Sri Lanka rocked by days of violence

2019-05-14 at 06:12

Police Curfew imposed island-wide except within the North Western Province has been lifted.

The Police Media Unit said Police curfew that was imposed island-wide from 9pm yesterday was lifted at 4am.

Meanwhile, curfew imposed within the Gampaha district was lifted at 6am today.

Last night, Police curfew was imposed within the Gampaha Police Division and in the North Western Province until further notice.

Police curfew was initially imposed only within the Rasnayakapura, Kobeigane, Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, Dummalasuriya and Hettipola Police Divisions and was due to be lifted at 4am.

However following several unruly incidents, Police decided to impose curfew within the North Western Province until further notice.

The government announced that it resorted to imposing curfew island-wide following unruly incidents were reported in the several parts of the country.

The Police Headquarters has issued directives to all senior police officers to use maximum force within statuary limitations to curtail any tense situation in the country.

The order was issued following reports of multiple violent incidents yesterday.

Acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Deepal Wickremeratne says those found guilty of inciting racism can be imprisoned to up to 10 years in jail.

Issuing a special statement, Acting IGP Wickremeratne said those who are apprehended for being involved in communal violence will be charged under non-bailable offences.

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says a tense situation was reported in the North-Western province yesterday, after a group that was under the influence had attacked several business establishments in the province.

The Army Commander issued stern warning to persons engaged in violence and noted that strict action will be taken against such individuals.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the military has been empowered to take stern action against persons who derail peace in the country.

In a special address to the nation, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the tri-forces personnel and the Police have been working tirelessly to restore peace and normalcy in the country following the brutal Easter Sunday attacks. The Premier said several persons have been apprehended in connection to the attacks and the defence forces have been successful in preventing further explosions within the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe therefore noted that the public should extend its support to defence personnel in their efforts to defuse the situation and maintain law and order in the country.

The Prime Minister said stern action will be taken against persons who incite racism in a bid to destabilize the country. Premier Wickremesinghe said sporadic violence reported from several parts of the country have threatened the livelihoods of all Sri Lankans.

The Prime Minister noted that Police curfew has been imposed to maintain law and order in the country and therefore the public has been urged to abide by existing regulations in the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that he has instructed the defence forces to take stern action against persons who violate emergency regulations.

Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera urges the government to take immediate measures to prevent unrests within the country.

Issuing a special statement to media Asgiri Chapter Venerable Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera said the President and the Prime Minister should work together and prevent the escalation of violence.

A special Police unit has been established to investigate those who circulate misinformation on social media platforms.

Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said the unit will be responsible for conducting investigations over such incidents and initiate necessary legal measures.

The Police Media Spokesman also explained action that can be taken against those who spread rumours through social media platforms.

Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said circulation of misinformation has also been prohibited though international conventions.

The time period granted to hand in illegal explosives concluded at 6 this morning. The public was informed to handover illegal explosives to the nearest Police station.

Restrictions imposed on the use of social media platforms in the country are still in place.

The government decided to ban the use of social media platforms last morning after several unruly incidents were reported in the country.

The decision was taken after multiple clashes were reported in the country on Sunday night. The government on several previous occasions restricted the use of Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Instagram in order to curtail the circulation of misinformation.

A Facebook post led to the unrest reported in the Chilaw town on Sunday. Meanwhile, several unruly incidents were also reported in Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya.

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