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Monday, 7 May, 2001, 08:16 GMT 09:16 UK
Sri Lanka Muslims issue ultimatum

Sri Lanka's main Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, has demanded an independent inquiry into recent attacks on Muslims and threatened to withdraw its support from the ruling party.

The trouble began last Wednesday between Muslims and the majority Sinhalese community in the central town of Mawanella, where two people were killed.

The Muslim Congress has also called on the government to pay compensation to those who had their shops and homes destroyed.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga denounced last week's violence, which spread to the capital Colombo, and has ordered an inquiry into the incidents.

Mrs Kumaratunga's coalition government relies on the Muslim Congress for support.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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