Sri Lanka blocks social media and imposes curfew after anti-Muslim attacks

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the suicide bombings in April that killed more than 250 people

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the suicide bombings in April that killed more than 250 people

A 45-year-old Muslim man died of stab wounds after a mob attacked his business during anti-Muslim attacks in Puttalam district of Sri Lanka on Monday, AFP reported, quoting the police.

This is the worst outbreak of violence since the Easter bombings in the island nation.

An engineering student from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, speaking to TRT World on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal said: "This is not the first time mobs are attacking properties and religious places of Muslim minorities in Sri Lanka".

In the town of Minuwangoda, just north of Colombo, a Muslim-owned hotel and a mosque were attacked by stone-hurling mobs armed with sticks.

On May 14, a special police team arrested Amith Weerasinghe of Mahason Balakaya, a reactionary Sinhala-Buddhist group; and Namal Kumara, a self-declared anti-corruption activist.

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They will also hold meetings with the Thai travel trade, airlines and other key stake holders.

"The curfew in the NWP will be continued until further notice", spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Court documents reviewed by Reuters show that the online conversations between the Sri Lankan and the two Indians in western India, began in the summer of 2016 and lasted until the arrest of the two Indians in late 2017.

President Maithripala Sirisena issued an extraordinary gazette banning a number of extremist organisations on Monday. Later on Monday, authorities extended the curfew to more villages in Kurunegala district to restore order.

Police said the curfew was imposed from 9 pm local time to 4 am on Tuesday. "The recent violence in Sri Lanka has highlighted a growing influence of nationalist and extremist views of identity in the Asia region, putting religious minorities at risk", the United Nations said in a press release.

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His father, M. Ameez, who lives in Aluthgama, a town south of Colombo, denied that Aadhil was involved with the plotters and said such "allegations are lies". A second ban was imposed on May 5th after ethnic tensions erupted in Negombo, one of the cities targeted in the bombings. "This is exactly what they wanted", he told The Hindu.

A large crowd later gathered outside the Kuliyapitiya Police station demanding the release of suspects arrested over the incident. However, the situation was brought under control. "And action will be taken accordingly", he said. "We appeal to the government: Do not let that happen".

As part of this strategy, Sri Lanka Tourism is planning to conduct promotional campaigns in source markets closest to the country.

A mosque official said the attacks were triggered when several people, including some Buddhist monks, demanded a search of the main building after soldiers had inspected a 105-acre (43-hectare) pond nearby.

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