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Posted at: May 16, 2019, 7:06 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 7:06 AM (IST)

Nationwide curfew lifted in Lanka, 60 linked to riots held

Nationwide curfew lifted in Lanka, 60 linked to riots held
A soldier walks past a damaged shop after a mob attack in Minuwangoda on Wednesday. AFP

Colombo, May 15

According to Sri Lankan authorities they have arrested 60 persons linked to communal riots as a nationwide curfew was lifted on Wednesday in the island nation, which witnessed Sinhalese mob attacks on Muslim-owned shops and businesses in the aftermath of the deadly Easter blasts.

The government imposed the island-wide curfew on Monday after the violence against the Muslim community, who account for 10 per cent of the country’s population. The curfew was briefly lifted on Tuesday before being reimposed for a second straight night following reports of fresh violence in some parts of the country.

“The curfew imposed in the North-western Province and Gampaha Police division was removed at 6 am Wednesday while the curfew in the other areas of the island ended at 4 am,” police media spokesman’s office stated.

The situation in the province is returning to normalcy, authorities said.

There were no incidents of violence overnight and groups of people responsible for taking part in mob attacks have been arrested, they said.

“Thirty-three suspects arrested in connection with the anti-Muslim riots have been remanded and over 60 people have been arrested. The suspects can be sentenced to 10 years in prison under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.

The police media spokesman said illegal activities committed by the persons engaged in violence would be noted in their police certificates.

The academic activities of all schools and all state institutions in the province were resumed on Wednesday, the Wayamba Province Governor Peshala Jayaratne said. The recent violence is a fresh backlash from the Easter attacks where nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people and injuring over 500 others. — PTI 

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