TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The government of the Buddhist-majority country said the monks behaved like “animals” during the attack on a United Nations safe house for Rohingya refugees near Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, on Tuesday.
The monks and their supporters threw stones and smashed windows and furniture during the Tuesday attack on the safe house. Two police officers guarding the house were injured in the attack and admitted to hospital.
The Sri Lankan authorities had earlier arrested five men and a woman.
According to a government official, several police officers were also under investigation for failing to prevent the violence.
The Rohingya refugees had been rescued by the Sri Lankan navy five months ago after they were found drifting in a boat off the island’s northern waters. Before that, they had been living in India for several years.
Sri Lanka’s extremist Buddhist monks have close links with their counterparts in Myanmar. Both groups have been accused of orchestrating violence against minority Muslims in the two countries.
In Myanmar, Rohingya Muslims have faced government-sanctioned violence by soldiers and Buddhist mobs since October 2016. The violence has seen a sharp rise since August.
Many Rohingya Muslims have lost their lives in Myanmar while hundreds of thousands have been displaced as a result of attacks by Buddhists.
More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed into the neighboring Bangladesh in recent weeks, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis there as aid agencies struggle to provide food, clean water, and shelter.