10 day long Emergency imposed in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka declared a country-wide state of emergency on Tuesday to suppress communal violence between Muslims and ethnic Sinhalese. He said some people were instigating violence through Facebook and warned of tough action against them, according to Reuters.

The government called on the local population "to act with responsibility and remain calm".

Tires are set on fire on a road in Kandy, Central Sri Lanka, on March 5, 2018.

In the past, religious and ethnic violence had turned deadly in Sri Lanka, where Muslims account for 10% of the 21 million population, and Buddhists Sinhalese make up almost 75%.

Feltman, the United Nations under-secretary-general for political affairs, will arrive Friday for three days of talks with Sri Lankan leaders and is expected to visit Kandy where two people were killed in the violence.

Amnesty International said it was important authorities took action to protect minorities from violence and hold those responsible to account."But a state of emergency must not become a pretext for further human rights abuses", said Amnesty's South Asia director Biraj Patnaik.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the visit was planned before the state of emergency was imposed.

Police have arrested several people and had extended the curfew after the body of a muslim man was removed from a burnt building. Another 13 percent of the population are Hindus.

Dozens of mosques and homes were damaged on Monday night as crowds went on a rampage, sparking fears that communal violence could spread.

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

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramsinghe, of the conservative United National Party, said the violence "appeared to be systemic and organized".

  • Joey Payne