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Sri Lanka riots: One killed as Buddhists target Muslims

A Sri Lankan Muslim man talks over his mobile phone as he stands among the debris of his charred house, in Aluthgama, town, 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, June 16, 2014.Many Muslim-owned properties have been attacked and some set alight

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Renewed violence has flared in southern Sri Lanka as the number killed in violence blamed on hard-line Buddhists rose to four.

A security guard at a Muslim-owned farm near the town of Aluthgama was killed and a number of mainly Muslim shops and homes attacked despite a curfew.

Three Muslims died after an anti-Muslim rally on Sunday by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), an extremist Buddhist group.

The outbreak of sectarian violence is Sri Lanka's worst in years.

Muslims make up 10% of the country's mainly Buddhist population.

The man killed at the farm near Aluthgama was an unarmed security guard from the country's Tamil minority, reports say.

There are also reports of attacks on Muslim businesses in two other towns in the south.

Three Muslims were shot dead amidst clashes with hard-line Buddhists, as the BBC's Charles Haviland reports


Court order against rally at Mawanella

The Police today obtained a Court Order from the Mawanella Magistrate’s Court to stop the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation from holding of a rally at the Mawanella Town.

The Police Media Unit told Daily Mirror the Court Order was obtained to avert any religious or communal violence.

“If the organisers defy the Court Order, action will be taken to disperse the gathering,” the police said.

Meanwhile, the BBS claimed that it was in no way involved in organising the rally which was to be held in Mawanella last evening.  

“We were informed about this rally but we are in no way involved in organising it. We have notified the Police about this matter,” BBS member Kapila Tennakoon told Daily Mirror. (Lakna Paranamanna)

නොවිය යුතු දෑ වූ පසු

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2014 ජුනි 17 09.38 a.m

(වසන්ත තෙවරප්පෙරුම)

පසුගියදා අලුත්ගම බේරුවල සිදුවූ අවාසනාවන්ත සිදුවීම් හේතුවෙන් වැනසී ගිය දෑ බොහෝය.නොවිය යුතු දෑ සිදුවන විට ඉතිරි වන්නේ ඛේදවාචකයක් පමණි.ඡායාරූප වලින් දැක්වෙන්නේ සිදුවීම් වල ප්‍රථිපල ලෙස වැනසී තිබූ දේපලය.




Sri Lanka Muslims 'fear Buddhist extremists'

6 hours ago

Three Muslims are reported to have been killed in clashes with hard-line Buddhists in southern Sri Lanka.

For the past two years, Sinhalese Buddhist groups have been staging anti-Muslim demonstrations, but these fatalities are the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in recent years.

Charles Haviland reports from Aluthgama in western Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka Muslims killed in Aluthgama clashes with Buddhists

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Three Muslims were shot dead amidst clashes with hard-line Buddhists, as the BBC's Charles Haviland reports

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At least three Muslims have been killed in overnight clashes with hardline Buddhists in southern Sri Lanka.

The men died of gunshot wounds near a mosque in the town of Aluthgama in what is seen as Sri Lanka's worst outbreak of sectarian violence in years.

More than 78 others have been seriously injured in the violence, justice minister Rauf Hakeem said.

A curfew is in place in Aluthgama and nearby Beruwala. Muslims make up 10% of Sri Lanka's mainly Buddhist population.

The men who were killed were shot after midnight following several hours of clashes between two factions in which stones and bottles were lobbed, reports the BBC's Charles Haviland in Aluthgama.

Mr Hakeem, a Muslim, said he was "outraged" at the police failure to keep law and order and that the authorities had allowed Buddhists to demonstrate three days after a smaller sectarian clash in the area, involving Muslim youths and a Buddhist monk's driver.

He said he was "ashamed" to be part of the government. He made his remarks as he visited areas which have been caught up in the violence.

The authorities imposed a curfew after clashes began following a rally by the BBS, the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Brigade in Aluthgama on Sunday.

Eyewitness accounts tell of Muslims being pulled off local buses and beaten. There are also reports of looting as well as shops being burned.

Aluthgama destructionMuslim shops were burned and looted in the town
Fire during Buddhist-Muslim clashes in southern Sri Lanka, 15 June 2014Clashes broke out as Buddhists marched into Muslim populated areas
Buddhist rally in southern Sri Lanka, 15 June 2014The rally by the Buddhist BBS took place when tensions were already high
'Act in restraint'

After its rally, the BBS marched into Muslim areas chanting anti-Muslim slogans, reports say, and the police used tear gas to quell the violence. Unconfirmed reports say security forces also used gunfire.

Witnesses say Muslim homes and a mosque were stoned.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced an investigation.

"The government will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. I urge all parties concerned to act in restraint," he tweeted.

Correspondents say tension has recently been high between the two sides, with Muslims calling on the government to protect them from hate attacks by Buddhists, and Buddhists accusing minorities of enjoying too much influence.

For the past couple of years, Sinhalese Buddhist revivalist groups have been staging demonstrations heavily laden with anti-Muslim rhetoric, usually led by monks, our correspondent reports.


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