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Sri Lankan Muslims launch protests following threats against Dambulla mosque

Colombo , Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

Colombo, Apr 27 (ANI): Muslims of areas around eastern Sri Lanka are taking part in mass protests following threats to demolish and relocate a mosque in the central town of Dambulla.

The Hairiya Jumma Mosque in Dambulla is visited by many devotees including Buddhist monks, who consider Dambulla to be a sacred Buddhist spot.

Over 2,000 Buddhists attempted to storm the mosque, saying that the mosque was illegally built and demanded its demolition, the BBC reports.

After the country's Prime Minister D M Jayaratne ordered the mosque's relocation on Sunday, a strike is being observed in Muslim-dominated parts of the Ampara and Batticaloa districts, of Sri Lanka.

Many public services have shut down, but Muslim-led demonstrations have somehow been halted by the military.

The strike comes after days of tension, which began with the fire-bomb attack on the mosque on Friday, after some prejudiced Buddhists launched a campaign against Muslims and accused them of trying to 'expand their activities'.owever, the leading Muslim religious leaders' group in Colombo, the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama, has warned against violence by strikers and claimed that the Muslims should fast instead, as the group believed that most of the Buddhist majority in the country are peace-loving, and that it is vital not to hurt their feelings or insult other faiths. (ANI)

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