Jeddah, June 18 (IANS/WAM) The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed "serious concern" over attacks by Buddhist hardliners in Sri Lanka on Muslims.
OIC secretary general Iyad Ameen Madani Tuesday said the incidents of violence by extremists against Muslims had been reported in the Sri Lankan towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala among others.
He said the deaths of civilians as well as attacks on homes, businesses and mosques were "deeply regrettable".
Madani said the Muslim community in Sri Lanka had a longstanding presence in the country and a tradition of living in peace with other communities.
"Muslims represent an important and active community which contributes to the cultural and economic life of Sri Lanka as a whole. The recent attacks appear to follow a rising trend of violence instigated by extremists which is spreading fear and mistrust among the population," he said.
While appealing for calm, Madani urged the authorities to enforce the rule of law, investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Muslims are the second largest minority after the Tamils in Sinhalese-majority Sri Lanka.