Sirisena to appoint committee to probe anti-Muslim riots
Sirisena to appoint committee to probe anti-Muslim riots
Kumar Sangakkara calls for peace as Buddhist mobs attack mosques in Sri Lanka
12 March, 2018, 10:48
In a statement released by Suren Surendran of the Global Tamil Forum from London noted that the violence occurred in the Ampara and Kandy districts during the last two weeks, which involved deaths, and destruction to properties and places of worship of the Muslim community, is a reflection and an outcome of the alarming Islamophobia developing in Sri Lanka over several years now. In an email interview, Neil DeVotta, a professor of politics and worldwide affairs at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and an expert on ethnic conflict in South Asia, explains what is behind the tensions and why the government has done more to fan the flames than put out the fire.
Authorities have also blocked internet access across the famous tourist district and disrupted Facebook and messaging platforms after police said they were used to instigate communal violence. A night curfew has been imposed in the city.
A Sri Lankan policeman guards a mosque in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo amid fears that anti-Muslim riots in the central region of Kandy could spread to other areas of the island.
The military maintained a heavy deployment in Kandy and schools remained shut, but authorities said they will reopen after the weekend.
"We have to make sure that in Sri Lanka anyone and everyone feels safe, loved and accepted regardless of ethnicity or religion", he said in a video posted to Twitter.
"Finally, the global community has to impress upon Sri Lanka in no uncertain terms that the country will never achieve its full potential without settling its ethnic and religious differences in a peaceful and just manner".
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The unrest began Monday after a Sinhalese man died following injuries sustained at the hands of a Muslim mob last week.
Some Buddhist nationalists have protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise.
The recent violent episode has sparked concern among many Sri Lankans who see the incidents as part of a growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the country since 2012.
Parliament on Tuesday issued an apology to the island's Muslim minority for the latest violence targeting them in the Indian Ocean island.
The United Nations on Sunday condemned a string of anti-Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka including the burning of mosques and businesses.
In June 2014 riots between Buddhists, led by radical monks, and Muslims left four dead.
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