Several houses and businesses belonging to the minority Muslim community have been attacked allegedly by Sinhala mobs in Sri Lanka’s southern city of Galle following violent clashes, prompting police to arrest 19 people and impose curfew. The police said that seven persons were injured in the clashes. People have claimed that two mosques, 34 houses, 13 shops and 11 vehicles had been damaged in stone pelting incidents last night.
“The situation has been brought under control. The curfew was re-imposed from 6 PM today (Saturday) until 6 AM tomorrow (Sunday),” Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. Last night, police had to impose curfew in several areas of Galle following communal clashes. It was lifted at 9 AM this morning.
A few houses and businesses belonging to the minority Muslim community has been attacked after a minor incident involving the majority Sinhala community. Police’s Special Task Force and the military have been deployed to bring the situation under control, the police said. Nineteen people arrested for their alleged involvement in the clashes have been sent on judicial remand till November 30, the police said.
Vajira Abeywardena, a senior minister in the town said: “A small incident on Thursday night was brought under control and later yesterday another group had escalated the situation.” The government said that an all religious committee has been formed to bring the situation under control. Muslims account for 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million population. The community has been complaining of increasing attacks against them in recent years.