The Sri Lankan government has announced that the situation in North Western province is "under control" as of Wednesday, May 15. The recent outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in North Western province - including in Kiniyama, Chilaw, Puttalam district, Hettipola, and Minuwangoda - had left one person dead and resulted in the destruction of dozens of mosques and shops owned by Muslims since Sunday, May 12. Officials indicated roughly 80 people were arrested in recent days as a large contingent of police and military personnel were deployed to hotspots. The government lifted a nationwide nighttime curfew - which had been in place between May 13-14 - as there were no recorded incidents of violence during the overnight hours (local time) on May 14-15. A curfew in North Western province and Gampaha district (Western province) will remain in place until 04:00 on Thursday, May 16, amid a heightened security presence.
Further intercommunal violence is possible in the coming days as tensions remain high across the country.
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.
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