Unbelievable police inefficiency behind communal violence in Sri Lanka

Mobs on street (Photo: Colombo Telegraph)

Center for Human Rights Sri Lanka said that police had unbelievably failed to take precaution measures regarding the anti-Muslim arsenal that took place in Theldeniya and Digana towns of Kandy district on March 4 and 5.

Few weeks ago, a group of drunk Muslim young men had assaulted a lorry driver who was a Sinhala national over an argument related to blocking a trishaw. The injured driver was in hospital for weeks and succumbed to injuries on March 3.

Several shops and houses in Theldeniya town were attacked on Saturday. Police arrested 24 persons over this, the communique said.

The communique added that mobs were called to the town via social media whereas an agitation demanding the release of the arrested persons was scheduled to be held.

Center for Human Rights said that organized groups, some of whom known persons for this type of acts, took to the streets today, protested before the police station and started to attack Muslim shops, houses and vehicles around 1 p.m.

The center accused police for failing to stop mobs gathering in the town and to control the situation for four hours.

However, police had arrested the four Muslim young men who had assaulted to the bereaved lorry driver immediately after the attack. The leaders of the Muslim community in the town had pressurized police to act against them legally, sources from Theldeniya said

Meanwhile, Director General of Government Information Sudarshana issued a statement on behalf of government of Sri Lanka denying the recent incidents in Ampara and Digana. The communique highlighted that the government was vehemently denying the attempts especially by the social media and websites to disseminate misleading information and hatred.

Similarly, mobs attacked Muslim shops and houses in Ampara town in the Eastern Province last week over an incident of unidentified substance found from a curry bought from a eatery owned by a Muslim businessman. The mob accused the substance was sterilizing tablets.

Police action against this incident was similarly lethargic, as some critics accuse. However, police said that several arrests had been made.

Kandy administrative district is under curfew overnight on March 5.

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