Sri Lanka's nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters launched a campaign on Sunday to boycott Islamic halal-slaughtered meat.
Thousands of men and women led by hundreds of monks of the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Force, staged a rally outside Colombo to announce the boycott, demanding that shops clear their stocks of halal food by April.
"More than 90 per cent of the population are Buddhists, Hindus and Christian and therefore there is no justification to force them to eat halal products," Buddhist monk Kirama Wimala Jothi said in a statement.
He urged Sri Lanka's non-Muslim majority to boycott any product with the halal label and asked the government to outlaw Islamic clerics issuing such certification.
Less than 10 per cent of Sri Lanka's population of 20 million are Muslims.
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