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Sirisena to appoint committee to probe anti-Muslim riots

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lankan today appointed a commission to probe the communal clashes in the violence-hit district that prompted him to impose a nationwide state of emergency, according to a media report.

Anti-Muslim riots, since Monday, have left two persons dead and damaged several homes, businesses and mosques in the district.

The violence erupted after the death of a man from the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority last week. To rein in communal violence, a state of emergency has been imposed by Sirisena's government.

A three-member committee comprising of retired judges will probe whether any violation of law and order is among the reasons for the clashes, evaluate the damages to lives and properties, probe whether there was any conspiratorial hand behind the incidents, Colombo Page reported.

The committee will also recommend steps that need to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future, and look into the conduct of relevant authorities in controlling the situation and their accountability, the report said, adding that the retired judges will be named later.

A curfew in the district was lifted at dawn today but the decision to re-impose the curfew in the administrative district would be taken after reviewing the security situation in the affected areas, was quoted as saying by reported.

A total of 146 suspects were arrested in Kandy -- 135 over violence and 11 for violating the curfew since March 4, the report said.

The suspects are being interrogated and action will be taken against them under the regulations of the state of emergency, Gunasekera was quoted as saying by the report.

Tensions between Muslim groups and the majority Sinhalese Buddhist community in the country have escalated since the end of the civil war in May 2009.

In 2014, violence directed against Muslim minority groups broke out in the southwestern town of Aluthgama, following a rally by hardline Buddhist nationalist monks, resulting in the death of at least three Muslims.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 15:45 IST