Agencies, Kandy, Sri Lanka
A curfew in the Sri Lankan town of Kandy will be temporarily lifted on Thursday, authorities said, following days of violence against members of the minority Muslim community by Buddhists.
Buddhist mobs have attacked mosques and Muslim businesses in the central highland town since an altercation between members of the two communities over the weekend, prompting President Maithripala Sirisena to declare a state of emergency.
The Kandy area was quiet on Wednesday night and early on Thursday, the military said.“The situation is improving and there have been no major incidents of violence reported in the last 12 hours,” said Major General Rukman Dias, the army commander in the area.
Dias said the curfew was likely to be re-imposed in Kandy in the evening. Communal tensions in Sri Lanka have grown in the past year with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing conversions to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites. Muslim groups deny the allegations.
On Wednesday, a grenade blast killed one person and injured three in the area, despite the government’s declaration of emergency rule and moves to block social messaging networks in an effort to halt inflammatory speech.
The government said on Wednesday Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp would be blocked across Sri Lanka for three days.Grenade blast kills one in Sri Lanka communal violence, social media blocked.
Colombo: A grenade blast killed one person in further violence between majority Buddhist Sinhalese and minority Muslims in Sri Lanka on Wednesday despite the government’s blocking of social messaging networks in efforts to halt the bloodshed.
The South Asian country has been rocked by communal clashes in its central highlands since Sunday following attacks on Muslims by nationalist Sinhalese crowds.
Communal tensions have grown over the past year with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites. Muslim groups deny these allegations.