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Emergency Declared In Sri Lanka, Troops Deployed
07 March 2018, 06:51 | Bernice Figueroa
Fresh arson attacks in Sri Lanka despite emergency laws
Tensions between the Buddhists and Muslims have been growing over the past year with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.
The United National Under Secretary General for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman is to visit Sri Lanka on March 9, the UN spokesperson announced on Tuesday as the country declared a state of emergency over anti-Muslim riots in Kandy.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tweeted Monday that the government would not hesitate to take action against the violence.
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, reportedAl-Jazeera.
Speaking to journalists outside the President's Secretariat, where the Cabinet Meeting was held, Minister Dissanayake said a Gazette Notice in this regard would be issued right away.
The government says it strongly and unequivocally condemns the recent violent incidents in Ampara and Digana, creating communal disharmony, where some places of worship, residences and businesses have been damaged. "I urge residents to remain calm and act with reason". Action could have been taken sooner to prevent clashes.
Of Sri Lanka's 21 million people, the Sinhalese Buddhists constitute for almost 70 percent of Sri Lanka's population, while Muslims make up almost 9 percent of the total population.
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