UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (Xinhua) -- A top UN official, winding up a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, has condemned recent violence directed against the minority Muslim population in the country, the chief UN spokesman said on Monday.
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman has concluded a three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday. "Regarding the recent communal violence, Feltman condemned the breakdown in law and order and the attacks against Muslims and their property."
Feltman offered condolences on behalf of the world organization to those affected.
During his visit to Sri Lanka, Feltman met with Muslim political and civil society leaders to express concern, showed solidarity and urged swift and full implementation of the government's commitment to bring the perpetrators of the violence and hate speech to justice.
The under-secretary-general also urged measures to prevent recurrence and to enforce non-discriminatory rule of law.
Recent violence left two dead and dozens of homes, businesses and mosques damaged or destroyed, according to published reports. It caused concern in a country still recovering from nearly 30 years of ethnic violence involving Tamil separatists.
The recent violence was directed at the Muslim population in the Kandy hill district by Sinhalese Buddhists, the reports said.
Muslims make up less than 10 percent of the 21 million people in the island nation off the southern tip of India. The country is about 75 percent Buddhist.
Feltman was in Sri Lanka to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, and other political leaders and officials, said a Note to Correspondents issued Sunday by Dujarric's office.
It said Feltman also "appreciated the opportunity to compare notes with members of Sri Lanka's diverse civil society, human rights representatives, and the diplomatic corps."
He also appreciated the reassurances from government leaders of their intention to move forward. The undersecretary-general "encouraged the government to communicate their actions and timelines for reforms to the Sri Lankan people."