Thirty-two Sri Lankan Muslims from “well-educated and elite” families have joined the Islamic State in Syria, the Justice Minister said on Friday.
Wijeyadasa Rajapakse’s statement to Parliament came as President Maithripala Sirisena has been criticised for failing to curb religious hate speech amid the emergence of both Muslim and Buddhist extremist groups.
“All these [Muslims] are not from ordinary families. These people are from the families which are considered as well-educated and elite,” Mr. Rajapakse said, citing reports by some unnamed foreign intelligence agencies.
He also said the government was aware of some foreigners coming to Sri Lanka to spread Islamic extremism.
“There is a greater fear among the public about ISIS… If somebody tries to spread extremism in this country, we will not allow for that from today. The law of this country is no different to Buddhist monks or ordinary people.” (Reuters)