Sri Lanka government orders nationwide curfew for second night

15 May, 2019, 11:14 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Sri Lanka blocks social media after worst anti Muslim unrest since Easter bombings

A Muslim man was stabbed to death while rioters torched Muslim-owned shops and vandalised mosques during Monday's attacks.

"When we try to come out of our house, police tell us to stay inside".

"He was the main technology person for them", said one of the Sri Lankan police Criminal Investigation Department sources involved in the investigation.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an address to the nation, said the military has been asked to quell the anti-Muslim riot and urged public cooperation to the security forces to bring the situation under control.

"If the racism rises up. and peace is disturbed the country will be destabilised", he said. "The security forces have been given full powers to deal with those who violate the state of emergency and the islandwide curfew", he said.

On Monday, the Sri Lanka government blocked social media across the country.

Muslims make up around 10 percent of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka's population and Christians about 7.6 percent.

The latest wave of unrest started when a mob targeted Muslim-owned shops in the town of Chilaw, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Colombo on Sunday in anger at a Facebook post by a shopkeeper. A man, presumably Muslim, was beaten up.

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Glass was strewn across the Abrar mosque in the town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight.

Authorities suspect lakes and wells are being used as hiding places to hide weapons.

"They destroyed and burned Korans, broke every glass window and door and urinated on the water storage which Muslims used to take ablution", he said.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera rejected allegations that police had stood by while the violence unfolded.

It said that no injuries had been reported and that police had fired in the air in the Hettipola area.

Seven of those arrested were young Sinhalese Buddhist men who reportedly led the mobs and directed them to attack particular homes, businesses and mosques. Over 1,000 have been arrested since the attacks.

During the discussion, Mr. Sirisena had told President Jinping that Sri Lanka did not have the necessary facilities to curb the spread of false information through social media platforms in a bid to control terrorism in the country. He also prohibited the use of drones in the country till further notice.

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