Kandy Riots: Sri Lanka Suspends Internet Services as Deadly Anti-Muslim Violence Continues
Colombo, March 7: The Chinese government on Wednesday urged Sri Lanka to take measures to ensure the security of its nationals in view of the communal clashes between hardline Buddhists leaders and Muslim minority that led to the imposition of an emergency.
The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims living in Kandy district that left two persons dead and damaged several mosques and homes.
The riots started on Tuesday, a week after the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob. The violence first erupted in the Theldeniya area of the central hill district popular with tourists.
The government had forced to sent troops and elite police commandoes to Kandy to restore order and enforce the curfew.
Asked about the emergency imposed in Sri Lanka to clampdown on the communal clashes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here that China hopes the Sri Lankan government would take measures to protect the safety and security of Chinese nationals.
On the declaration of the emergency by the government, Geng declined to comment on it, saying that it is an internal affair of Sri Lanka. “We believe it is the domestic affair of Sri Lanka. We believe the Sri Lankan government and the people are capable of dealing with the current situations and to ensure the social stability and national solidarity,” he said.
China invested billions of dollars in Sri Lanka, including in the development of ports in Hambantota and Colombo. Sri Lanka has also emerged as a popular destination for Chinese tourists.
(With input from agencies)