Sri Lanka anti Muslim mob violence kills 45 year old man

A 45-year-old carpenter has been killed by anti-Muslim mobs rioting in north western Sri Lanka.

Fowzul Ameer of Nattandiya succumbed to slash injuries shortly after admission to the Marawila hospital in the Puttalam district.

This is the first reported death in an apparent backlash against Muslims in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacre.

The riots that began on Sunday (12) spread to several districts even while a curfew was in force.

'police standing by'

Muslim leaders in an emergency meeting with defence top brass on Monday had expressed severe displeasure for security forces inaction while the mobs were targeting Mosques and Muslim properties.

“Security officers were standing by while the mobs went on a rampage,” Muslim Minister Rauff Hakim told journalists in Colombo.

On Monday (13), after properties owned by Muslims were vandalised by violent mobs, police curfew was imposed from 2.00pm in Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Bingiriya, Dummalasuriya, Rasnayakapura and Kobeigane police divisions.

As the violence spread across the neighbouring districts, the curfew was subsequently extended to cover the north western province and later, the entire island. The rampaging mobs continued attacks and set fire to Muslim owned properties despite the curfew and the presence of armed troops.

Mosques vandalised

Muslim representatives who met the acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickramaratne on Monday informed that several mosques have been damaged in Kuliyapitiya and Chilaw areas.

At least five mosques in Ihala Kiniyama, Yayawatta and Puhulwella areas were vandalised by attackers and copies of Quaran were desecrated, they complained.

The newly appointed police chief admitted the failure in containing the mob violence.

"We expected that this will end," acting IGP Wickremeratna announced in a video message.

"However, several incidents of damage to property has been reported from the Kuliyapitiya area. Therefore, we had to impose curfew to the whole island as a security measure."☐




Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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