Buddhist monks stage a sit down protest outside Sri Lanka's Buddha Sasana Ministry in Colombo December 29, to demand laws to ban Christian conversions. The protest came after mobs attacked two Christian churches outside the Sri Lankan capital Decemb
Sri Lankan police said on Monday they had stepped up security at churches after two Christian sites were attacked amid mounting inter-religious tensions on the Buddhist-majority island.
Police Deputy Inspector-General K. P. Pathirana said mobile patrols had been intensified in vulnerable areas following Sunday's attack on a Jehovah's Witness hall and another church about 60 kilometres east of Colombo.
"The situation is well under control after yesterday's unfortunate incidents," Pathirana said. "Investigations are under way." The latest violence came four days after 15 people were wounded during the cremation in Colombo of Gangodavila Soma, a controversial Buddhist monk opposed to religious conversions.
The monk's death after he suffered a heart attack this month in Russia fuelled conspiracy theories despite medical reports that he died of natural causes.
Dozens of Buddhist monks launched a sit down protest on Monday outside the Buddhist Affairs ministry, demanding laws to ban what they call unethical conversions.The protesting monks said the funeral of Soma had helped to highlight the issue of conversions, which they claim Christian groups carry out by offering rural Sri Lankans cash and other material rewards.
Sri Lanka's Hindu Affairs Minister, T. Maheswaran, announced during a visit to neighbouring India two days ago that the island would introduce a law to punish people who used "inducements" for conversions.