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32 Sri Lankans have joined the ‘Islamic State’

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha yesterday said that 32 members of four Muslim families have joined the Islamic State (IS) movement in Syria.

“Though the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is not in operation at the moment, it seems that the situations developing in the country would pave the way to enact it again,” Minister Rajapaksha said in Parliament yesterday.

He made this observation joining the Second Reading debate on Budget proposals 2017.

The minister alleged that the 32 members of four Muslim families have joined the IS. “We will never let them cause any disruption in the country. The government will never take decisions that would tarnish national security in the country,” he said. “He said some groups were attempting to disrupt the country by labeling the Aava group in Jaffna, as a LTTE group.

The Aava group in Jaffna is just a criminal group and such groups are common to all ethnic groups in the country.

“We are in the process of formulating a new Constitution. Some groups spreading baseless rumours claiming that Buddhism would not receive the foremost place in the new Constitution," he said.

“Other religious leaders in the country also stressed the necessity of giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the new Constitution. Therefore, we should protect the rights of other religious groups in the country,” the minister said.

“Some Buddhist monks are also attempting to fan the flames of racism for political purposes. We will never suppress the country’s law for the sake of religion since we were elected to ensure the supremacy of law. We will never let any Muslim or Buddhist extremists fulfill their wishes,”Minister Rajapakshe said.

“The fact that no legal action has been taken should not be considered as a weakness on the part of the government,” he added.

“We do not want to control web sites. But, will take legal action against them if they work illegally. We cannot allow anyone to abuse media freedom. Lanka e news website has published more than 70 incidents which insult the judges and the court during the past few months. Sandaruwan is a desirer who has been deported from the country. We will bring him to the country and legal action will be taken against him,” the minister said.