At least one person is dead in yesterday’s (13) anti-Muslim violence that began on Sunday in several areas in the North Western Province.
Multiple sources including AFP are reporting that a 47-year old Timber merchant from Kottaramulla died shortly after admission to the Marawila hospital.
The government imposed an island-wide curfew last night as mobs roamed through Hettipola, Kuliyapitiya, Dummalasuriya and adjacent areas attacking isolated Muslim homes and businesses.
The curfew remains in force in the North-Western (Wayamba) province but is lifted elsewhere.
Schools in the province are also closed today.
Last night in a televised address to the nation Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged Sri Lankans to cooperate with the security forces.
He said “I have given full authority to the security forces to move against anyone breaking the curfew and emergency regulations. The security forces are taking all steps to uphold the law; therefore, I urge you to give your fullest support to the forces and the police to maintain peace.”
Army Commander Lt General Mahesh Senanayake also issued a warning.
He said that his troops were under orders to use maximum force if necessary to contain the mobs.
Muslim civil society activists accused the police and security forces of inaction.
“During curfew the mobs were roaming free and attacking our homes,” Vice-President of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council Hilmy Ahmed told RepublicNext.
Troops had to be rushed in to Kuliyapitiya to contain the violence.