In an unprecedented fall out of events, Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence after clashes triggered by racial violence erupted between two groups, Buddhists, and Muslims.
Some Buddhist nationalist has also protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise.
The Cabinet chose to declare the state of emergency to "prevent the spread of communal riots to other parts of the country", government spokesperson Dayasiri Jayasekara was quoted as saying.
He said the cabinet had a special discussion ahead of their weekly meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Theldeniya and Digana in the district of Kandy which has been under a night curfew. The police official said 24 people had been arrested over the killing so far.
He said in a statement that those who violated law and order would face stern action.
Violence erupted in Kandy on Monday when mobs clashed on the streets causing severe unrest and leading to shops and homes being burnt and damaged. As per reports, an emergency was required after the religious and ethnic violence has increased in Sri Lanka. Muslims account for 10 percent of its population. Mobs set fire to Muslim-owned businesses and attacked a mosque, and violence was reportedly spreading throughout the country, according to Al Jazeera.
More than two dozen arrests have been made and an inquiry opened into police conduct in Kandy, just the latest region to be plagued by religious and ethnic conflict.
Tensions between Muslims, who make up about 5% of the country, and the majority Sinhala Buddhist community have existed for decades but have become more acute since the end of the civil war.