Sri Lanka Riots: Authorities impose nationwide curfew amid rising sectarian violence

Sri Lanka Riots: Authorities impose nationwide curfew amid rising sectarian violence

Sri Lanka has been on the edge following a series of suicide blasts on Easter that killed over 250 people.

The Prime Minister said: "Security forces are working tirelessly to apprehend terrorists and ensure the security of the country, but each time there is civil unrest, we increase their burden and hamper ongoing investigations".

In recent years, Buddhist hardliners, led by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or "Buddhist Power Force" have stoked hostility against Islam, saying Middle Eastern influence has turned Sri Lankan Muslims more conservative and isolated.

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 43-hectare lake nearby.

The same day, a curfew was imposed in Chilaw and Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, Hettipola and Dummalasuriya areas and the social media ban was imposed to prevent circulation of fake news and incitement to violence. "The recent violence in Sri Lanka has highlighted a growing influence of nationalist and extremist views of identity in the Asia region, putting religious minorities at risk", the United Nations said in a press release. "They have burnt our mosques and smashed many shops owned by Muslims", a resident of Kottampitiya area told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Rioting there, north of the capital Colombo, saw police fire bullets into the air to disperse mobs marauding through several towns. They also encouraged the Government to make sure that these and other past similar attacks are fully investigated and those responsible for instigating or committing these violent acts are brought to justice and made accountable.

Officials have blocked some social media platforms and messaging apps, including Facebook and Whatsapp, in an attempt to curb the violence.

More news: Theresa May to bring Brexit withdrawal bill before Parliament in early June
More news: Michigan Senate votes to ban abortion procedure
More news: Donald Trump Jr. agrees to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee again

Security forces have detained dozens of people suspected of involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by the "Islamic State" terror group.

Then the crowd surged into the mosque and ransacked it, the witness said.

"We call upon the members of the Muslim communities to be more patient and guard your actions and avoid unnecessary postings or hosting on social media", the ACJU said.

The interior of a vandalised shop after sectarian clashes in Minuwangoda, Sri Lanka, on May 14, 2019.

Internet service providers said they have been instructed by the telecommunications regulator to block access to Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram.

The latest unrest came as Catholic churches resumed public Sunday masses for the first time since the bombings. Amid the heightened security, students are only allowed into schools after checks for explosives.

But attendance has been extremely low, according to education authorities.

Related Articles

  • Netflix gaming coming to E3 2019: Stranger Things and more

    Netflix gaming coming to E3 2019: Stranger Things and more

    Lucas , Dustin , and Mike all come with flashlights, walkie talkies, and individual accessories like a slingshot or a compass. You get the house's front façade, but in the back are multiple rooms, including Will's bedroom.
    Britain concerned at reports Iran jailed woman for spying for UK

    Britain concerned at reports Iran jailed woman for spying for UK

    The British Council said it does not have offices or representatives in Iran and it does not do any work in Iran. A judiciary spokesperson said the woman, who has not been identified, confessed to the crime of spying.
    Godin has earned his place among Atletico Madrid greats, says Simeone

    Godin has earned his place among Atletico Madrid greats, says Simeone

    The France striker signed a five-year deal with Atletico last season and had a €104 million release clause inserted into his contract.
  • Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked with animated blast images

    Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked with animated blast images

    U.S. music icon Madonna has come under pressure to cancel her performance at this year's contest. On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters marched in Tel Aviv before the first semi-finals.
    Jeremy Kyle Show axed forever

    Jeremy Kyle Show axed forever

    ITV's support for its reality show talent has also come under scrutiny following the deaths of two former Love Island contestants. Jeremy returned to radio past year with a weekly show on talkRADIO, but he presented his last show on March 30th 2019.
    Bitcoin holds above $7000 after hitting nine-month high

    Bitcoin holds above $7000 after hitting nine-month high

    Rival coins surged in a broad rally, with Bitcoin Cash up as much as 40%, and Litecoin and Ether both at least 21% higher. While Bitcoin has more than doubled from its post-crash low, the crypto space is by no means free of headaches.
  • U.S. Defends Gulf Military Buildup, Says It's 'Not Spoiling For Fight'

    U.S. Defends Gulf Military Buildup, Says It's 'Not Spoiling For Fight'

    Pompeo said Trump had made clear he wanted the to try to keep the Russian Federation relationship "on the high ground". "I hope that Russian Federation takes advantage of those opportunities", he said .
    Man City facing 1-season ban from Champions League

    Man City facing 1-season ban from Champions League

    Earlier this season, Manchester City released a statement denying any misconduct, saying, " The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false ".
    Game Of Thrones TV creators to direct next Star Wars

    Game Of Thrones TV creators to direct next Star Wars

    Weiss arrive for the premiere of the final season of " Game of Thrones " at Radio City Music Hall in NY , U.S., April 3, 2019. So here's all we know for now: the Star Wars film being released in 2022 will be creatively lead by Benioff and Weiss.
  • Apple Releases New TV App

    Apple Releases New TV App

    If these integrations truly are missing from the TV app on third-party devices, that's a key difference worth considering. Customers with 2019 Samsung smart TVs and select 2018 models can download the new TV app.
    HTC Exodus 1s Places Blockchain On A Tight Budget

    HTC Exodus 1s Places Blockchain On A Tight Budget

    HTC will also offer a software development kit (SDK) which will be available for its Zion Valut, the HTC crypto wallet. The manufacturer has not shared a specific launch date but says the device will be priced at around $250-300.
    'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' Teaser Trailer

    'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' Teaser Trailer

    Maybe the movie will be good, but right now I don't see anything here that tempts me to dive back into the world of Maleficent . Jolie's first outing as the Disney villain saw what drove Maleficent to curse the child in this version of the story.