Anti-Muslim riots: Sri Lanka declares emergency

Government appeals to all parties and general public to remain calm

Curfew in Kandy after anti-Muslim attacks

The decision has been taken in a cabinet meeting with the view of preventing the riots from spreading to other parts of the country. "Additional security has been deployed in the area, the situation is under control", police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told The Hindu, even as images of violence, which users claimed were from Kandy, flooded social media.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the declaration would "empower" the country's armed forces and police to respond to clashes in the hill town of Kandy.

The government has appealed to all parties and the general public to remain calm and act with responsibility, following a tense situation that took place in Digana today.

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

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also ordered an investigation into alleged police inaction in handling the clash.

He further said that President could decide at the end of 10 days, whether to extend the State of Emergency.

Police have arrested several people and had extended the curfew after the body of a muslim man was removed from a burnt building.

Religious and ethnic violence can turn deadly in Sri Lanka, where Muslims account for 10 percent of the population and Sinhalese make up almost 75 percent.

According to reports, Muslim homes, business and mosques were badly damaged in riots Monday triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob last week. Communal tensions have flared up during the past year after hardline Buddhist groups accused Muslims of attacking Buddhist religious sites and forcing Sinhalese to convert to Islam. Muslims account for 10 percent of its population.

"The Government urges every citizen of Sri Lanka to desist from falling prey to such hate and misinformation campaigns".

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