10-day Emergency declared in Sri Lanka after communal clashes

Troops and elite police have been sent to central Kandy district and imposed a curfew there on Monday to prevent clashes between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims after a mob set fire to a Muslim-owned shop. REUTERS  Dinuka Liyanawatte

Troops and elite police have been sent to central Kandy district and imposed a curfew there on Monday to prevent clashes between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims after a mob set fire to a Muslim-owned shop. REUTERS Dinuka Liyanawatte

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekere said the clashes had erupted in Digana town in Kandy on Sunday night after a 41-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a group of people on Feb 22.

Tension has been growing between Muslim and Buddhist community which leads to a state of emergency for 10 days in Sri Lanka.

A police curfew was imposed in the Kandy District until Tuesday 6th March morning.

This action comes after a local emergency was imposed in the central city, Kandy.

SB Dissanayake, Sri Lankan Social Empowerment Minister said that the decision was taken in today's cabinet meeting, chaired by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and gazette in this regard will be issued later on Tuesday.

Ganeshan said the State of Emergency will give the president power to deploy the armed forces across the country.

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Muslim-Buddhist fallout: Some 75 percent of Sri Lanka's 21 million residents are Sinhalese, while around 10 percent are Muslim.

The officer said security was heightened while schools and businesses remained closed.

As a country that had suffered by acts of violence for almost three decades, the Department said, "We as a nation should desist from the repetition of such".

Amnesty has also called on the Sri Lankan authorities to take action against those responsible for attacks on the country's Muslim minority.

Last week, mobs set fire to Muslim-owned businesses and attacked a mosque in the east of the country after a Muslim chef was accused of adding contraceptives to food sold to Sinhalese, the island's Buddhist majority.

Police have arrested several people and had extended the curfew after the body of a muslim man was removed from a burnt building. Another 13% of the population are Hindus.

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