Sri Lanka declares 10-day Emergency

07 March 2018, 06:48 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Curfew in Kandy after anti-Muslim attacks

Government appeals to all parties and general public to remain calm

"One of the key underlying elements is the sense that many Sinhalese and Buddhists have is that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese and Buddhist island and other community, Muslims and Tamils, are here on the sufferance of the majority", Keenan said.

The expansion of hatred between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has caused stir in Sri Lanka on Tuesday when Colombo declared a State of Emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence in some parts of the country.

Police said on Monday there had been riots and arson attacks since the weekend in Kandy district, while sources told Al Jazeera the violence was spreading throughout the South Asian island nation.

The Government also convened a special meeting over the communal violence involving the Muslims and the Sinhalese, who are mostly Buddhists, Efe news reported. The country was under a state of emergency for almost three decades when the government fought Tamil rebels in the civil war that ended in 2009.

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Mr. Bathiudeen said that after the truck driver died, the police in Kandy were warned about the rising tensions and urged to send reinforcements. "As a country that had suffered by acts of violence for almost three decades, we as a nation should desist from repetition of such", Director General of Government Information Department, Sudarshana Gunawardhana said. The police official said 24 people had been arrested over the killing so far. Action could have been taken sooner to prevent clashes. Similar violence occurred last month when mobs set fire to Muslim-owned businesses and a mosque.

Muslims in Sri Lanka are generally known as Moors are the minority ethnic group comprising 9.3% of the country's total population.

Last week, at least 5 people were wounded and several shops and a mosque damaged when groups clashed in Ampara. Another 13% of the population are Hindus.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramsinghe, of the conservative United National Party, said the violence "appeared to be systemic and organized".



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