Lanka president leaves for India amid communal violence
Colombo, Mar 10 : Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today left on a foreign tour even as his country has been hit by communal violence that has killed at least two people.
His visit comes after four days of anti-Muslim riots in the central hilly district of Kandy.
Sirisena will be in India to attend the first conference of the founding members of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi. He will also visit Japan.
The president had proclaimed a state of emergency to quell the riots and Kandy was under curfew for five days.
The government also blocked social media in another desperate attempt to curb rumours and violence.
Sinhala mobs went on a rampage after a Sinhalese man died in a traffic accident. The incident was reportedly used to fan communal passions.
Sirisena’s government has come under fire for its inability to take timely action to curb the tensions.
Sinhalese Buddhists make up about 75 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million population while Muslims are 10 per cent.
Tensions between Muslim groups and the majority Sinhalese Buddhist community in the country have escalated since the end of the civil war in May, 2009.