Sri Lanka declares 10-day emergency over riots

Adjust Comment Print

United Nations political chief Jeffrey Feltman will visit Sri Lanka this week, the United Nations spokesman said Tuesday, after anti-Muslim riots prompted the government to declare a state of emergency. The government said some people were trying to instigate communal violence via social media and warned stern action against them.

The authorities on Monday imposed a curfew and arrested more than 20 people in Kandy for the violence that ensued after the death of a Buddhist in Teldeniya, who was killed when he clashed with four Muslims. Fresh curfew was imposed today and heavily-armed police commandos of special task force were deployed in Theldeniya and Pallekele areas of Kandy district where riots have left two dead and homes and businesses of the minority community in ruins.

The government called on the local population "to act with responsibility and remain calm".

The government urges every citizen of Sri Lanka to desist from falling prey to such hate and misinformation campaigns. Mobs set fire to Muslim-owned businesses and attacked a mosque, and violence was reportedly spreading throughout the country, according to Al Jazeera.

More news: Stoke and Southampton in goalless draw
More news: Scouting Combine: Five players who impressed on Friday
More news: Companies with stores in Chesterfield collapse into administration

Dissanayake said the President could decide at the end of the 10 days, whether to extend the state of emergency.

The Sinhalese are a mainly Buddhist ethnic group making up almost three-quarters of Sri Lanka's 21 million people. Another 13% of the population are Hindus.

Dozens of mosques and homes were damaged on Monday night as crowds went on a rampage, sparking fears that communal violence could spread. It is being told that due to the tension between Buddhists and Muslim communities over the past, conditions of Sri Lanka has worsened.

In June 2014, an anti-Muslim campaign was launched following the deadly Aluthgama riots.