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Lanka police lifts nationwide curfew, arrests 60 people for anti-Muslim riots

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities said they have arrested 60 people linked to the communal riots as a nationwide curfew was lifted yesterday 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 yesterday 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 the illegal activities committed by the persons engaged in violence will be noted in their police certificates.

The academic activities of all schools and all the state institutions in the province were resumed yesterday, the Wayamba Province Governor Peshala Jayaratne said.

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