Retired judges to probe anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka


Police are investigating whether ringleaders had out outside help, but as they do, Sri Lanka's Muslim community count the cost and fear more violence.


Police said Sinhalese extremists were using social media sites and messaging applications to spread hate speech and instigate attacks on the Muslim minority.

The violence, triggered by the death of a Sinhalese Buddhist man after being beaten by a group of Muslim men over a traffic dispute, left at least two dead with and mosques, dozens of homes, and businesses torched or destroyed.

Violent attacks against Muslims swept the central district of Kandy over the last week.

Fresh violence erupted in Sri Lanka after a Muslim-owned restaurant was attacked in an alleged hate crime incident in the northwestern province on Sunday, a day after President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a commission to probe a spate of anti-Muslim riots in the violence-hit Kandy district that prompted him to impose a nationwide state of Emergency.

A total of 146 suspects have been arrested in Kandy-135 over violence and 11 for violating the curfew-since 4 March, a media report said on saturday.

More news: Google Assistant adds daily updates and push notifications for voice apps

Hundreds of Buddhist monks and activists staged demonstrations in Colombo on Friday denouncing the anti-Muslim attacks and urging authorities to take strong action against the perpetrators. A Sinhalese man was killed when a hand grenade he carried exploded.

Sri Lankan police have been accused of failing to protect the island's minority.

A person familiar with the company's thinking regarding the Sri Lanka situation told CNBC the company believes that restricting access to the internet can deprive people of an important communication tool during a time of crisis and hopes that access will soon be restored soon in the country.

Military officials said more reinforcements were sent to the area on Wednesday night to assist police who resorted to teargas to disperse rioters the previous evening.

The government gave wide powers to police and security forces in line with the state of emergency declared on Tuesday as the unrest escalated.

Sinhalese Buddhists are the majority ethnic group in Sri Lanka, making up 75 percent of its 21 million people.