Three Killed in Lanka Communal Violence

At least three people were killed and nearly 100 others injured when communal clashes broke out in a popular Sri Lankan tourist region, even as President Mahinda Rajapaksa today warned rioters against taking law into their own hands in curfew-bound areas.

The ethnic violence between Buddhists and minority Muslims began last night during a rally by majority nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in Muslim-dominated areas of Beruwala, Dharga Town and Aluthgama on the Sinhala-dominated south-western coast in protest against a road rage incident.

"Three deaths have occurred and 78 people have been seriously wounded in the mob attacks... Places of Muslim religious worship have also been attacked with total impunity," Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said.

However, independent report suggested that nearly 100 people were wounded in the violence.

Hakeem said scores of homes and businesses have been set on fire. Some mosques in the areas were also attacked.

Authorities said the curfew imposed last night would remain in effect in Aluthgama and Beruwala after Muslim-owned shops and homes were torched in the rampage by a Buddhist mob.

"The curfew will continue even though the situation is under control," police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

The affected areas, mainly inhabited by Muslims who constitute about 10 per cent of Sri Lanka's 20 million population, are about 60 kilometres south of the capital Colombo.

Police used tear gas to disperse the rioters but failed to prevent clashes in the two towns, often frequented by international tourists. Later, Special Task Force (STF) used water canons to disperse the rioters.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is currently visiting Bolivia, has said in a statement that he would "not to let anyone take law into their hands."

The roots of the incident go back to last Thursday when a Buddhist monk was allegedly beaten by a Muslim in the Beruwala town after the traffic incident.

Residents of the towns said police did little to protect them during the violence -- a charge rejected by the police.

BBS over the last two years have been running a counter campaign against what they have termed an extremist campaign by the Muslim community. They accuse minorities of enjoying undue political and economic influence.

The attacks are the latest in a series of religious clashes to hit the island following unrest in January and also last year when Buddhist mobs attacked a mosque in the capital Colombo.

Meanwhile, the United States asked Sri Lanka to end the violence.

"We urge the government to ensure that order is preserved and the lives of all citizens, places of worship, and property are protected," the US embassy said in a statement.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

50/D-24
Aug 24, 2014
06:09 AM

Bonitaji
Thanks. I do observe the posts made by the forum
members. We have a lot of difference in our own family.
But we are concious enough not to hurl abuses. Same way
we need to behave in this forum. You have once appreciated me in this forum for not getting personal. It is not who starts
or who repeats, my wish is none indulge.
Let us hope. 

V.N.K.Murti Pattambi
PATTAMBI, India
49/D-79
Aug 23, 2014
12:28 PM

Saroja,

You seem to think that personal abuse is the only/highest form of abuse. I beg to differ. eg Whatsinaname & I routinely trade abuse & I abuse dhimmi. It may surprise you that we do not hate each other but actually take each other seriously.

You and I disagree on almost everything, but trust me, I don't hate you. For that matter, I don't hate Anwaar either, I just believe he is a hypocrite who uses invective evrytime he loses an argument on fact. Anwaar is a leading practitioner of the legal maxim 

"If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table!"

though in his case he abuses his opponents.

I don't even hate Miss O Gynist though I delight in trashing his lies and fake statistics. He uses worse language than Anwaar - calling me a bastard and a bitch several times, though strategically disguised with *** to pass the moderators. (Note to Miss O - You needn't bother. The moderators won't intervene). I don't respond in kind because I believe such language reflects on the upbringinging of the user and not the target. (I must say however, that I have accused, in the past, Miss O of having his head so far up his ass that his brain cells have atrophied for want of oxygen)

DLN rarely abuses but he calls me a hindu hater, may be you can supply proof.

Are you? Whether you are or not is irrelevant. The point DLN has been repeatedly making is that Hinduism accepts both Hindu haters and Hindu lovers (whatever they both may be?) All can coexist pecefully in Hinduism as do beef eaters and cow protectionists for instance. My mother in law was a strict vegetarian, my father in law would not eat if there was no non-veg on the table. My MIL would cook non-veg but ask someone else to taste it. When I was first married and moved to Mumbai, some younger cousins, strict veg at home, would slip across to our house to eat what they didn't get at home. This is not to preach the superiority of Hinduism over other religions - it is just a statement of fact. Anway, I'll keep an eye on DLN's posts and admonish hime the next time he calls you a "hindu hater". Incidentally you don't seem offended by the appelation of "Bi" which, insofar as you are concerned is definitely not a term of respect.

I don't know about sharing information, because neither side believes what the other posts. I, for one, disregard anything you source from Kafila or truths ofgujarat.com (now defunct I suppose). This magazine itself has discredited itself with its blatantly one sided coverage, Opinion pieces are fine provided they are balanced with the opposing view point. We should be thankful that the magazine allows its readers to trash the garbage put out by the likes of Saba Naqvi, Kancha Illiah, S Anand etc.

Bonita, Chennai
48/D-78
Aug 23, 2014
12:23 PM

>>but can I make a guess about one of the communities involved in this clash? I'm pretty sure it is the adherents of the religion of peace

Now you can go through all the comments and the news reports. All religions claim to be peaceful and Buddha says

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

But some of those who claim to be his followers have been seduced by the power of mob mentality.

R. Saroja, Bombay
47/D-71
Aug 23, 2014
11:54 AM

I didn't read this report and came straight to the Comments section, but can I make a guess about one of the communities involved in this clash? I'm pretty sure it is the adherents of the religion of peace.

Ganwaar, Ganwaarpur
46/D-64
Aug 23, 2014
11:05 AM

>>If Anwaar were to abjure from personal abuse and argu eissues on their merits

I second to that!

>>rather than ascribe motives

At least not more than once in a while.

Bonita,

You seem to think that personal abuse is the only/highest form of abuse. I beg to differ. eg Whatsinaname & I routinely trade abuse & I abuse dhimmi. It may surprise you that we do not hate each other but actually take each other seriously. DLN rarely abuses but he calls me a hindu hater, may be you can supply proof. Now the fault of Anwaar is that he does not distinguish between Whatsinaname, dhimmi, DLN, Ghai etc. When most of the sickulars were gloating over the hanging of Afzal Guru, it was the sanghi whatsinaname who considered the possibility of miscarriage of justice. He also was horrified at the behaviour of some of the karsevaks in the train to Ayodhya. 

In fact the sickulars and sanghis should engage with each other in trading information. ( That is possible only if you do not selectively quote truth). This is very important as for a long time, sources of info are drying up and "analysis" by "experts" not on the ground pass for news. 

R. Saroja
Bombay, India
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