By Aishwarya Rai, International News Editor
On March 18, Sri Lanka lifted a state of emergency call placed on March 6. The state of emergency was placed in response to an outbreak of violence against Muslim communities in the central district of Kandy, according to BBC.
The violence came about after Sinhalese Buddhist-groups claimed Muslims have been forcing people to convert to Islam and been vandalizing Buddhist arachaeological sites. According to BBC, many Muslim religious sites were vandalized, too.
In terms of damages, two people were killed, around 450 Muslim-owned homes and shops damaged, and 60 vehicles burnt. The measures set out during the state of emergency were social media bans and curfews. Almost 300 people have been arrested by the police, who had to resort to using tear gas when certain groups defied government curfews. Hundred of troops were in the Kandy district to enforce the state of emergency.
The curfew was imposed after a Buddhist youth died in a violent interaction with a Muslim group.
Tensions had been rising between the hard-lining Buddhist groups and Muslim minorities since 2012. This is the first time in seven years that Sri Lanka has posed a state of emergency, since the Tamil rebels in 2009.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 20th print edition.
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