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Emergency declared in Sri Lanka following communal clashes between Buddhists & Muslims
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SRI LANKA, Mar 6 (Agencies): Sri Lank has declared a nation-wide state of emergency for 10 days after businesses belonging to Muslims were set ablaze in a communal clash that erupted over the killing of a Buddhist man.

Fresh curfew was imposed today and heavily-armed police commandos of special task force were deployed in Theldeniya and Pallekele areas of Kandy district where riots have left two dead and homes and businesses of the minority community in ruins. The state of emergency has now been imposed to "prevent the spread of communal riots to other parts of the country," spokesman, Dayasiri Jayasekara, told Reuters.

A Gazette notification would be issued right away, Minister of Social Empowerment S B Dissanayake told reporters outside the President’s Secretariat, where the Cabinet meeting was held.

“There are allegations that the law was not implemented to minimise the impact of these tense situations. Now, the Police and Army personnel had been deployed to respective areas to beef up security,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

Dissanayake said the President could decide at the end of the 10 days, whether to extend the state of emergency.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday notified that the state of emergency in Sri Lanka would not affect the first match of the Tri-Nation Nidahas Twenty20 Cup which was scheduled between India and Sri Lanka at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.

"There have been reports of curfew and an emergency being called in Sri Lanka. The situation is in Kandy, not Colombo. After talking to concerned security personnel, we have understood that situation is completely normal in Colombo," the BCCI said in a statement.

According to police, the elite special task force was deployed in the area after riots broke out following the death of an assault victim, a Sinhalese, who was attacked by the members of the minority community.

They said on February 22, the man was admitted to a hospital following an attack. He succumbed to his injuries on March 3, after which the attackers arrested and were remanded to police custody till tomorrow.

Muslims account for 10 percent of the 21 million population in Sri Lanka, and Buddhist Sinhalese make up nearly 75 percent. Another 13 percent of the population are Hindus, according to the Al Jazeera. Tensions between the Buddhist and Muslim community have been brewing for the past year, withe the former accusing the latter of forcibly converting people to Islam to vandalise Buddhist archeological sites. In 2014, Outlook's Pranay Sharma had interviewed General secr­etary of the Sri Lankan ultra-nationalist Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) who believes his organisation can unite all the Buddhists of the island and turn them into a nationalist force, thus countering a ‘foreseen’ Islamic threat.

News Updated at : Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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