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Sri Lanka bans Islamic extremist groups

·1-min read

Sri Lanka has banned 11 local and international organisations allegedly involved in promoting Islamic extremist ideology, a government spokesman says.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has put into effect regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Sri Lanka banning the organisations.

The Islamic State (ISIS) and al Qaeda are among the organisations proscribed for their links to extremist activities. Nine local groups have also been banned.

Tough penalties, including up to a 20 years in prison, can be imposed for contravening the regulations after being tried by the courts.

Offences include serving as a member, providing leadership, or promoting the organisations.

The president could also order money and assets of the organisations to be confiscated.

The move comes as a follow up to investigations into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings carried out by Islamic extremist groups in which 271 people were killed, most of them in catholic churches.

The Catholic church in Sri Lanka has vowed to stage protests on April 21, the second anniversary of the bombings, if the government fails to take action against those responsible for the attacks.