Sri Lanka state of emergency must respect human rights - Amnesty

Howard TerryMar 07, 2018

Feltman, the United Nations under-secretary-general for political affairs, will arrive Friday for three days of talks with Sri Lankan leaders and is expected to visit Kandy where two people were killed in the violence.

India is closely watching developments in Sri Lanka, where the government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in order to control communal violence.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tweeted Monday that the government would not hesitate to take action against the violence.

The move comes after a local curfew was imposed on Monday in the central city Kandy over unrest between religious communities in which a Buddhist man was killed and Muslim community's shops were set ablaze.

Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganeshan told Xinhua the decision had been taken following a special cabinet meeting held on Tuesday morning. "But a state of emergency must not become a pretext for further human rights abuses", he said.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the declaration would "empower" the country's armed forces and police to respond to clashes in the hill town of Kandy.

As a country that had suffered by acts of violence for almost three decades, the Department said, "We as a nation should desist from the repetition of such".

Muslims in Sri Lanka are generally known as Moors are the minority ethnic group comprising 9.3% of the country's total population.

Amnesty has also called on the Sri Lankan authorities to take action against those responsible for attacks on the country's Muslim minority.

Rioters damaged several muslim homes, shops and mosques. Muslims are just 10 percent of its population.

That violence was instigated by a Buddhist extremist group whose leaders are on trial accused of spurring religious conflict.

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