Di­min­ish­ing peace

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Com­mu­nal­ri­ots reared their ugly head in var­i­ous parts of Sri Lanka with the gov­ern­ment ask­ing for the army’s as­sis­tance to main­tain law and or­der in the ar­eas af­fected. A cur­few was im­posed in the south­ern resort towns of Alutgama and Beruwala where two nights of blood­shed left four peo­ple dead. Hun­dreds of troops were de­ployed in the ar­eas to help po­lice con­tain the vi­o­lence, which erupted af­ter a mob of Bud­dhist hard­lin­ers marched in Alutgama, claim­ing the pro­ces­sion was stoned by Mus­lims.

The at­tacks are the lat­est in a se­ries of re­li­gious clashes that hit the coun­try fol­low­ing un­rest in the past few months, when Bud­dhist mobs at­tacked a mosque in cap­i­tal Colombo. Mus­lims make up about 10 per­cent of the 20 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion of Sri Lanka. Due to be­ing rel­a­tively well-off, they are ac­cused of having un­due in­flu­ence in the Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity coun­try.

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