South Asia

Riots in Sri Lanka; 49 arrested

A Sri Lankan man inspects the charred remains of a bag tailoring unit following attacks during a communal clash in Aluthgama, Sri Lanka on Monday. File photo  

Nearly 50 people were arrested overnight in Sri Lanka over deadly riots between two communities in a popular tourist region that has killed at least four persons.

“We have arrested 49 of them and are looking to make more arrests,” Police spokesman and Superintendent Ajith Rohana said.

At least 30 of them have been remanded to police custody.

On Sunday night communal clashes broke two communities during a rally.

At least 4 Muslims were killed in the clashes since Sunday in the south western coastal areas of Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town.

Meanwhile, a curfew imposed in the Beruwala and Aluthgama areas on Sunday following violence, was lifted from 8 am on Wednesday.

Police said the curfew would be re-imposed if required.

“These incidents were very unfortunate. Everyone must realize that the country has faced international action so this is not the time to give room for such action,” military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said.

The UN Human Rights Council’s international investigation on Sri Lanka’s alleged human rights accountability is to commence soon. The action sanctioned by the UN rights body’s three successive resolutions since 2012.

Sri Lanka’s lack of action to control inter-religious tensions were highlighted by the UN rights chief Navy Pillay during her visit to the island last year.

Stepping up the international pressure, the European Union on Wednesday urged the Sri Lankan government to uphold the rule of law.

“We condemn the outbreak of violence which resulted in the loss of lives and extensive damage to property,” an EU statement said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 6:03:59 AM |

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