Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Sri Lankan President appoints Commission of inquiry to probe violence in Kandy

Sri Lankan President appoints Commission of inquiry to probe violence in Kandy

Sri Lankan troops today guarded mosques and facilitated Friday prayers as authorities stepped up security in the violence-hit Muslim neighbourhoods in Kandy district after four days of riots that have left at least two people dead. The arson, carried out by Sinhalese mobs, followed the death of a Sinhalese man who died of injuries from an altercation with a group of Muslim youth over a road-rage incident.

A curfew in the district, which is 115km (72 miles) east of the capital Colombo, was lifted at dawn yesterday but army soldiers continued to patrol alongside police, officials said. According to the Sunday Times, it is unclear how long the bans may stay in effect and they may last until the government formally ends the state of emergency.

Despite a security alert across the country, three boats belonging to a Muslim businessman just outside the Kandy district were torched early Friday, police said.

Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara alluded to the island's history of ethnic violence in urging his countrymen "to say no to racism".

The committee will also recommend steps that need to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future, and look into the conduct of relevant authorities in controlling the situation and their accountability, the report said, adding that the retired judges will be named later.

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Military officials said more reinforcements were sent to the area on Wednesday night to assist police who resorted to teargas to disperse rioters the previous evening.

"Finally, the worldwide community has to impress upon Sri Lanka in no uncertain terms that the country will never achieve its full potential without settling its ethnic and religious differences in a peaceful and just manner". Sinhalese Buddhists make up 75% of the country's 21 million people, and 10% are Muslims.

Hundreds of Sinhalese including monks held a rally against the violence in Colombo on Friday, while many Muslim shopkeepers closed their doors in protest at the attacks.

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