Buddhists violence against Muslims, Sri Lanka declares state of emergency

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Tuesday has declared a nation-wide state of emergency for 10 days after violent clashes broke out between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims in the country’s central Kandy district that left two persons dead.

The meassure comes after a local curfew was imposed on Monday in a central hill station town.

50 business shops, 7 houses  and 2 mosques of the minority community set fire by Buddhists extremists in Monday violence that triggered following the death of a Sinhalese Buddhists.

Police, to prevent clashes, deployed heavily-armed commandos of special task force in Theldeniya and Pallekele areas of Kandy district where riots have left two dead.

President Maithripala Sirisena and the Cabinet on Tuesday decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days following the violence prevailed in some parts of the country, Minister of Social Empowerment S B Dissanayake said.

A Gazette notification would be issued right away, he told reporters outside the Presidents Secretariat, where the Cabinet meeting was held.

There are allegations that the law was not implemented to minimise the impact of these tense situations.

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

Members of Buddhist community hold protest outside Kandy police station demanding the release of Buddhists those who were arrested in the riot.

They said on February 22, the man was admitted to a hospital following an attack. He succumbed to his injuries on March 3, after which the attackers arrested and were remanded to police custody till tomorrow.

Religious and ethnic violence can turn deadly in Sri Lanka, where Muslims account for 10 percent of the population and Sinhalese make up nearly 75 percent.

In June 2014 riots between Buddhists and Muslims left four dead and many injured.

That violence was instigated by a Buddhist extremist group whose leaders are on trial accused of spurring religious conflict.

Agencies input