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Sri Lanka Buddhist monks denounce anti-Muslim riots

Al Jazeera    

10 March, 2018 15:25 PM



Sri Lanka Buddhist monks denounce anti-Muslim riots

The National Bhikku Front said it organised the silent protest against communal clashes [AFP]

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Hundreds of Buddhist monks and activists have rallied in Sri Lanka's capital against anti-Muslim riots that have killed at least two people and forced the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

The National Bhikku Front said on Friday they organised the silent protest against what they called "communal clashes destroying national unity".

Moderate Buddhist leaders and cricketers have denounced the violence which occurred in and around the central city of Kandy, and several Sri Lankan social media users also posted photos on Twitter of Buddhist monks visiting mosques during Friday prayers to express solidarity.

Meanwhile, calm was beginning to return to violence-hit Muslim neighbourhoods in the Kandy district on Friday, with many shops reopening as army reinforcements largely put an end to Sinhala Buddhist mob attacks that rocked the area.

The riots began on Monday after a man from the Sinhala majority died from injuries sustained during an attack last week by a group of Muslim man.

Tensions escalated when the body of a Muslim man was found in a burned-out building on Tuesday.

Sinhalese mobs set fire to mosques and Muslim-owned businesses, homes and vehicles in Kandy and elsewhere.

The government declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew and deployed soldiers to back police patrols.


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