Left Menu
Development News Edition

Sri Lanka army dismisses accusations of plotting with anti-Muslim mobs

Devdiscourse News Desk | Colombo | Updated: 16-05-2019 22:47 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 22:31 IST
Sri Lanka army dismisses accusations of plotting with anti-Muslim mobs
Image Credit: Flickr

Sri Lanka's army on Thursday denied allegations that its troops colluded with anti-Muslim mobs and failed to contain widespread riots that killed one man in a backlash against the Easter terror attacks. Army chief Mahesh Senanayake said CCTV footage of troops allegedly signalling a mob to attack a home in the latest wave of rioting did not show his soldiers committing any wrongdoing.

"We looked at footage from three cameras and found that there was no conniving of troops with the rioters," Senanayake told reporters in Colombo. "If there was any, I would not hesitate to take action."

He said the mobs included a lot of young men who were drunk. However, he did not say where the controversial CCTV footage came from. He added that soldiers had initially been outnumbered against hundreds of men armed with sticks and petrol bombs who attacked Muslim-owned businesses, homes and mosques.

The military has stepped up its presence in the worst affected North-Western Province to prevent a repeat of the violence, Senanayake said. Some 5,500 additional police have also been deployed in the province.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said the government decided not to impose further night curfews on Thursday because there had been no reports of violence around the country in the past 24 hours. "We are continuing search operations to arrest those responsible for the riots," he added.

Police said they had detained at least 112 suspects by Wednesday evening and more arrests were being carried out to ensure there was no repetition of the riots. Colombo-based ambassadors of European nations expressed concern over the communal violence and urged the authorities to ensure that all communities were protected.

"We welcome the arrests made in connection with the violence, and call on the government to ensure that the rule of law is upheld and that the law is applied equally to all instigators and perpetrators of communal violence," a joint statement by the diplomats said. A shopkeeper in Minuwangoda, one of the worst affected towns just north of Colombo, said roads were reopened Thursday amid a heavy military and police presence.

"I normally have about 30 customers in the morning, but today there were just three," the electronic goods seller told AFP by telephone. "Banks have opened, but it will take a few weeks before we get back to our normal routine." There were similar reports from other riot-scarred towns. The Easter Sunday attacks on churches and upscale hotels claimed 258 lives and were blamed on local jihadists who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Muslims in Sri Lanka have been bracing for reprisals since the Easter bombings. A state of emergency has been in place since the attacks and security forces have been given sweeping powers to detain suspects.

Sri Lanka has also blocked access to social media platforms to prevent what it called the spread of rumours that incited violence.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Best Marine Plywood Manufacturer in Yamunanagar - Confors Ply

Yamunanagar, Haryana, India Business Wire India Plywood is one of the basic materials and most essential component needed to give a proper finishing as well gorgeous look to a home, prepare furniture, boats and other important stuff. It ...

UN Security Council elections to be held on June 17

Elections for five non-permanent members of the UN Security Council will be held on June 17, according to the world bodys provisional programme. The programme was released on Monday as France took over the Presidency of the 15-nation Counci...

12 people test COVID-19 positive in Mizoram

Twelve people who recently returned from Delhi and Kolkata have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Mizoram, an official said on Tuesday. The state had earlier reported only one COVID-19 case on March 24. The first patient was disc...

OWL set to resume play June 13

The Overwatch Leagues break will last another week. Online play will resume June 13, the circuit announced Monday in an update on the schedule page of its website. No further details regarding specific matches or schedules were posted.The O...

Give Feedback