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State-of-Emergency Declared Over Sri Lanka’s Communal Violence





The government of Sri Lanka has imposed a nationwide state of emergency considered a ”stern action” move against people perpetrating communal violence according to a spokesman.

This comes after a local curfew put into place in the central city of Kandy was imposed on Monday. Clashes between religious communities have left a Buddhist man dead, businesses owned by Muslims torched.

Police had confirmed on Monday, the riots, and arson attacks over the weekend in the Kandy district. Violence kept spreading throughout the island nation of South Asia.

Religious and ethnic violence in the past had turned deadly in Sri Lanka. Muslims account for 10 percent of the population of 21 million people. The Buddhist Sinhalese make up 75 percent while the Hindus another 13 percent.

The nationalist Buddhist organization, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has been blamed by some observers for the ongoing violence in the country.

Just last month, five people were wounded, several shops and mosques vandalized during a clash between Buddhist and Muslim groups.

An anti-Muslim campaign was launched back in June 2014, following the deadly Aluthgama riots.

Hardline Buddhist groups have accused their Muslim counterparts of forcing people to convert to Islam, vandalizing Buddhist temples and archaeological sites.

Since coming to power in 2015, President Maithripala Siresena had promised to investigate anti-Muslim crimes, but no progress has been registered to that effect.



Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

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