Sri Lanka: Muslim-Buddhist clashes intensify, emergency announced

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Sri Lanka has declared a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days on Tuesday to put an end to the violent communal violence which erupted between Muslim and Buddhist community.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) condemned the current violence and said it (violence) has claimed the life of Abdul Basith, a youth from Teldeniya and destroyed several Muslim homes and businesses as well as several mosques in the Kandy area.

CPA spoke out against ‘the incitement of racial and religious hatred’ which being ‘is orchestrated as attested to by video footage on social media and statements made by government ministers.’

Media reports suggest that the current violence commenced after a personal dispute between M.G. Kumarasinghe and a group of Muslim men on 22nd February went awry and later Kumarasinghe was found dead.

Buddhist nationalists are also angry at the presence of Muslim Rohingya in Sri Lanka who have been accused of committing murders and crimes against Hindus and Buddhists by the Myanmar.

While Rohingya issue is the latest to create tensions, yet, the Buddhist groups have been claiming that the Muslims forced people to convert to Islam and also claimed that the Muslims have been desecrating the Buddhist historical sites.

Earlier, the Buddhist Muslim clashed in eastern Sri Lanka’s Ampara after rumors went wild suggesting sterilization pills being mixed by a Muslim restaurant in the food of Buddhist eaters.

ANI news has just now reported that Buddhist Monks are holding protests outside Police station in Kandy, Sri Lanka, demanding the release of Buddhists those who were arrested in the riot against Muslims.

Interestingly enough, Sri Lanka shares closest ties with Muslim nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, and a huge Sri Lankan population works in the Gulf nations.

Buddhists of Bangladesh are in the line of fire, but does anyone care?