Sri Lanka declares emergency, deploys commandos to quell anti-Muslim riots

Troops and elite police have been sent to central Kandy district and imposed a curfew there on Monday to prevent clashes between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims after a mob set fire to a Muslim-owned shop. REUTERS  Dinuka Liyanawatte

Government appeals to all parties and general public to remain calm

"It was chose to take stern action against people who are instigating violence through Facebook, the spokesman, Dayasiri Jayasekara, said". On March 5, a mob set homes, shops and a mosque ablaze in the Digana area of Kandy, in central Sri Lanka.

Muslim homes, business and mosques were badly damaged in riots Monday triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob last week. "We are urging our people to remain calm, but when their houses and livelihoods go up in flames, how long will they bear it?"

The statement from Sirisena's office came after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that the government was considering imposing a state of emergency. The website further added that the gazette signed by President Maithripala Sirisena declaring a State of Emergency will be issued today, the Minister added. It is being told that due to the tension between Buddhists and Muslim communities over the past, conditions of Sri Lanka has worsened. Local officials said more than two dozen suspects had been detained by police in connection with the spate of arson attacks, while senior officers also launched an investigation into the conduct of the police.

Of Sri Lanka's 21 million people, the Sinhalese Buddhists constitute for almost 70 percent of Sri Lanka's population, while Muslims make up almost 9 percent of the total population.

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Amnesty has also called on the Sri Lankan authorities to take action against those responsible for attacks on the country's Muslim minority.

That violence was instigated by a Buddhist extremist group whose leaders are on trial accused of spurring religious conflict. Another 13% of the population are Hindus.

In June 2014, an anti-Muslim campaign was launched following the deadly Aluthgama riots.

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