A nation wide state of emergency for ten days was declared in Sri Lanka on March 6 following an anti-Muslim riot which resulted in death of two people. More than 100 homes and shops were set ablaze in the city of Kandy.
As the Sri Lankan government continues try to get the situation under control at the earliest, these riots has met with lot of condemnation. Many cricketers have come out and openly criticised the ongoing state of events.
State of emergency declared for 10 days
It was reported that tensions were brewing since last year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing conversions and of vandalising the archaeological sites.
The unrest in Kandy began after a Truck driver from the Sinhalese Buddhist Community dies after altercation with four Muslims, reason for which is not known.
After the funeral of the Truck driver, the Sinhalese Buddhist mob attacked Muslims shops. Body of a 24-year old Muslim man was pulled out of a burning building.
“The government is taking all possible measures to protect the people, especially Muslims,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said there were no reports of communal violence outside Kandy district, but police had stepped up security for the visiting Indian and Bangladesh cricket teams.
Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday issued an apology to the Muslim minority, which constitutes 10 percent of the country’s population of 21 million.
Cricketers condemn the on-going violence
Former Sri Lankan cricketer and Captain, Kumar Sangakkara took to Twitter to appeal the citizens to stop violence and urged them to stand together.
Kumar Sangakkara, through a video message urged Sri Lankans to ensure that everybody feels safe, loved and welcomed in Sri Lanka. He also insisted on “ending the mad cycle of racism and violence now”
No one in Sri Lanka can be marginalized or threatened or harmed due to their ethnicity or religion. We are One Country and One people. Love, trust and acceptance should be our common mantra. No place for racism and violence. STOP. Stand together and stand strong.
Posted by Kumar Sangakkara on Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Another former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain Mahela Jayawardene condemned the riots and asked for justice to be served to those affected.
Sanath Jayasuriya asked people to stay together in these testing times.
Closer home, Ashwin Ravichandran, an Indian International Cricketer sent out a message “to live and let live”
When people in position of influence come forward and condemn such atrocities, it sends out a strong message to the public to act responsibly and to work in directions which would promote peace in the world. The acts by these cricketers is worthy of appreciation.