Sri Lanka declares emergency to curb communal violence

sri_lanka.jpg.Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on March 6 declared a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days in order to curb the communal violence, a day after Buddhists and Muslims clash erupted in Kandy district of the country’s Central Province.

The clash left two persons dead and dozens of mosques, shops and houses damaged, as per reports.

According to a statement issued by Sirisena’s office reads, “The president has instructed the police to impartially, comprehensively and promptly deal with those engaged in criminal activities and those causing or attempting to cause ethnic and religious tensions, irrespective of their ethnic or religious identities and political affiliations.”

The violence erupted after the death of a Sinhalese truck driver at the hands of a mob last week. The government then sent troops and elite police commandos to Kandy to restore order and enforce the curfew, as per reports.

The tension between Sinhalese and Muslims is not uncommon in the country and has been going on for past few years with some Buddhist hardliners accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites, as per reports.

It is to note that Muslims in Sri Lanka comprise 9 percent, Buddhists comprise 70 percent and ethnic Tamils comprise 13 percent of the total population.