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Sri Lankan cricketers appeal for peace after communal riots break out

All-rounder Angelo Matthews, who will be representing the nation at the World Cup tweeted an appeal for peace. Other past cricketing legends from the island nation also tweeted appealing for peace.

A Muslim man looks on outside the Al-Masjidul Hudha mosque after a mob attack in Kottampitiya, Sri Lanka May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

At least one person was killed and dozens of shops and mosques were destroyed after fresh communal violence broke out in Sri Lanka. While the unrest was concentrated in three districts north of the capital, a night curfew was imposed across the country to prevent the spread of violence. With a ban in place on social media like Facebook, past and present cricketers from the nation have been tweeting and putting out public messages appealing for peace.

All-rounder Angelo Matthews, who will be representing the nation at the upcoming World Cup, tweeted an appeal for peace saying that lives from all races and religions will be lost if violence continues. He also referred to the anti-Tamil riots of 1983 in the island nation and said the nation should not go back to that period.

Former captain and Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene also tweeted an appeal for peace and even tweeted about a news story that another user had shared.

Former fast bowler Chaminda Vaas, recently appointed MCC president Kumar Sangakkara were also among those who tweeted asking people to preserve the peace.

The Sri Lankan government has reimposed a ban on social media after the clashes. Army chief Mahesh Senanayake said the troops have been instructed to deal very strictly with those who defy the curfew and will shoot on sight if anyone defies the order.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an address to the nation, said the military has been asked to quell the anti-Muslim riot and urged public cooperation to the security forces to bring the situation under control.

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The flare-up is the worst violence in the three weeks since Sri Lankan Islamist bombers blew themselves up in four hotels and three churches on Easter Sunday.

First published on: 14-05-2019 at 02:00:52 pm
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