Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Ankara has said he expects the communal violence, which has prompted a state of emergency in his country, to end soon.
“Sri Lanka has some difficult time for last couple of days and there were violence.
“Unfortunately, two valuable people lost their lives. One is from the Sinhalese Buddhists community and the other two is from Muslim community,” Ambassador Pakeer Mohideen Amza told Anadolu Agency Thursday.
Nearly 75 percent of Sri Lankans belong to the majority Sinhalese community while Tamils make up another 13 percent. Muslims make up about 10 percent of the island’s nearly 22 million population.
About steps to control the violence in his country, Amza said: “I am sure that we will be able to bring them completely under control,” he said.
So far, Sri Lankan police have arrested 81 people for instigating violence, he said.
“Now, we are taking every action to curb this situation. We have sent additional forces and criminal investigation teams to search in detail the other elements behind all that have been done,” he said.
He said the state of emergency in his country was for seven days.
“Our president declared a state of emergency on Tuesday amid violence after the discussion at the security council and at the Cabinet. It is for seven days,” he said.
He said people belonging to all religions were calling for calm in the country.
“Religious leaders from the Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindus community are in one voice, saying we should stop this. They are asking people to be calm and respect others,” he added.
Even Sri Lankan celebrities and cricketers were calling for peace.
“Also our celebrities and cricketers are coming out. Because we have been living in this country as brother and sisters for long time. I am sure we have the capacity to overcome soon,” the ambassador added.
He also said violence was not part of the Sri Lankan fabric.
“This is very unfortunate. It is not Sri Lankan fabric that we normally see.”
The communal violence has hit the minority Muslim community hard. Sri Lankan media reports on Friday said the death toll has climbed to three, two of whom are from the minority Muslim community.
According to Amnesty International, on March 5, a mob set homes, shops and mosques belonging to local Muslim community ablaze in the Digana area of Kandy in Sri Lanka.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has also condemned the communal violence.
“We are concerned by the acts of violence recently perpetrated in various regions of Sri Lanka and targeting the Muslim population and their buildings,” the Turkish ministry said in a written statement Tuesday.