COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s government imposed a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday after mob attacks against the minority Muslim population in a central district, violence that has highlighted the country’s fragility as it tries to recover from decades of civil war.
The unrest in the district of Kandy began on Sunday as angry mobs made up of the majority Sinhalese ethnic group attacked dozens of Muslim businesses and houses and at least one mosque. At least one person was killed. Hundreds of security personnel, including special forces, were deployed to Kandy on Monday and a curfew was declared there.
Officials feared that the death of a 27-year-old man — who was trapped inside a burning house and who described the attack on the building in an audio recording — could provoke violence across the country.