Rishad decries Business Chambers for keeping mum post April attacks | Daily News


Rishad decries Business Chambers for keeping mum post April attacks

Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that he was saddened that the business chambers failed to stand in solidarity with Muslim owned small and medium enterprises.

Making his first address after re-assuming duties in the same portfolio, he said: “It was very sad for me to see the silence of Chamber of Commerce as the backlash on Muslim owned businesses raged,” he said. “As various communal elements openly encouraged local consumers to not to buy anything from Muslim owned businesses in the aftermath of Easter Sunday attacks, the Chamber of Commerce kept totally mum. The Chamber should have come out and openly voiced that no one should take such actions on Muslim owned businesses as a response to the barbaric actions of terrorists like Zahran.”

The Minister was referring to violence in places like places like Kurunegala, Hettipola and Minuwangoda where 29 mosques were damaged and many Muslim owned businesses were destroyed rendering those families who depended on the businesses also destitute.

On May 14, communal violence spread in the North-Western Province damaging mostly Muslim owned businesses and SMEs.The highest number of damaged businesses were in Wariyapola at 80, in the Kurunegala District. “At several places in the North-Western Province these groups created trouble, damaged property. Police and security forces have contained the situation, but these (unidentified) groups are still trying to create trouble.

The unrest would hinder investigations into the April 21 attacks."

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