State Of Emergency To Be Declared For 10 Days Following Racial Unrest Across Parts Of The Country

Minister S.B. Dissanayake told reporters today that the President and his Cabinet of Ministers have decided to declare a state of emergency in country following racial unrest in parts of the island.

The Minister said the Gazette notification declaring the state of emergency would be published today. The state of emergency would cover a period of 10 days after which the President and the Cabinet of Ministers will reassess the situation in country.

The move comes after violence erupted between Sinhalese and Muslim factions in Kandy yesterday, after a Sinhalese three-wheel driver was killed by four Muslim men following a personal dispute.

Crowds of ultra-Buddhist Sinhalese nationalist – reportedly from areas like Anuradhapura, spurred by social media vigilantism, descended on Kandy yesterday, where they caused mayhem burning down Muslim establishments and homes.

Police and Special Task Force (STF) were forced to use tear gas to disperse the crowds. Twenty-four persons were arrested following the clashed and were remanded by the Digana Magistrate till March 19.

The body of a 27-year-old man was also found in a burned down shop in Kandy this morning. Magisterial inquiries are underway.

The incident follows violence between Sinhalese and Muslim groups in Ampara days earlier, when a Muslim shopkeeper was accused of doctoring the food served to Sinhalese patrons with ‘vadha pethi’ – or tablets that cause infertility. 

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd