Religious minorities under threat in Sri Lanka: UN official

A top United Nations official Thursday warned that religious minorities in the predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka could be persecuted under proposed laws aimed at stopping :unethical conversions.” A top United Nations official Thursday warned that religious minorities in the predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka could be persecuted under proposed laws aimed at stopping :unethical conversions.” The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, said there had been increased attacks against churches and the authorities had failed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Two bills before Sri Lanka’s parliament to outlaw what is regarded as “unethical religious conversions” could be a double blow to religious minorities, Jahangir told reporters here.

“In my opinions, the provisions of both draft bills could result in the persecution of religious minorities rather than the protection and promotion of religious tolerance,” she said.

“The enactment of these bills could seriously undermine the culture of religious tolerance enjoyed for decades in this country.” she did not discuss details.

The all-monk National Heritage Party (NHP) which won nine seats in the 225-mem