Heightened security measures remain in place nationwide as authorities extended a curfew through 04:00 (local time) on Wednesday, May 15. A recent outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in North Western province - including in Kiniyama, Chilaw, Puttalam district, Hettipola, and Minuwangoda - has left one person dead and resulted in the destruction of dozens of mosques and shops owned by Muslims since Sunday, May 12. Further intercommunal violence is possible in the coming hours and days as tensions remain high across the country.
The government also blocked access to some social media and messaging platforms, including Facebook and Whatsapp, on Monday until further notice. Vandalism and violence were reported, particularly targeting Muslim-owned shops. Telecommunications disruptions are likely in the coming hours and days and further social media blockages are possible with little or no warning over the near term.
A series of coordinated bombings struck Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (April 21), killing at least 253 people, including 40 foreign nationals, and wounding approximately 500 others. Churches and prominent hotels in Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa were targeted in the attacks. Authorities blamed a local Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama'ath, for the attacks, claiming that the group planned the bombings with assistance from an international terrorist organization. The Islamic State (IS) later claimed responsibility for the attack via its media arm on April 23.
Individuals in Sri Lanka are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate telecommunications disruptions and heightened security measures, including roadblocks, checkpoints, and increased deployment of security personnel, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer