ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s acting police chief Chandana Wickremeratne warned tough action against rioters who are damaging property of unarmed citizens, as groups of anti-Muslim rioters stoned shops and mosques and a nation-wide curfew was declared.
"A majority of people, have helped us investigate those who carried out bombings, regardless of race or religion," Wickremeratne said.
"But a minority of extremists who had not even helped one iota is now harming property of unarmed innocent citizens.
"We will not allow them to show their force against unarmed citizens and de-stabilize the country. As Sri Lanka’s police chief I am warning those elements to stop these acts."
Under emergency regulations there will be no bail and up to 10 years imprisonment, he said.
Wickremeratne said extremist elements had damaged property in Chilaw and Kuliyapitiya yesterday and in other areas today.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also called for calm and said rioters were distracting police and military who were investigating Easter Sunday bombings.
Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim nationalists had re-emerged following Easter Sunday bombings which were carried out by exremists linked to Islamic State, a Middle East based group. Nationalist groups were also using facebook groups to urge boycots of Muslim shops. (Colombo/May14/2019)