World Bulletin / News Desk
Muslim places of worship and shops in different parts of Sri Lanka have been attacked early Saturday morning, following week-long anti-Muslim violence that has killed three Muslims in the southwestern region of the country.
Buddhist mobs attacked a mosque in the village of Navanthurai in Jaffna district and a prayer room at the University of Jaffna, according to residents and students in the area.
A branch of No Limit fashion chain owned by Muslims was burnt down at 2.45 a.m. on Saturday in Panadura, 25 km south of Colombo.
"6 petrol bombs were hurled at the store in a pre-dawn attack in which nobody was hurt but the building and the goods were damaged," sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
Special Task Force personnel were put on duty to control the crowd outside the building. Armoured vehicles were seen patrolling the area after the attack.
"Two fire brigade vehicles came, but they had no water to douse the fire," eye witnesses told AA.
Meanwhile, a solidarity protest was staged in Jaffna and the Tamil National People's Front condemned the recent attacks on Muslims in the south.
The clashes, which killed three Muslims and a Tamil who worked on a Muslim farm, started after hardline Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena held a rally in southwestern town Aluthgama on Sunday, before marching into predominantly Muslim areas.
Bodu Bala Sena, which literally translates to Buddhist Power Force, is a right-wing Buddhist group that was established after the end of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war in 2009. They belong to the country's Sinhalese Buddhist majority and have been accused of inciting hate against other religions in Sri Lanka.
A heated argument between Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa and two of his Muslim ministers took place at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem urged Rajapaksa to take action against the ultranationalist Buddhist monk Gnanasara Thero and his alleged anti-Muslim hate speech.
The argument comes after the monk gave a speech to his followers in the Bodu Bala Sena hardline group at a rally in southwestern Aluthgama town on Sunday. They then marched into Muslim areas in Beruwala and Dharga town where clashes broke out, killing four people. Eyewitnesses said Muslim-owned shops were set alight and mosques vandalized, forcing many - especially women and children - into hiding.
Bathiudeen told the president that his government should take full responsibility for what has happened in Dharga Town, and Beruwala, and told him that he was not the just the "president of the Sinhala people, but the president of all the communities."
Rajapaksa, incited by the standoff, ordered him to stop speaking and accused him of being a racist and a religious fundamentalist.
Bathiudeen, both shocked and shaken, was pacified by his fellow ministers.
Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell told reporters after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday that the U.S. also wants to see a resumption of talks to reunify the ethnically divided island nation.
"There were seven people aboard, they are all believed to be dead," the official said, adding they were US service members.
A doctor at the private Goyal Hospital told AFP Friday that Clinton had undergone screening after suffering pain in her right hand following a fall.
The alliance is "dealing with the issue around this and in cyber and working to define an understanding of what would be a trigger for Article 5," General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, told a US Senate committee.
Speaking to reporters as he returned from a trip to Oman, Afghanistan and Bahrain, Mattis said officials he met with had expressed frequent concerns about Iranian behavior.
The newspaper said that Trump is discussing potential replacements for McMaster, but is willing to take his time because he wants to avoid humiliating him as well as to have a successor ready.
19 individuals, 5 entities blacklisted by Washington
Saeb Erekat slams recent White House meeting on Gaza's deteriorating humanitarian situation
Salim al-Jabouri says Turkey and Iraq will defeat terrorism together through 'full cooperation'
Oil is the lifeblood of OPEC member Venezuela's economy, but a major wave of political unrest that shows no sign of abating has slashed output.
'We shouldn't have to wake up in fear every day, knowing we can lose our lives in schools,' students says.
Known for his free-market stance, television host criticized Trump's tariff plan like his predecessor
Dialogue will continue to improve humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, White House says
‘The credibility of this Council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable,’ Nikki Haley says
ISIL terrorists were intercepted near Riyad town as a result of intelligence obtained
Pilot and weapons system officer are recovered from ocean one mile east of runway