Sri Lanka: After imposition of emergency, police clash with rioters in Kandy

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday (March 6) declared a nationwide state of emergency for seven days in a bid to curb communal violence after clashes erupted between majority Buddhists and members of the Muslim minority. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Kandy, Sri Lanka Mar 07, 2018, 06.57 AM (IST)

A day after the Lankan government imposed emergency in Kandy in the wake of violence between Buddhists and Muslims, police clashed with local rioters in the curfew-bound area on Tuesday night.

Reports said at least 3 policemen were injured in the clashes in overnight clashes. Schools in Kandy remained shut today as police continued to petrol the area.

Foreign governments including Britain & US issued travel warning for their citizens against visiting the riot-hit area.

Reports said over 150 shops and houses were set ablaze in rioting since Sunday.

Meanwhile, the UN has announced it will send its political chief Jeffrey Feltman to the riot-hit region.

Feltman, who is the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, will hold talks with the Sri Lankan government and is expected to visit Kandy.

Tensions between hardline Buddhist groups and Muslims in the area was building for over a year after the Buddhists accused the Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.

The unrest in Kandy began on Sunday after the funeral of a truck driver from the majority Sinhalese Buddhist community who died days after he was involved in an altercation with four Muslims, the government said.

Just after the funeral, Sinhalese mob attacked Muslim shops. Police said later that body of a Muslim youth was found in a burnt-out house on Tuesday leading to renewed tensions.

 

Police said there had been riots and arson attacks since the weekend in Kandy, home to tea plantations and Buddhist relics. (Reuters)

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