Sri Lanka to probe riots, lift curfew

Mar 11, 2018, 10:06 IST | Agencies

An investigation into anti-Muslim riots that spread in central Sri Lanka prompting the authorities to declare a nationwide state of emergency was announced Saturday by President Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena (right) with Ram Nath Kovind. Pic/AFP
Maithripala Sirisena (right) with Ram Nath Kovind. Pic/AFP

An investigation into anti-Muslim riots that spread in central Sri Lanka prompting the authorities to declare a nationwide state of emergency was announced Saturday by President Maithripala Sirisena.

A panel of three retired judges will probe the breakdown in law and order in the picturesque hill resort of Kandy, Sirisena's office said in a statement. Three people died, 20 others were wounded and more than 200 Muslim-owned businesses and homes were destroyed in four days of rioting that died down on Thursday. Eleven mosques were also damaged or completely destroyed by Sinhalese mobs, according to police who say the situation has been brought under control after a heavy military deployment.

A curfew in the district was lifted at dawn on Saturday, but army soldiers continued to patrol alongside police, officials said. Hundreds of Buddhist monks and activists staged demonstrations in Colombo on Friday denouncing the anti-Muslim attacks and urging authorities to take strong action against the perpetrators.

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