Home / / Tensions flare in Aluthgama 

Tensions flare in Aluthgama 


Comments / 6239 Views / Friday, 13 June 2014 01:59


  • IGP, Special Police Unit head to the area to diffuse tensions
  • Riot police use tear gas used to disperse crowds
  • Tension sparked by alleged assault on monk’s driver and monk
  • Mob claims police of failed to act swiftly against Muslim youths accused of assault
  • Minister’s vehicle, several Muslim owned shops attacked
By Dharisha Bastians Chaotic scenes unfolded in Aluthgama last evening with riot police using tear gas in efforts to disperse a violent mob, after ethno-religious tensions flared in the town leading to several assaults, arrests and damage to property. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told Daily FT that three persons had been arrested after the driver of a car carrying a Buddhist monk was allegedly assaulted, which subsequently led to an assault on the monk. The incident was sparked by a traffic accident, police sources said.                               Angry mobs surrounded the police station and attacked several Muslim-owned shops in the area with stones and other objects, prompting police to use tear gas on the crowd. Buddhist monks were among the protesters, claiming that the police had failed to act against the Muslim youth being accused of attacking the monk and his driver. Police officers had also been pelted with stones by the mob, reports from the area said. Large contingents of riot police and Special Task Force personnel were deployed in the area to control the situation. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama arrived on the scene and his vehicle was also pelted with stones by the angry mob. Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon travelled to the area last night together with a special police team to try to control the crowd. The IGP is reported to have told residents that a police curfew would not be imposed since it was Poson Poya day. Reports from the town last night claimed that several youth were gathering at the Pathirajagoda temple in Dharga Town and several other villages in Aluthgama. Ethnic tensions have been running high in the area over the past two months. On 8 May, a Muslim-owned shopping centre in Aluthgama was set on fire after a rival Sinhala owned shop allegedly mobilised people in the area. A complaint had been filed against the brother of the shop owner, charging that he had molested a young child who had entered the shop with his mother. However, the magistrate released the suspect on bail, after finding no evidence on the CCTV footage at the store to prove the charges against the suspect. Following his release, the mob attacked the shop, causing millions in damages.  

Share This Article


COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

An ‘affair’ of the mind between a nubile undergrad and her ageing professor

28 May 2016

Asoka Handagama Asoka Handagama’s latest film ‘Let Her Cry’ is currently being shown in theatres on a limited run from 13 May to 10 June. The director apparently preferred to utilise the gap in between already-scheduled r...


Political violence and (this time) the Chief Minister!

28 May 2016

Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed    By Hilmy Ahamed Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed’s outburst is not acceptable by any standards. As the senior most political office holder in the province, he has a much bigger...


Noah’s Albatross and Postdiluvian Politics

27 May 2016

 APRÈS MOI, LE DÉLUGE! In the aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016, if Sri Lanka is to Build Back Better, the political leadership must be instrumental in syncing Government actors and State agencies in working together with gre...


The promise of Yahapalanaya should not get washed away

27 May 2016

 President Maithripala Sirisena presenting his campaign manifesto to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe where the first-order of priority was clearly the promised anti-corruption probes     On 8 January, nea...


Columnists More