What Ignited the Anti-Muslim Riots in Sri Lanka? In a shocking incident, rampant anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka were reported, following which the government decided to block social media channels to curb the spread Anti-Muslim Riots in Sri Lanka.
Mullegama, a city in the hilly region of central Sri Lanka, witnessed enraged anti-Muslim riots, even after the declaration of a state of emergency. The religious tiff between the Buddhists and the Muslims led to the violence, turning into the burning down of Muslim owned businesses and houses and victims confined to mosques. Unfortunately, the violence reached social media platforms and started to spread.
The Cause of the Social Media Curfew and Anti-Muslim Riots in Sri Lanka
In an attempt to curb the spreading of violence the Sri Lankan government blocked popular social media channels. Large troops of soldiers and police officials were immediately deployed to the region too. The region has been under a curfew for three consecutive days.
The root cause of the riots and the blocking of social media has been ruled out to an accusation by the Buddhist mobs for stealing a donation box from a temple in the region. The victims have stated that authorities did not take action to protect them, in fact, stopped them from preventing the damage to their properties. The riots took a vicious turn after an explosion killed a Buddhist and another was injured. The anti-Muslim riots reached the small town of Katugastota too.
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While no official statement states Buddhist extremists as the cause of the violence, comments made by officials hint at the same.
Buddhist-Muslim Religious Divide Shuts down Social Media
The Buddhist-Muslim religious divide has plagued Sri Lanka for years now. The 1983-2009 Sri Lankan civil war has left a great impact after the Tamil rebels demanded an independent land. The country is divided between the Buddhist Sinhalese and the minorities from Tamil that includes Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
An official from an internet company stated that the government had taken quick measures to completely block social media platforms in the region, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Instagram. The capital city of Colombo also faced the social media block, while other regions experienced slow and disturbed networks too.
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