Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency for 10 days to contain the spread of communal violence, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
The Island nation's govt took the decision to impose emergency a day after Buddhists and Muslims clashed in the Indian Ocean island's central district of Kandy.
Tension has been simmering between the two communities in Sri Lanka over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites.
Some Buddhist nationalist have also protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise.
"At a special cabinet meeting, it was decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal riots to other parts of the country," the government spokesman, Dayasiri Jayasekara, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
There are allegations that the law was not implemented to minimise the impact of these tense situations. Now, the Police and Army personnel had been deployed to respective areas to beef up security,? he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
Dissanayake said the President could decide at the end of the 10 days, whether to extend the state of emergency. Fresh curfew was imposed today and heavily-armed police commandos of special task force were deployed in Theldeniya and Pallekele areas of Kandy district where riots have left two dead and homes and businesses of the minority community in ruins.
According to police, the elite special task force was deployed in the area after riots broke out following the death of an assault victim, a Sinhalese, who was attacked by the members of the minority community.
They said on February 22, the man was admitted to a hospital following an attack. He succumbed to his injuries on March 3, after which the attackers arrested and were remanded to police custody till tomorrow.