Retired judges to probe anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka

Saul Franklin
March 12, 2018

So far, about 150 people, including key suspect Amith Weerasinghe from the hard-line Sinhala Buddhist group Mahasona Balakaya, have been arrested, the police said.

He drew similarity to state that "It is precisely these conditions culminating in periodic anti-Tamil pogroms, which ultimately led to the three-decade long civil war, the effects of which the country is still struggling to overcome".

In Weligama, 240 kilometres south of Kandy, a Muslim-owned business was attacked, police said, while Muslim establishments were pelted with stones in at least two other locations outside Kandy.

However, the weekly religious activity went off without incident, authorities said.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said the decision to continue the suspension was made at the request of the Ministry of Defence.

A group of radical Buddhists monks are facing prosecution for their alleged role in anti-Muslim violence in 2014 that left four people dead.

A senior police official said disciplinary action will be taken against officers in the Anamaduwa area for failing to prevent the restaurant attack.

Curfew in the district was lifted at dawn Saturday but army continued to patrol alongside police, officials said.

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Holidaymakers have been urged to avoid the hill resort, which is home to Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

The unrest began Monday after a Sinhalese man died following injuries sustained at the hands of a Muslim mob last week.

Violent attacks against Muslims swept the central district of Kandy over the last week.

Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese community accounts for about three quarters of the 21 million population.

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Parliament on Tuesday issued an apology to the island's Muslim minority for the latest violence targeting them in the Indian Ocean island.

The restaurant in Anamaduwa - 130km north of the capital Colombo - was targeted despite police being on high alert after a spate of anti-Muslim attacks.

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