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Sri Lanka: At least two killed in anti-Muslim riots

May 14, 2019

In Sri Lanka, at least two people are reported killed and dozens of shops burnt in anti-Muslim riots since Monday following Easter Sunday attacks.

Overnight curfew was imposed countrywide following reports of violence in several districts north of Colombo as mobs ransacked mosques and business establishments of Muslims. Police had to fire tear gas at several places to disperse the mobs.

 Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said  the country would be destabilized if racial conflicts are to emerge and country’s peace is to be destroyed. He said in in a statement that  security forces have been authorized to take stern action against those who obstruct the country’s peace.

 The premier called on the public to render maximum support to the security forces to ensure peace and security in the country. Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa appealed to the people to avoid taking the law into their own hands and prevent enemy forces from plunging the country into another 1983 Black July.

 Issuing a statement, Mr. Rajapaksa said the country had been dragged into a 30-year war due to the ethnic-violence that erupted with the blessings of the then government in July 1983. Parliament speaker Karu Jaysurya in a message said future of Sri Lanka will be decided by the way people behave in next few days.

 He said if communal violence cannot be prevented, terrorists will be able to legitimize their crime, as they did in 1983. Social media sites were blocked for the third time since Easter attacks for preventing rumors to spread. Hate crimes has been on the rise against Muslims following Easter Sunday attacks which killed over 250 people including 45 foreigners. 

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