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Extremists will not be allowed to destroy Sri Lanka:Rajapaksa

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Any form of extremism, including religious, cannot be allowed to destroy Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said as tension gripped the country after clashes between hardline Buddhists and the minority Muslims.

"We can't allow one race or religion to suppress the other," he said adding, a handful of extremist elements cannot be allowed to destroy the nation.

"We must take into account the harm this does to our country. No one will come forward to rectify the issue. In the end the Government is forced to take the responsibility," he said in the central town of Kandy.

The President said a small group of people which could not tolerate the brotherhood and cooperation existing between all communities were trying to bring the country into disrepute internationally by providing wrong information to the outside world.

His comments came after four people were killed and nearly 100 injured in communal clashes in the southwestern areas of Beruwala, Dharga Town and Aluthgama that killed four people and injured nearly 100.

The violence on Sunday and Monday nights was blamed on the hardline Buddhist Force (BBS).

Rajapaksa whose government has come under international focus for human rights abuses is to face an international inquiry. One aspect of the rights allegation is attacks against religious minorities.

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First Published: Fri, June 20 2014. 18:48 IST