Kandy Riots: Sri Lanka Suspends Internet Services as Deadly Anti-Muslim Violence Continues
Kandy (Sri Lanka), Mar 8: Sri Lanka imposed a curfew and suspended Internet services after at least two people were killed in anti-Muslim riots in various parts of the country’s Kandy district. “The Police put on alert to ensure that the enforcement of the law proceeds without hindrance and the situation does not spiral into an inter-communal conflagration,” the government, in a statement, said.
The Sri Lanka government on Wednesday made an appeal to the general public and all the political parties to act with responsibility and remain calm. “The suspects have been arrested and the law will take its course,” it said.
On Wednesday, March 7, a series of attacks targeting Muslims were carried out by a mob. The sources have said that the attacks on the Muslim-owned shops have been carried out by Sinhalese. (Also Read: Ex-Sri Lankan cricketers condemn Kandy riots)
“An entire row of shops here is burning…. About 20 minutes after our shops were set to fire, a few of our boys tried flinging stones in the direction of the attackers to chase them away,” an eyewitness told The Hindu.
Reviewing the situation, President Maithripala Sirisena said, “Visited Kandy to discuss the prevailing situation and with religious leaders and law enforcement authorities. I ordered to strengthen security in the area.”
Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) suspended social media such as Facebook, and WhatsApp for three days to prevent any communication regarding the riots. The Police Media Spokesman said that Police Special Task Force (STF) has been deployed to curb the riot situation in the district.
The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday, March 6, declared a state of emergency for 10 days in view of the communal violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims living in Kandy district. The violence left two persons dead, and several mosques and homes damaged. The riots started on Tuesday, a week after the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob.