Sri Lanka to probe riots, lift curfew

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Police announced 85 people had been arrested for rioting in the hill district, including the leader of a radical Sinhalese Buddhist group known for agitating against Muslims.

He drew similarity to state that "It is precisely these conditions culminating in periodic anti-Tamil pogroms, which ultimately led to the three-decade long civil war, the effects of which the country is still struggling to overcome". The services were not restored till Saturday evening.

Muslims in Colombo protested peacefully against the recent communal violence in Kandy, and they were seen demonstrating their patriotism by kissing Sri Lanka's national flag and appealing for communal harmony.

The announcement came after police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said yesterday that curfew will not be imposed in Kandy as situation has been peaceful.

The day-time curfew was eased following a calm night but schools were shuttered as tensions remain high in the tourist hotspot.

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A group of radical Buddhists monks are facing prosecution for their alleged role in anti-Muslim violence in 2014 that left four people dead.

The government imposed emergency provisions on Tuesday and deployed armed forces when the police were unable to control the Sinhala mob attacking Muslim establishments, shops and mosques.

"The main junction is going up in flames".

The Sri Lankan government continued to block access to Facebook, Whats App and Viber despite the lifting of the curfew in villages affected by the anti Muslim violence.

Following a visit to Kandy on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government will pay full compensations for property damaged in the attacks.

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A senior police official said disciplinary action will be taken against officers in the Anamaduwa area for failing to prevent the restaurant attack.

Holidaymakers have been urged to avoid the hill resort, which is home to Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Sinhalese Buddhists make up 75% of the country's 21 million people, and 10% are Muslims.

"There is some fear among Muslims that they could be targeted ..."

The United Nations on Sunday condemned a string of anti-Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka including the burning of mosques and businesses.

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