China asks Sri Lankan govt to ensure security of its nationals

Tri-Nation Nidahas T20 Cup: India to take on Sri Lanka in Colombo

Violence continued for the third day in Kandy district even as curfew was imposed and security strengthened in the area.

Sri Lanka's parliament on Tuesday issued an apology to the Muslim minority, which constitutes 10 percent of the country's population of 21 million.

Former Sri Lanka players Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena and Sanath Jayasuriya came forward and put forth their views, against the ongoing communal violence in Sri Lanka, on their respective social media accounts. The capital city of Colombo also faced the social media block, while other regions experienced slow and disturbed networks too.

A tweet from the office of President Maithripala Sirisena said the decree would "redress the unsatisfactory security situation prevailing in certain parts of the country".

The police in Sri Lanka on Wednesday resorted to lobbing teargas shells at Buddhist protestors in Kandy, who have been defying a curfew and attacking mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.

Muslims own numerous small businesses in Sri Lanka, a fact that many believe has helped make them targets as Buddhist-Muslim relations have worsened in recent years amid the rise of hard-line Buddhist groups, which accuse Muslims of forcing people to convert and destroying sacred Buddhist sites.

According to various news reports, the unrest began after the funeral of a truck driver from the Sinhalese Buddhist community, who died days after he was involved in an altercation with four Muslims, the government has said.

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"This is a temporary measure and we will have the restrictions removed soon", a top official told AFP on condition of anonymity. This is the second such incident over past couple of weeks after Ampara in eastern province witnessed similar attacks late last month.

He said police had already identified anti-Muslim messages being shared on social networks, including a video posted by a hardline Buddhist monk urging violence against Muslims. We are One Country and One people.

The Prime Minister informed Parliament on March 5 that the Cabinet of Ministers had chose to declare a state of emergency in view of the ethnic violence in Teldeniya and adjacent areas.

These incidents have caused various tensions and conflicts between religious and ethnic groups with attacks on religious places and vehicles being carried out, they observed further.

"We clearly see an organised pattern orchestrated by political hands", senior minister Sarath Amunugama said.

Sirisena said stern action would be taken against elements fueling communalism in the island.

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