At least 50 Muslim shop owners in Narammala in the Kurunegala District, have received death threats by mail. They have been warned to close their shops by March 31 or face death, Kurunegala district organizer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Abdul Sathar said.
Sathar told The Sunday Leader that a police complaint had been lodged over the death threats received by the shop owners.
He also said that the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen had also been briefed about the incident.
When The Sunday Leader contacted the Minister he confirmed that he was aware of the threats and said that he had raised the issue with the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Bathiudeen said he had also told the IGP to investigate several other incidents targeting Muslims which had been reported from the Kurunegala district.
He warned that if the issue is not addressed soon then a situation similar to that of 1983 may befall the country.
The Minister said that he had also discussed the issue with President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon after the Cabinet meeting last week. The President had appointed a committee to look into some of the reported incidents.
Bathiudeen said he is also willing to meet any organization or political party, be it the JHU or the Bodu Bala Sena to discuss concerns over the Halal certification.
Sathar said that he was not sure from where the death threats had come to the Muslim shop owners in Narammala.
He said the Halal certification issue was meanwhile being made to spread fear in the country among Muslims.