Muslims rejoin Sri Lanka cabinet after Easter bombings

Nearly a hundred people affiliated with a local jihadist group were arrested following the April 21 attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels that killed 258 people.

Nine government lawmakers, some government ministers, resigned in early June after a Buddhist lawmaker demanded their dismissal and accused them of terrorism.

“The recently resigned ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in before the president last night,” the president’s office said in a statement.

A lawmaker spokeswoman said they decided to get their old files after police cleared them of any contact with Islamists involved in the bombings.

Muslim leaders said their community – which accounts for 10 percent of the 21 million Sri Lankan population – had been victims of violence, hate speech and post-terrorist harassment.

Sri Lankan Muslim Congress leader Rauf Haham said his community has cooperated with security forces but has been dealing with collective victims.

Following the bombings, anti-Muslim riots spread in towns north of the capital, killing one Muslim and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques vandalized.

Sri Lanka has been in an emergency since the Easter attacks. Police and police forces are able to arrest suspects and arrest them for long periods.

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