Sri Lanka under nationwide curfew after crowds attack mosques

Sri Lanka under nationwide curfew after crowds attack mosques

Sri Lanka under nationwide curfew after crowds attack mosques

Meanwhile, police curfew is now imposed within Chilaw city limits and is set to be lifted at 4 am tomorrow.

A police source said police had fired tear gas to disperse mobs in some places in North Western Province.

In the town of Minuwangoda, just north of Colombo, a Muslim-owned hotel and a mosque were attacked by stone-hurling mobs armed with sticks.

A Sri Lankan security personnel inspects a auto on a controlled roadside in Colombo after the government imposed a nationwide night curfew.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also appealed for calm after the unrest broke out, especially in Kurunegala district targeting Muslims, and appealed to the public not to be swayed by false information.

In the north-western town of Kiniyama, windows and doors to a mosque were smashed and copies of the Koran thrown on the floor.

A mosque official said the attacks were triggered when several people, including some Buddhist monks, demanded a search of the main building after soldiers had inspected a 105-acre (43-hectare) pond nearby. A man, presumably Muslim, was beaten up.

The speaker of parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, said Sri Lanka's future will "be decided by the way people behave in the next few days". Since then Muslim groups say they have received dozens of complaints from across the country about people being harassed.

But they came back and this time there were about 1,300 people.

"When Muslims tried to prevent the attack, we were asked by police to go inside", the official said.

The think tank said steps also need to be urgently taken to ensure authorities respond in a timely and effective manner to the incidents within the existing legal framework.

The police said that the suspect was organizing pilgrimage tours to Mecca.

Christian groups attacked Muslim-owned shops in the northwestern town of Chilaw on Sunday in anger at a Facebook post by a Muslim shopkeeper.

"Social media blocked again as a temporary measure to maintain peace in the country", Nalaka Kaluwewa, director general of the government information department, told Reuters on Monday.

A number of people surrounded and damaged an Islamic religious centre and police arrested a person, identified as Abdul-Hameed Mohamed, who had allegedly posted an inflammatory message on Facebook.

The arrest comes after eight coordinated explosions jolted Sri Lankan cities of Colombo, Negombo, Kochchikede and Batticaloa on April 21 as the Christian community celebrated Easter.

- NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) May 13, 2019As per the directive issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram & YouTube would be restricted with immediate effect until further notice.

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