSL writing to all Commissioners of local Government Authorities has said it has come to the attention of the Commission that in certain areas members of the Muslim Community who are lawfully engaged in commercial activities have been banned from using public premises for such purposes after the violent attacks of April 21,2019.
The HRCSL letter signed by its Chairperson Dr Deepika Udugama says: “It has come to the attention of the Human fughts Commission of Sri Lanka that in certain areas members of the Muslim Community who are lawfully engaged in commercial activities have been banned from using public premises for such purposes after the violent attacks of April 2L,20I9. We are informed that access to such premises (such as kiosks in weekly village fairs) has been denied even though the occupants had duly registered with local authorities and had paid due fees.
Such discriminatory action amounts to a violation of Article 12 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka which guarantees non-discrimination on the basis of religion and also equal protection of the law” It is the function of the Commission under its parent statute, Act No. 2l of 1996, to investigate and inquire into such allegations.
Therefore, please be good enough to submit a report to the Commission by 10 June, 2019 (a) on information on any such complaints received and action taken by local authorities coming under your purview and (b) whether you can be satisfied that citizens of all communities residing in your province enjoy the right to engage in commercial activities without discrimination by local authorities.
June 14, 2019