The government in Sri Lanka has declared a state of Emergency in the country for 10 days to ‘maintain law and order’ after the reports of rampant communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists.
According to Sunday Times, Minister SB Dissanayake told journalists that the decision was taken at today’s cabinet meeting. The website further added that the gazette signed by President Maithripala Sirisena declaring a State of Emergency will be issued today, the Minister added.
The decision to impose the Emergency across Sri Lanka came after the government ordered a curfew in a central town popular with tourists after days of unrest between religious communities with a Buddhist man killed and Muslim businesses set ablaze, reported Al-Jazeera.
The island nation has been marred by riots and arson attacks since the weekend in Kandy district. There were reports that the violence was fast spreading all throughout the island nation.
Muslims in Sri Lanka account for the country’s 10% population, while the Buddhists and Sinhalese make up nearly 75% of population. The country was in the state of emergency for 28 years due to the insurgency faced by the LTTE. The emergency was finally lifted in 2011.
According to some analysts, the nationalist Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena has been responsible for the ongoing violence targetting Muslims in Sri Lanka. However, some Buddhist groups have also accused Muslim groups of carrying out forceful conversions and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.