COLOMBO: Islamic clerics in Sri Lanka tried to calm mounting religious tensions in the majority Buddhist nation today by telling stores not to sell halal-slaughtered meat to non-Muslims.
Food manufacturers have been labelling all their products halal for convenience, meaning until now non-Muslims have not had any choice in the matter.
Buddhist hardliners argue they should not be forced to consume food that is prepared according to Islamic religious rites.
They say the halal certificate represents the undue influence of Muslims and is an affront to non-Muslims.
The halal method of killing an animal requires it to have its throat slit.
The clerics’ move to diffuse tensions came after thousands of nationalist Buddhists staged a rally last weekend to demand that all shops in the country clear their stocks of halal food by April.