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Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka: President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday assured that as pledged during the Presidential Elections, an environment will be created where all communities can live in peace and harmony.
Sunday Times: “A group of extremist Buddhist monks and laymen attacked two Christian religious centers yesterday in Hikkaduwa, local media reported.”
Catholic Culture: Led by a Buddhist monk, a group of radical Sinhalese Buddhists attacked a Protestant church in Sri Lanka during a prayer service, according to media reports. The pastor and his mother were injured in the attack.
Christian Today: According to Barnabas Aid, the Religious Affairs Ministry in Sri Lanka has announced that it intends to introduce legislation enabling the authorities to take action against religious groups that are deemed cults in a move that threatens some of the country’s churches.
AP: Sri Lanka’s president on Tuesday swore in a trusted aide to replace the chief justice he fired, a move that could lead to a judicial crisis if lawyers and judges who say the move was illegal refuse to cooperate with the new head judge.
AP: Sri Lanka’s leading lawyers on Monday denounced President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s dismissal of the chief justice as illegal and said they still recognize Shirani Bandaranayake as the South Asian country’s top judge.
AP: A Sri Lankan appeals court on Monday quashed a guilty verdict reached by lawmakers against the country’s chief justice in a much-criticized impeachment hearing, a move that could intensify a monthslong dispute between Parliament and the judiciary.
AP: Sri Lanka’s highest court declared on Thursday that a parliament committee does not have the legal power to probe allegations of misuse of power and unexplained wealth against the country’s chief justice, escalating a showdown between the Indian ocean island nation’s legislature and the judiciary.
AP: Sri Lankan opposition lawmakers Friday withdrew from a committee looking into impeachment charges against the country’s chief justice, saying the process is flawed and unfair.
AP: When Shirani Bandaranayake was appointed Sri Lanka’s chief justice, rights campaigners assailed her as a puppet of a government that was steamrolling opponents and consolidating power. A year later, she is on the verge of becoming its latest victim.
Barnabas Fund: On 9 August, a senior pastor and his wife were set upon by a mob of around 40 men, accompanied by five Buddhist monks and the assistant secretary of the local government authority.
ColomboPage.com: Sumithra Rahubadda, Secretary to the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs has told Xinhua that amid the rapid increase of illegal abortions and incidents of rapes, the government has taken measures to ease the abortion laws but the opposition from the church has become a snag.
LifeSiteNews: A member of the ruling cabinet in Sri Lanka has accused a Catholic bishop of encouraging hostility toward Muslims, drawing a sharp response from the bishop’s defenders.
Daily Mirror: “The Education Ministry has decided to reprint certain school textbooks because some of the facts mentioned in them offend the religious sensitivities of people as pointed out by religious dignitaries.”
BBC: “Police in Sri Lanka say they have started a campaign to remove what they describe as indecent advertising on film billboards and posters in Colombo . . . The sources said it was hoped that the internet would be more tightly controlled, too, after the recent banning of pornographic sites on mobile phones.”
Daily Mirror: “Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathna said a General Fund would be established for the development of Buddhist temples and other religious places throughout the Island.”
Christian Telegraph: Attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka have surged noticeably in recent weeks, following the government’s defeat of Tamil separatists in May, reports Jeremy Reynalds, correspondent for ASSIST News Service
Religion Clause Blog: “The Island today reports that the proposal calling for the Election Commissioner to deny legal recognition to such parties is an attempt to create a national identity in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious country.”
Orlando Sentinel: “Rosa Gonzalez, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, told Orange Circuit Judge Gail A. Adams the teen is in fear for her life. The sight of her father makes the teen ‘frantic and hysterical,’” Gonzalez said. . ” (video available)
Hindu News reports: “Sri Lankan government has ordered tough measures to curb child pornography after it noticed that many websites containing obscene material are easily accessible in the country.”
Becket Fund: Te Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, received a letter today (2/05/2009), signed by 15 U.S. congressmen, asking that Sri Lanka shelve proposed legislation outlawing religious conversion. The bill was approved in January, and a final vote …
The Christian Post reports: “A group of Buddhist monks and a mob of locals destroyed a church in Sri Lanka and attacked the pastor earlier this month, adding to the already escalating anti-Christian violence in the south Asia country.”
In its latest International Report on Religious Freedom on Sri Lanka, the U.S. State Department cites reports of “more than 300 attacks” against Christians over the last four years with “several dozen confirmed by the U.S. Embassy.” . . .